Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Review: Brad Bird’s ‘Tomorrowland’ Starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson & Hugh Laurie Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Robert Redford To Play Branch Rickey In Jackie Robinson Film Directed By Brian Helgeland

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist April 7, 2011 at 2:50AM

After years and years of development, Robert Redford finally has the pieces in place to bring the story of Branch Rickey to the big screen. Brian Helgeland will be making his way behind the camera, writing and directing the story of the famous Brooklyn Dodgers executive and his relationship with Jackie Robinson, the first black professional baseball player*.
5


After years and years of development, Robert Redford finally has the pieces in place to bring the story of Branch Rickey to the big screen. Brian Helgeland will be making his way behind the camera, writing and directing the story of the famous Brooklyn Dodgers executive and his relationship with Jackie Robinson, the first black professional baseball player*.

The film is set to focus on not only Robinson's extraordinary ordeal as a player who broke the color barrier, but also on the trials and travails of Rickey, who saw the economic benefits from signing Robinson. Redford had long been passionate about the film, but not so much about acting, having sworn off appearing in front of the camera since "Lions For Lambs" played to empty theaters four years ago. Helgeland has also been long gone from directing: the writer has been busy writing films as diverse as "Robin Hood," "Green Zone" and "Mystic River" in the last few years, but his last directorial effort was 2003's forgotten "The Order," though a vastly different director's cut of his 1999 effort "Payback" hit DVD in 2006.

On one level, a film about Branch Rickey is a compelling one. In addition to bringing Robinson to the majors, Rickey was a pioneer in having developed the earliest version of what we now know as the minor leagues, while also becoming a powerful force in establishing the use of a batting helmet in the sport. However, Robinson's story of racial discrimination is powerful and worthy of its own movie: do we need to muck up the narrative of another black athlete with the story of another extremely noble white man? No word on when production begins, but Redford, who is also developing "A Walk In The Woods" as a starring vehicle, should make a decision soon.

*Print the legend: The first black professional baseball player was Moses Fleetwood Walker, a catcher in the 1880's who openly railed against the idea of racial integration, championing the possibility of blacks returning to Africa. Now that's a movie.

This article is related to: Robert Redford, Brian Hegleland


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates