Before Midnight 12

If you’re both 1) desperate for some distraction from the holiday hubbub and 2) eager to get a leg up on the rest of your office for the annual Oscar pool, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone.

Over thirty screenplays for some of 2013′s top films have just been made available, legally and for free, through the studios. Highlights include John Ridley‘s 12 Years a Slave, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy‘s Before Midnight, Terence Winter‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, and many more.

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The story of Jackie Robinson is one of the most important stories in sports history, but it is also one of the most important social stories of the 20th century. As the first black ballplayer in Major League Baseball, Robinson became one of the focal points at an early stage in the ever-evolving shift in American race relations. Which is to say that he was subjected to the same scorn, intimidation, and attacks as many other black men and women, but on a much larger scale.

The first full trailer for 42 is a dramatic, energetic thing, but it is also infuriating. It recreates some of our worst behavior in broad strokes, and even if the actions seen here are dramatically enhanced, the core attitudes and behavior have an inarguable basis in history. And while 42 sports Harrison Ford grumping and growling his way through some pretty impressive makeup, there’s enough of a sense of reality in this footage to make the intimidation of Robinson (played by Chadwick Boseman) have serious impact. Presumably, that will also make his eventual victory and acceptance pay off with the power of a grand slam. Read More »

If ever the story of an athlete deserved to be told in a major motion picture, it’s the story of Jackie Robinson. The man who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball not only broke cultural and social ground; he was one of the best people to ever play the game of baseball.

In every baseball stadium in North America his number, 42, is retired. That number is also the title of writer/director Brian Helgeland‘s upcoming biopic, which opens on April 12, 2013. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson and Harrison Ford plays the Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, who is credited with stepping up and doing something no one had ever done before: hire an African American baseball player for their team.

Check out the powerful teaser trailer for the film after the jump. Read More »

Get out that red pen and mark your calendar as several major movies just got release dates. The biggest one is Lego 3D, written and directed by 21 Jump Street helmers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and co-directed by Chris McKay, which is now scheduled for February 14, 2014. 42, the Jackie Robinson biopic starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman, written and directed by Brian Helgeland, will be released a year earlier on April 12, 2013 and The Weinstein Company revealed release dates for a bunch of upcoming animated films such as Santapprentice, The Trick or Treaters and Leo the Lion. Read more about those films after the jump. Read More »

Briefly: We’ve just heard that Harrison Ford is the latest actor that the producers of Jackie Robinson film 42 have eyed to play Branch Rickey, the LA Dodgers exec who helped break the color barrier in baseball by signing Jackie Robinson. While we don’t know if Ford will end up playing the role (somehow I expect not) we do know who’ll play Jackie Robinson.

Chadwick Boseman, whose credits are primarily in small TV roles going back to 2003, will play Robinson, according to Variety.

Update: Looks like I was wrong in the opening paragraph, as Jeff Sneider at Variety just said via Twitter, “BREAKING: HARRISON FORD set to play BRANCH RICKEY in Legendary Pictures’ JACKIE ROBINSON biopic 42! Link coming…” The full press release from Legendary Pictures is below. Read More »

Harrison Ford Up For Jackie Robinson Film ’42′

Robert Redford? Nope. Jack Nicholson? Nope. Now Harrison Ford is Legendary Pictures’ target to play the leading role of Branch Rickey, the Los Angeles Dodgers executive credited with signing Jackie Robinson and breaking baseball’s color barrier, in the film 42, written and directed by Brian Helgeland. Ford has yet to sign but, according to reports, the role is his if he wants it. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Jack Nicholson Offered Jackie Robinson Biopic ’42′

The dramatic, inspirational story of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball’s first black player, seems so ripe for a Hollywood adaptation that it’s a little surprising we haven’t seen the story hit the big screen in some time. Filmmakers have certainly tried — Spike Lee had a biopic in the works at one point, and Robert Redford tried for years to get his own version going — but for whatever reason, those projects never panned out. Happily, the iconic sports star and civil rights hero may finally be getting his day in the sun. Earlier this year, Legendary Pictures announced an official biopic to be directed by Brian Helgeland for release by Warner Bros., and now it seems casting on the picture has slowly begun.

While we still have no idea who’ll play Robinson, a new report has surfaced saying that Jack Nicholson has been offered a part in the film. Read more after the jump.

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