The biopic has become a popular film genre these days, and for good reason. Films like The King’s Speech, The Fighter, and the more recent Lincoln always seem to take home the awards at the end of every film season. Sports biopics, in particular, have seen much success over the past few years. Ali, Invictus, and Moneyball are just a few of the notable sports biopics of recent memory, but soon 42, a film which chronicles Jackie Robinson’s signing with the Brooklyn Dogers in 1947, could find a place among the best.
If there is one sport that does not seem fit for the big screen, baseball is probably it. The pace is slow, breaks are frequent, and other than occasional reports of steroids, player news is usually at a minimum. Still, baseball has been well represented in film, especially with films like Field of Dreams, Major League, and 2011 hit Moneyball. These films tend to focus on the action beyond the field, which is oftentimes even more interesting than what takes place behind the plate. Baseball is an American pastime, and it is about time that the story of Jackie Robinson was told on the big screen.
The first African American player to sign a big league contract, Jackie Robinson is a historical icon. Many people recognize his number immediately, while others have at least heard the name. Most people don’t know the whole story, and 42 should educate and captivate audiences when it release on April 12th. Early trailers reveal an emotionally charged story, which will echo themes present in such films as Remember the Titans and Glory Road. At a time when the country was divided, sports played an important role in bringing people together. 42 will no doubt hold a heavy message wrapped in emotional drama.
42 stars Chadwick Boseman, a regular on such TV shows as Lincoln Heights and Persons Unknown, as Jackie Robinson. Branch Rickey, the man who actually signed Robinson, will be played by none other than Harrison Ford. Known primarily for his role as Indiana Jones, it will be interesting to see how Ford portrays the legendary baseball executive. Others starring in the film include Alan Tudyk, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie, and John C. McGinley.
The screenplay writer and director of 42, Brian Helgeland, has quite a few notable credits. He wrote the screenplay for L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, and Man on Fire (as well as many others), and has directed such films as Payback, The Order, and A Knight’s Tale. He is no slouch when it comes to big-time movies, so here’s hoping 42 captures movie magic.
42 has received no critical reviews at the time of this writing, but expect them to appear in the coming weeks. 42 will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements and including language. Until the movie’s release, check back here for the latest news, inside reports, trailers, pictures, and videos.
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