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What’s better than a new crime drama starring Tom Hardy? How about a new crime drama starring two Tom Hardys?

Directed by Brian Helgeland, Legend stars the Dark Knight Rises actor as identical twins / notorious British gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray. Our first look at the film has just arrived. See it — and get the scoop on some new casting — after the jump.

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Tom Hardy in Talks to Play Famed London Gangster Twins

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Brian Helgeland adapted a story of famed American gang dealings in L.A. Confidential, and now he’s going to chronicle an unusual and notorious pair of London mobsters. He’s set to write and direct Legend (title subject to change), in which Tom Hardy may end up playing identical twin brothers Ronald and Reginald Kray, who dominated the London crime scene in the ’60s before being sentenced to life in prison in 1968. Read More »

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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 »

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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