I love baseball movies. To be honest, I love sports movies as a whole, but baseball movies in particular (it is perhaps needless to say that I love the games). Alas, sports movies are a mixed bag in terms of quality. One area in which baseball movies often find success is in tapping into the historic and/or mythic elements of the game itself. 42 does exactly that, delving into Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
Producer Brian Grazer has been trying to make a James Brown biopic for over a decade. Tate Taylor (The Help) signed on to direct and produce late last year, and Mick Jagger came to produce and lend his music cred, but there was no obvious candidate to play the Godfather of Soul. One black actor surfaced in the last year and proved he could carry a period biopic: Chadwick Boseman. Boseman played Jackie Robinson in 42, which premiered in April to solid reviews and went on to gross nearly $100 million domestic. Variety reports Boseman was identified as the top choice weeks ago, but Universal and Imagine Entertainment needed to sort out the budget before an offer could be made. Now, Boseman is Brown.
Another report suggests Taylor is eying a few members from the Help cast—Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Nelsan Ellis—for supporting roles. More after the jump.
Summit Entertainment and OddLot Entertainment announced today that production has begun on director Ivan Reitman’s sports dramedy Draft Day. The film takes place within the span of one day, the day of the NFL Draft, as Kevin Costner plays a general manger who has the opportunity to save football in Cleveland when he trades for the number one pick. As the day’s events unfold, “he must quickly decide what he’s willing to sacrifice in pursuit of perfection as the lines between his personal and professional life become blurred on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with dreams of playing in the NFL.”
Filming is underway in New York, where the production will shoot some scenes at the actual 2013 NFL Draft. Once that is complete, filming will move to Cleveland. The ensemble includes Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, Frank Langella, Josh Pence, Rosanna Arquette, Timothy Simons and 42 star Chadwick Boseman, and the start-of-production press release notes that Terry Crews and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs have also joined the cast. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes the entire cast listing.
Here’s the latest casting news:
- Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses) and Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) are set to star in indie romantic comedy Tumbledown.
- 42 star Chadwick Boseman is closing in on a key supporting role in Ivan Reitman’s football-oriented drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner.
Hit the jump for more on both projects.
Football may currently be the most popular sport in America, but baseball will always be “America’s Pastime”. It was our first widely popular sport, and it contained both the best of our abilities and the worst of our perceptions. Segregation in baseball was never official. It was an unwritten rule agreed upon by the owners and “enforced” by the commissioner. Baseball, in its rules, is a pure sport, but in its practice, was tainted by institutional racism. Jackie Robinson didn’t just break the color barrier in a sport; he completed the greatness of America’s Pastime. He is a transformative figure, and in 42, writer-director Brian Helgeland pays complete and utter devotion to Robinson’s legend. Strangely, despite his attempt to paint Robinson’s accomplishment as a mythic battle between good and evil, the story never feels larger than a TV movie.
The sports drama 42 tells a story of heroism and achievement that forever changed the game of baseball. When trailblazing Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) in 1947, he broke Major League Baseball’s infamous color line, shocking both the public and the other players. Tested in a way that seemed insurmountable, Robinson demonstrated such tremendous courage and restraint, instead letting his talent on the field win over the fans, his teammates and the world.
During a press conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, along with writer/director Brian Helgeland, talked about the influence of Jackie Robinson in both his own era and today, what made them want to be a part of this film, how much involvement Rachel Robinson (Jackie Robinson’s widow) had, and how they hope the positive portrayal of African Americans in this film will inspire other filmmakers. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Warner Bros. has released seven clips from the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, led by Chadwick Boseman. Harrison Ford co-stars as Branch Rickey, the general manager who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball by signing Robinson to the Dodgers. It’s a curious performance by Ford, who wraps a thick dialect around such mouthfuls as:
“Someday you’re going to meet God. And when he inquires as why you didn’t take the field against Robinson in Philadelphia, and you answer that it’s because he was a negro, it may not be a sufficient reply!”
Since we are withholding judgement until we see the full context of the performance, let’s focus on the fact that the period piece photography is sharp, and Boseman looks to be a charasmatic lead. Christopher Meloni, Ryan Merriman, Brad Beyer, Judy Tylor, Jon Bernthal, Nicole Beharie, and T.R. Knight co-star. Directed by Brian Helgeland, 42 opens April 12. Watch the clips after the break.
We have over 40 new images from director Brian Helgeland’s Jackie Robinson biopic 42 to share with you today. Starring Chadwick Boseman (Persrons Unknown) in the lead role, 42 tells the story of Robinson, the first player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Harrison Ford co-stars as Branch Rickey, the MLB exec who signed Robinson into the minors and ushered him along to the pros. Also starring Nicole Beharie, T.R. Knight, Christopher Meloni and Toby Huss, 42 opens April 12th. Hit the jump to see 45 new images from the film along with some behind-the-scenes shots.
Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for writer/director Brian Helgeland’s real life drama 42. The film chronicles how Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boesman) and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) worked together to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947. This longer trailer does a nice job of selling the film as more thrilling and exciting than your typical cradle-to-grave biopic (again enhanced by Jay-Z), but I think the first trailer popped a bit more. The performances look impressive and I like the visual aesthetic that Helgeland has settled on, so here’s hoping we’re in for an engaging iteration of a truly powerful story.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and click here to watch a new featurette. The film also stars Christopher Meloni, Jon Bernthal, Alan Tudyk, and John C. McGinley. 42 opens on April 12th.
Warner Bros. has released a rather fascinating featurette for the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic 42. Written and directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), the film chronicles how Robinson (Chadwick Boesman) and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) worked together to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947. In addition to showing off new footage from the film, the featurette includes interviews with the cast and crew, as well as Robinson’s wife Rachel and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, about Jackie Robinson’s effect on the game and the culture of baseball in the 1940s. We also get a close look at Ford’s rather distracting wig and fake eyebrows.
Hit the jump to watch the featurette. The film also stars Christopher Meloni, Jon Bernthal, Alan Tudyk, and John C. McGinley. 42 opens on April 12th.
Warner Bros. has released a number of new high-resolution images from some of their upcoming 2013 titles. Briefly:
- Bullet to the Head – Written and directed by action veteran Walter Hill, the film stars Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, and Jason Momoa. The film opens on February 1, 2013.
- 42 – Directed by Brian Helgeland, the Jackie Robinson biopic stars Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, and Jon Bernthal. The film opens on April 12, 2013.
- The Great Gatsby – Directed by Baz Luhrmann, this 3D adaptation stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, and Carey Mulligan. The film opens May 10, 2013.
- We’re the Millers – Directed by Rawson Thurber (Dodgeball), this pot comedy stars Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, and Emma Roberts. The film opens on August 9, 2013.
- Getaway – Directed by Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy, this thriller set within the confines of a car stars Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez, and Jon Voight. The film opens on August 30, 2013.
Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.
The first trailer for director Brian Helgeland’s Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, has gone online. No sports-related trailer is complete without a walk down the tunnel from the locker room and this one is no different. Where the trailer quickly distances itself is in the film’s fearless to take on race relations, a central part to Robinson’s rise to fame in the sports world. Boseman takes on the role whole-heartedly and looks to be an absolute force in the film. I’m usually not a fan of contemporary songs in period trailers (I’m looking at you, The Great Gatsby), but Jay-Z’s track nails it this time around.
42 stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, with Harrison Ford, Christopher Meloni, Jon Bernthal, Alan Tudyk and John C. McGinley, and opens April 12th, 2013. Hit the jump to watch the trailer.
You’re driving down the street, and it’s suddenly blocked off. You notice these weird yellow signs with nonsensical letters or numbers. There’s unusual glow lighting up a neighborhood you can’t usually see from your house. What you might have here is a film company shooting in your town. It happens a lot, and you never know where they might pop up…until now.
The following is a semi-comprehensive list of films currently shooting, what they’re shooting, and where they’re shooting. We’ll be telling you where you might get to see the very famous, the kinda famous and (if all goes well) the soon-to-be famous. While we can’t list every single movie, television show, or student film in production, you’ll get a pretty good idea of what the heck is going on where all those people are buzzing about. Want to know where in the world are Matt Damon, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Woody Harrelson, and Leonardo DiCaprio? Hit the jump for more.
Here’s a look at some new release dates, including the Jackie Robinson biopic, 42 and a slew of animated features:
- 42, directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, will debut on April 12th, 2013, the 66th anniversary of “Jackie Robinson Day,” the day of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger.
- Escape from Planet Earth, featuring the voices of Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Brendan Fraser, James Gandolfini, Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry opens February 14th, 2013.
- Leo the Lion lands on August 20th, 2013.
- The Trick of Treaters debuts in time for Halloween on October 25th, 2013.
- In another animated holiday feature, Santapprentice will follow up with a December 6th, 2013 release date.
Hit the jump for more on each film.
Legendary Pictures is moving quickly on their Jackie Robinson drama 42. Written and to be directed by Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential), the film chronicles how Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey and Robinson worked together to eradicate segregation in baseball in 1947. Just yesterday we reported that Harrison Ford was being eyed for the Rickey role, and now Variety reports that the studio has settled on relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman (The Express) to take on the role of famed ballplayer Robinson.
There’s no update on Ford’s involvement, but I’d really like to see him sign on. It’s been so long since he’s done any heady dramatic work, and I think the role of Branch Rickey would be a nice challenge for him. With the role of Robinson set, hopefully we’ll hear more casting news soon.