Deadline revealed yesterday that Legendary Pictures was courting Harrison Ford to play Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers GM who with Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball in 1947. Legendary has announced that Ford is set, and that they’ve cast Chadwick Boseman to play the Hall of Fame second baseman who had a profound impact on the Civil Rights movement. Brian Helgeland wrote the script and will direct. Here’s the release:
Burbank, CA – December 9, 2011 – Legendary Pictures announced today that it has cast Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford to star in the company’s film based upon history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson.
Boseman will depict the iconic baseball star, paying tribute to the legacy and impact Robinson made when he became the first African American Major League Baseball player.
Ford will star as Branch Rickey, the innovative Major League Baseball executive who is best known for breaking MLB’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945. Two years later, at the start of the 1947 major league baseball season, Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers major league baseball team with the help of Rickey. Rickey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.
Chadwick Boseman is best known for his performance in Universal Pictures’ THE EXPRESS. Boseman also just completed a lead in the independent feature KILL HOLE. On television he was a regular on the NBC series Persons Unknown. He is represented by Michael Greene at Greene & Associates, and Melanie Cook of Ziffren Brittenham.
Ford most recently starred in COWBOYS & ALIENS and is best known for starring in the INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS franchises as well as AIR FORCE ONE and THE FUGITIVE. Ford was a Best Actor Oscar® nominee for his role in the 1985 feature film WITNESS. Ford is represented by Jim Berkus at United Talent Agency and Skip Brittenham of Ziffren Brittenham.
Brian Helgeland (LA CONFIDENTIAL / MYSTIC RIVER) will write and direct, with Legendary’s Chairman and CEO, Thomas Tull, producing, and Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer and President, Jon Jashni, serving as executive producer. Dick Cook, former Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, will also serve as an executive producer. Legendary worked early on in development with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, to ensure the movie adaptation of the famed player’s story is authentic.