Writer Robert Bruzio’s first major screenplay, Bottom of the 9th, starring Joe Manganiello is set for release on July 19. The film is about a man who returns to the Bronx, New York, after serving 17 years in prison for a violent mistake he made in his youth, ultimately robbing him of a professional baseball career and the love of his life. In addition to being the film’s star, Manganiello and his brother, Nick, serve as co-producers, along with William Chartoff (Rocky Balboa, Creed and Creed 2). Raymond De Felitta (City Island, Madoff) is the director.
Bruzio was inspired to write the screenplay after witnessing the struggles of a relative. He grew in the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx and through the screenplay, wanted to shine a light on the difficulties faced when returning to life after a long prison sentence. He then combined his own personal experiences along with his love for baseball to create this unique original story.
He began working on this screenplay in 2003, but between running a production company and helping to manage his family’s construction business, all while raising his family, it has been a labor of love; literally years in the making. Through unending persistence and tenacity, Robert managed to get the screenplay to Rocky Balboa producer William Chartoff and ultimately caught his big break when award-winning actor Joe Manganiello received a copy. Immediately, Manganiello knew he had to produce and star in this film. Bruzio also serves as Associate Producer on the film, which was shot in his old neighborhood where the movie is based.
In addition to Bottom of the 9th, Bruzio is working on a number of treatments across film and television, including developing a series called Teitel Brothers (the Italian Tribune’s 2018 Legacy Award recipients), a true story about a Jewish family’s struggle when opening an Italian grocery store in a predominately Italian neighborhood, ultimately becoming enormously successful and part of the fabric of the community.