We’ve known this for a little while, but it wasn’t public yet, and now it is, so I’m posting it.
Nicole Beharie has joined the cast of 42, the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic announced a few months ago, that direcor Brian Helgeland and Legendary Pictures are developing.
The new film is based on the life of history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson, made in collaboration with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson.
And that is exactly who Nicole Beharie has signed on to play – Jackie Robinson’s wife Rachel Robinson, née Rachel Isum.
Beharie will join relative newcomer Chadwick Boseman (who’s worked primarily in television on shows like Fringe, Justified and Castle) who will play Jackie Robinson in the film.
Also, Harrison Ford was reportedly offered the role of Branch Rickey in the film – the Brooklyn Dodgers’ manager who made history by signing Robinson as the first black player in the history of the Major League Baseball organization.
Brian Helgeland will direct from a script he also wrote, which will tell Robinson’s story, as the first African-American to play in the major leagues.
Congrats to the young Chadwick Boseman and Nicole Beharie in what should be their highest profile roles yet, and largest paychecks!
I dig this casting; Helgeland went with young, promising Actors (emphasis mine). Neither is what you’d call an A-lister, or a *name.* A rarity when it comes to casting films with black casts. Helgeland could have gone with a rapper and a singer instead, but he didn’t.