Deadline.com is reporting that Brian Helgeland, the screenwriter behind “Mystic River” and “L.A. Confidential,” has signed up to write and direct a long-awaited biopic about about the man who broke the color barrier in baseball, Jackie Robinson.
Hollywood has long been interested in bringing Robinson’s story to the screen. Spike Lee once tried to direct a version with Denzel Washington in the lead role. And Robert Redford has for years tried to tackle the story from the vantage point of Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Robinson and put him on the team. Redford has long wanted to play the role of Rickey. The project was stalled for years, though it recently got ink that it was resuscitated, mainly on the basis of Redford saying he still wanted to play the role, though there was no indication of who would fund it.
The movie will be produced by Legendary Pictures, which has been responsible for such films as “The Hangover Part II,” “Inception” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Legendary chairman Thomas Tull said in a statement, “We are deeply honored and grateful to be able to bring the Jackie Robinson story to audiences around the world,” Tull said in a statement. “The legacy he left on history, society and the sport of baseball is one that will never be forgotten, and we are pleased to tell this amazing story of a true American hero.”
No word on who will portray Robinson in the movie.