Jack Nicholson hasn't acted in a movie since 2007's The Bucket List-- no, I don't consider his 15 minutes of vamping screentime in last year's How Do You Know actual acting. In fact, ever since his big Oscar win in 1997 it seems to take superhuman effort to get Nicholson back on the screen, whether a role so good he can't resist it-- i.e. About Schmidt or The Departed-- or favors to old friends, i.e. The Bucket List for A Few Good Men director Rob Reiner or How Do You Know for James L. Brooks, who has directed Nicholson to two of his three Oscar wins. No, I can't explain Anger Management,and I bet he can't either.

But for whatever reason, Nicholson has apparently gotten sick of sitting courtside at Lakers games and hanging out with his old buddies, and is considering taking an actual acting job, one that might force him to remove his sunglasses. Vulture reports that Nicholson is considering a starring role in 42, the new title for the Jackie Robinson biopic that's been in the works since the summer. It's also apparently a different project than the one Robert Redford was talking up in the spring, when he wanted to play the legendary Broklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey, who brought Robinson on to the team and was the first to dare break the color barrier in baseball. Vulture speculates that Nicholson is now being targeted to play Rickey in the other Robinson movie, which might mean Redford's project is dead.

Neither Redford or Nicholson looks all that much like Rickey, and both would be perfectly good casting choices, though it's a shame to think that Redford's desire of many years to play Rickey might get shuttled because Nicholson has steped up to it. Vulture doesn't have any info on when 42 might go into production, but with Moneyball a hit and people always clamoring for more baseball movies, I wouldn't be surprised to see this move quickly.

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