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What everybody really wants to know about the planned Jackie Robinson biopic, of course, is who will play Robinson--even if not as many people alive today remember his days playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, he's still such an iconic historical figure that the pressure is on. But while the producers still try to cast the tricky part, they've at least got a bona fide Hollywood legend on board as a co-star. According to The Los Angeles Times Robert Redford is set to play Branch Rickey, the Dodgers executive who made the historic decision to integrate the team.

Talking to the Times, Redford emphasized that Rickey's role in history has been under-reported in the past:

"No one really knows the Rickey part, the political maneuvers and the partnership they had to share. It's the story underneath the story you thought you knew."

Brian Helgeland, whose career as a writer has included Mystic River and Green Zone, will be writing and directing the Robinson biopic; his track record as a director as a lot sketchier, much as A Knight's Tale had its surreal pleasures, but this kind of can't-miss biopic topic seems like far surer ground than a Queen-tinged medieval epic. At least the story is solid enough to bring Redford back to the screen; the Sundance founder last acted in Lions for Lambs, which he also directed, and doesn't appear onscreen at all in his newest directorial effort, The Conspirator. That's another historical film that tells another angle of a famous story, but given how dull and static The Conspirator is, we can all hope the Robinson movie turns out a little more energetic.

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