Morgan Freeman Saddles Up for Horse Drama ‘Beautiful Jim Key’

Morgan Freeman Saddles Up Horse Drama

Promoters claimed famous performing horse could read, do math

Morgan Freeman is on board to star in historical horse story “Beautiful Jim Key” with Robert Rodat making his directorial debut.

Cargo Entertainment is handling international sales at Cannes and financing along with Two Ton Films.

The Mark Gordon Company and Revelations Entertainment will produce with production slated to start early next year.

The story, based on the book of the same name by Mim Eichler Rivas, centers on the showman Dr. William Key and his performing horse, Beautiful Jim Key. His promoters claimed the “world’s smartest horse” could read, write and do math.

Key, a former slave, was relegated to carnivals so he recruited a one-time promoter for P.T. Barnum to be his front man — leading to the horse becoming a national sensation at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition.

The project marks the third collaboration for Gordon and Rodat following “The Patriot” and “Saving Private Ryan.”

Producers are Mark Gordon, Revelations Entertainment’s Lori McCreary, Cargo Entertainment’s Marina Grasic and Rogers Hartmann. Executive producers include  Clay Pecorin  and Russell Geyser from Two Ton Films and Michele Wolkoff from The Mark Gordon Company.

“Bob and I have had a long and fruitful collaboration over the years and I am so excited to be working with him on his directorial debut,” Gordon said.

CAA is packaging and representing the film along with The Gersh Agency for the US market.

CAA represents Revelations and Freeman. Rodat is repped by Gersh.


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  1. Carmen Anderson says:

    Dr. Key was my great-aunt’s brother-in-law and we have always considered Jim Key our “family horse”. Been anxiously waiting for the movie. Does anyone know what’s happening??

  2. Gloria English says:

    Is the movie still being made if so when?

  3. Christuie Anderson says:

    I was so taken by the book, Dr. Jim Key and his very special horse. What a piece of American history! I can see Morgan Freeman as Dr. Key, great choice. Wonder how many horses it will take to train to be The Beautiful Jim Key? Poignant story on so many levels, a great history lesson for all of us. BY the way, I am in the process of purchasing a Tennessee Walking mare, she is related on both sides to Jim Key….no wonder she is so smart!!!!

  4. betty pittman says:

    my husbons name is boady pittman and he is a trick horse trainer.he has trained one of our horses to do 23 tricks great man great horse.we would love to have a auditions for this movie we are not sure to contact.if you have a name or number please e mail me back thank you the pittmans

  5. Gloria E. says:

    Can’t wait for this movie to be made and released. Morgan Freeman will do a great job as Dr Key!

  6. Virginia says:

    Dr. Key and Jim Key were from Bedford County, Tennessee, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth. It would be a shame if this were filmed somewhere else … If anyone with any influence in “the business” is reading this, it’s worth checking out.

  7. Ginger says:

    I rarely go to see movies, but I will make a special effort to see this one! Can’t wait! I will reread the book in preparation. One question–what horse could play Jim Key???????

  8. bev morse says:

    my first best friend, after my big and little sisters, was my horse – the black. yup – after walter farley – my god. there’s something about… this kind of story. mim gets it.

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