Legendary picks newcomer to play Jackie Robinson

Harrison Ford also joins '42' biopic

Legendary Pictures is swinging for the fences with its Jackie Robinson biopic “42,” tapping relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman to play the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder and Harrison Ford to play baseball executive Branch Rickey.

Brian Helgeland will direct from a script he penned.

Pic follows the iconic story of Robinson, the first African-American to play in the major leagues. 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.

While Rickey has been the role most speculated in recent weeks, the role of Robinson was sought after by several actors including “Friday Night Light”‘s Michael B. Jordan and “Stomp the Yard”‘s Columbus Short.

Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will produce, with Dick Cook exec producing. No distributor is set for the pic.

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.

Ironically, Boseman also appeared in “The Express,” which was based on the true story of Ernie Davis (played by Rob Brown), the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.

He repped by Greene & Associates.

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