There have been plenty of great real life sports stories that have found a new life on the silver screen and success in Hollywood. Remember the Titans, Invictus, The Blind Side, Rudy, Hoosiers, Glory Road, Major League… ok, maybe not that last one. Surprisingly though, Hollywood has never efforted a major movie to tell perhaps the most dramatic, influential, transformational sports story of them all – the life of Jackie Robinson. A Robinson film is now being planned and one of Hollywood’s biggest icons will take part as Harrison Ford is slated to play legendary Dodgers GM Branch Rickey. Here’s the details from MLB.com…
One of baseball’s most inspirational stories will soon have a powerful cast to bring it to life.
Legendary Pictures announced Friday that it has cast Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in an upcoming film about the ballplayer-turned-civil rights icon. Brian Helgeland, the author of “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River,” has been tabbed to write and direct the story about Robinson famously breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
Ford, the star of the long-running “Indiana Jones” franchise and an Academy Award Best Actor nominee in 1985 for the feature film “Witness,” will bring his considerable weight to Rickey’s role. Rickey, a Hall of Fame executive, is best known for bringing Robinson to the big leagues and changing baseball forever, but he’s also received credit for all but creating the modern-day Minor League farm system.
Chadwick Boseman, a Brooklyn native who will play Robinson, has experience in athlete biopics, albeit in a supporting role – he played future Syracuse RB Floyd Little in The Express. It’ll be exciting to see how the stories of Robinson and Rickey play out in the upcoming film and where it’ll rank amongst the great sports movies of all-time. I’ve always been enamored with the story of Branch Rickey because we share the same alma mater, Ohio Wesleyan University. It was back in 1903 when Rickey, who was coaching the OWU baseball team at the time, recruited Charles Thomas to fill his catching role on the team. Thomas was the lone black player on the OWU team. His courage facing racism and his relationship with Rickey remained with the future Dodgers GM for many years to come. It’s just one example of the several layers of amazing stories that can be told in this film, which will surely be a must see for all sports fans.