Production on the Jackie Robinson drama 42 appears to be heating up, as Legendary Pictures has zeroed in on one of their stars. Deadline reports that the studio wants Harrison Ford to star as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in the drama. The film, written and to be directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) chronicles how Rickey and Robinson worked to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947. Rickey was the man responsible for signing the African American Robinson to the Dodgers. Robert Redford was previously attached to the project in the Rickey role, but now Legendary is looking to fill that void with Ford.
While no deals have been signed, the report states that the role is Ford’s if he wants it. Ford seems well-suited to the part, but the actor is notoriously picky. It sounds like the kind of role that the actor will lament passing up in the future, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he declines. Ford is also being courted for the big screen adaptation of Ender’s Game, but between the two (and coming off the sci-fi stinker Cowboys & Aliens), I’m inclined to believe he’s more likely to take on the baseball movie. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.