Story of baseball's Jackie Robinson heads to big screen

Thu Jun 2, 2011 8:43am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The story of Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player of modern times, is headed to the big screen with the help of his widow, producers Legendary Pictures said on Wednesday.

Legendary and Rachel Robinson are teaming up on a movie about the late sportsman, who joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and was instrumental in beginning the end of racial segregation in professional baseball.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland, the writer of "L.A. Confidential", will write the script and direct the film. Rachel Robinson will serve as a consultant.

Robinson, 88, told Reuters she has wanted to bring her husband's story to the big screen "for years -- back when Sydney Poitier (now 84) could have played Jack."

But for the current project, she has not centered on any one actor to play her husband. She said the movie will "tell the story of how it all occurred" and focus on "Jack breaking in to baseball, our lives at home and in the ball park, the players, (Dodgers executive) Branch Ricky."

Warner Bros. film studio will release the project. As a consultant, Robinson said her job will include looking at "the authenticity and richness" of each draft of the script.

"I have a habit of sending a lot of written notes and we discuss things on the phone," she said.

This is not the first time Robinson's story has been adapted to the big screen.   Continued...