Robert Redford is set to play Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey in a long-gestating, untitled historical drama which is finally getting underway at Legendary Pictures says The Los Angeles Times.
“L.A. Confidental” and “Mystic River” writer Brian Helgeland will write and direct the film which will revolve around Rickey’s complex relationship with African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson.
Rickey integrated baseball for “reasons of both idealism and economics”, while Robinson faced tremendous discrimination when he signed with the Dodgers system in 1945. Rickey also ushered in various innovations to the sport such as the modern farm system.
The project has been around for years. Kirk Ellis (“John Adams”) penned the previous draft, while the writers of “Ali” were attached at one time as well when it was in development at ESPN Films. Redford himself has been linked with the project on and off for a decade.