Jackie Robinson was one of the most iconic individuals of the 20th century. Robinson was the first African-American to play Major League Baseball at a time when the sport was viciously segregated. At the time, baseball served as a microcosm of American society, and as Major League Baseball slowly came to accept Jackie Robinson into its ranks, America gradually became more tolerant. Robinson’s story is one of the most compelling and inspiring tales of the 20th century, so it’s not surprising that it has only been depicted on the silver screen once, in 1950, with Robinson playing himself. However, a new film about Robinson, “42,” which made my list of “Thirteen Films to Watch for in 2013,” is coming to theaters later this year, and a new trailer has surfaced online today, January 10, 2013.
The new trailer for the film accompanies this article, and gives us a very long and detailed first look at the upcoming film. In a bold and shocking move, writer and director Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential,” “Mystic River,” “A Knight’s Tale”) has decided to give the tremendously difficult role of Jackie Robinson to newcomer Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman will be greatly aided by the unbelievable talent of his legendary co-star, Harrison Ford, who will portray Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed Robinson in 1945. However, the film’s success will still be entirely dependent on Boseman’s ability to portray the baseball legend.
Fortunately, Boseman looks spectacular in the trailer for the film, which calls for a tremendous acting range. The trailer shows that Robinson’s road to the Dodgers’ dugout was extraordinarily difficult and fraught with racist players, referees, and even fellow teammates. Robinson was also challenged by the unbearable pressures that came with his status as a national role model.
However, thanks in large measure to the exhilarating Jay-Z track, “Brooklyn Go Hard” backing the trailer, it’s clear that the film will also show the great triumphs of Robinson’s career and the unbelievable impact he made on America.
“42” also features an astounding supporting cast including Alan Tudyk, Christopher Meloni, John C. McGinley, Lucas Black, Ryan Merriman, Brad Beyer, Judy Tylor, Jon Bernthal, Nicole Beharie, and T.R. Knight. “42” will hit theaters on April 13, 2013.