Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman have officially joined Legendary Pictures' upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, the studio announced today. Boseman, a relative newcomer, will play Robinson while Ford will play Branch Rickey, the Major League Baseball executive who signed him. Full details from the official press release are as follows:
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 Picturesí "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.
Earlier this year it was announced that Robert Redford was interested in playing Rickey, but appears to have passed the role on to Ford.