I wrote about the news that a Jackie Robinson biopic was in the works last year, and expressed some concern that the movie had found its Branch Rickey — initially Robert Redford, now, apparently, Harrison Ford — before its Jackie Robinson, who rightfully should be at the center of the movie. But I am glad to hear that the movie is starting production, and that it’s supposed to reach theaters on April 12, 2013.
It seems like some of the other cast is shaping up nicely. Sensitive hardasses are Christopher Meloni’s wheelhouse, so he should be dandy as Leo Durocher, the manager who laid down a clear line in support of Robinson. T.R. Knight, who knows a thing or two himself about hostile workplaces and coworker solidarity, will play Ralph Branca, the first Dodger player who stood with Robinson in public. And Nicole Beharie, who was just smashing as Michael Fassbender’s coworker and potential girlfriend in Shame will play Rachel Isum, Robinson’s wife. I just am not that familiar with Chadwick Boseman, who is playing Robinson, and I do worry that the movie who will marginalize him in favor of exploring the reactions of white people to a key moment in Civil Rights history. But it is nice for a younger, less-famous black actor to get a shot at stardom through a big sports biopic.