We guess Jack Nicholson was busy. He was the last actor named as a contender for the key role of Branch Rickey in the developing Jackie Robinson biopic “42,” but it looks like another aging superstar may step up to the plate.
Deadline reports that Harrison Ford is being sought to take on the role by Legendary Pictures who are backing the project. Written and set to be directed by Brian Helgeland, the film will tell the story the ball player’s color-barrier-smashing journey to the big leagues. Rickey was an executive of the Brooklyn Dodgers who first signed Robinson to the minor league squad before sending him up to the big show. Robert Redford was also tossed around in very early days to take on the project, but he too moved on.
It’s an interesting story to be sure, but it’s a little worrisome that so much effort is being spent to find the guy to play the person who drafted Robinson, and not Robinson himself. Anyway, this is exactly the kind of role Ford needs to do after coming off of a trifecta of bombs (“Extraordinary Measures,” “Morning Glory,” “Cowboys & Aliens“), so here’s hoping he takes it. It would be a nice change of pace for the actor, who has pretty much just growled through his last three movies.