Jackie Robinson's Widow Will Help Brian Helgeland Make His Biopic
The first time we wrote about a planned Jackie Robinson biopic, it was with the encouraging news that Robert Redford had agreed to take a supporting role in the film as Branch Rickey, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who made the decision to hire Robinson and break the unspoken color line in Major League Baseball. Redford seemed like a big enough name to draw interest in the project and maybe help the producers find the right actor to play Robinson, obviously the most important and difficult to cast part in the film.
But today, in a press release from Legendary Pictures announcing the official existence of the project, there's no mention of Redford. I'm not sure if that's because his deal isn't yet official or because he's dropped out, but either way that doesn't seem to stop them from moving ahead with the film. Brian Helgeland, the screenwriter behind L.A. Confidential and Mystic River, is still set to write the screenplay and make his directorial debut with the film, which has the important collaboration of Robinson's widow Rachel. There's no specified timeline for the film to go into production, and they've obviously still got to cast an actor to play Robinson, but it looks like the intriguing project is moving ahead-- whether or not Redford is in fact going to be part of it. Here's the full press release below if you want to know more.
Burbank, CA – June 1, 2011 – Legendary Pictures announced today that it will develop and produce a new film based on history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson. The movie will pay tribute to the legacy and impact Robinson made when he became the first African American Major League Baseball player.
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