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 »

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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 »

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