Hunkered down in his own Republic of Brooklyn pad, the Oscar winner Sunday went online to gift film and baseball fans with the treat of the script of his unmade Jackie Robinson film – and you can read all 159 pages of this fifth draft of the known but never actualized project right here, right now.
Described by Lee as a “dream project” in the video below, the plan back around 1996 was for the Malcolm X director to re-team with Denzel Washington for their take on the life and legacy of the Brooklyn Dodgers legend who shattered MLB’s color barrier and inspired so many.
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I Dug Deep Into Da 40 Acres Vault And Pulled Out This Script From One Of My EPIC Dream (Never Got Made) Projects-JACKIE ROBINSON. You Do Not Have To Be A Baseball Fan To Enjoy. This Script Is A Great American Story. Be Safe. Peace,Light And Love. And Dat's Da "Brooklyn Dodger"Truth, Ruth. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF [click the link in the bio]
Sadly, for fans of cinema and America’s pastime, as Spike tells it, “Denzel said he was too old” to play Robinson and the project never made it to home plate.
“I pulled this script out of the vault and so, I’d like to share the script with you,” Lee declared today from his sofa in front of a huge framed poster of the Alfred E. Green directed The Jackie Robinson Story from 1950, starring the great man himself as himself. “And also, don’t worry about it if you don’t like baseball or sports,” the passionate sports fan added in a year that saw the March 26 MLB opening day and a new season postponed because of the global health crisis. “This is a great American story.”
Yes, indeed – perhaps even more so in an overwhelmed NYC and stay-at-home USA pummeled Sunday with even more tragic news of now over 137,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 domestically and more than 2,350 deaths.
“Hope you enjoy it,” Lee concludes of the pages of the unrealized Jackie Robinson movie. “If you don’t, that’s alright too. It’s never getting made, but I wanted to share this script with you. Be safe! Be safe! Social distancing! Peace.”
Indeed, maybe once again Spike will be leading the way and we’ll soon see other filmmakers pull their unmade dream projects out of their respective vaults to share. Hell, maybe even a few of them may get made once we pull out of all this.