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.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier today, Legendary Pictures made the officially announced development on a Jackie Robinson biopic, a project that was first reported in early April. There is an apparent discrepancy between the initial report, which suggested Robert Redford will star as Branch Rickey, and the press release which failed to mention Redford’s name at all. 24 Frames, the source of the Redford-centric news, asked around to see if something changed since the story was sent to print. A rep from Redford’s camp declined to comment; a Legendary spokeswoman stated, simply, there is “no casting announcement at this time.” The outlet believes Redford is still attached, and the news will surface in a more official capacity at a later date.
In consolation, 24 Frames offers information on Redford’s next project, an adaptation of the Bill Bryson book A Walk in the Woods. Redford first announced that he would produce and star as the fictional Bryson in A Walk in the Woods in 2005. At the time, he longed for a Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid reunion with Paul Newman before he died in 2008. Newman is the very definition of irreplaceable, but as far as replacements go, you can’t do much better than Nick Nolte. Nolte is now attached to play Bryson’s friend Stephen as the two out-of-shape men venture to walk the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail. Christopher Columbus and Barry Levinson have each been mentioned as possible directors in the past, but it’s not specified if either might return to the project. Read the official book synopsis after the break.
In early April, we reported that Robert Redford was set to star in a biopic about Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey from writer-director Brian Hegleland. The film would center on Rickey’s decision to integrate Major League Baseball by hiring Jackie Robinson. At the time, I voiced my disappointment that we would have to see Robinson’s story through Rickey’s perspective when—all due respect to Rickey’s legacy—it was Robinson’s story that was worth telling on its own.
Now it looks like I’ve gotten my way. Legendary Pictures has sent out a press release annoucning that Helgeland will still write and direct, but it now looks like the movie is now about Robinson. Nowhere in the press release is Rickey mentioned. While Robinson’s story was previously filmed as The Jackie Robinson Story, and that movie actually starred Robinson as himself. For the new biopic, Legendary will collaborate with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson on the picture. While I’m not the biggest fan of Helgeland (for every L.A. Confidential, there’s a Robin Hood, Cirque du Freak, and The Taking of Pelham 123 remake), I hope he’ll do justice to Robinson’s story. Hit the jump for the press release.