Is Will Smith looking to make up for balking at starring in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained by starring in a remake of one of the biggest landmarks in the Western canon? Smith has signed to produce and star in the remake of Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, which Warner Bros. has been trying to kickstart for a few years. That’s a piece of news that sounds pretty ridiculous, as the family-friendly guy who shied away fro Django is just about the last guy I’d expect to remake a film famous for its violence and adult themes.
(And yeah, let’s just get it out of the way: The Wild Wild Bunch. There, now we can move on.)
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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 »
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 »
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 »
Posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2011 by Angie Han
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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Since the sinking of the Robert Zemeckis mocap remake of Yellow Submarine, the director has been attached to quite a few projects, many of which are live-action. His likely next film is Flight, starring Denzel Washington as a drug-addled pilot who safely performs a seemingly heroic emergency landing, despite being under the influence during the flight. (In other words, he contributed to the emergency.) That could shoot in the fall. He’s also got possible projects The Animated American, Replay and Major Matt Mason.
Now there is one more: Here There Be Monsters, a heavily fictionalized account of the career of British naval officer John Paul Jones, who runs afoul of a sea monster. Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential) scripted, and we’ve got a few more details below. Read More »
Most geeks know the number 42 as Ultimate Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything in Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. And if that’s the case, Jackie Robinson is the Ultimate Question. Robinson was the first African American Major League Baseball player and is the only player to have his number, 42, universally retired throughout Major League Baseball (at least it will be when Mariano Rivera stops saving games for the Yankees) as well as his own day celebrated throughout the sport. He is one of the most important sports figures in history and his struggle and triumph is ripe for dramatization.
Legendary Pictures, hot off another rousing financial success with The Hangover Part II, has announced that they’re working with the family of the sports and civil rights icon on an official biopic based on Robinson’s life that will be written and directed by Brian Helgeland. And while we’ve previously reported that Helgeland would be making a Robinson film with Robert Redford, this seems to be a different take. Read More »
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