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Spike Lee Shares Script for Unmade Jackie Robinson Passion Project — Read Now

Lee pulled the screenplay out of the vault for fans in quarantine via his Instagram on Sunday.

Spike Lee'Shaft' film premiere, Arrivals, AMC Lincoln Square, New York, USA - 10 Jun 2019

Spike Lee

Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Filmmaker Spike Lee is bunkered down in quarantine just like the rest of us, and as a treat for fans sheltering in place, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker offered up a Dropbox link to the script for “Jackie Robinson,” his unmade tribute to the baseball legend, Sunday via his Instagram. The passion project dates back to 1996, the year he wrote it, and this version is apparently the fifth draft of the screenplay. He originally wanted Denzel Washington to star as Robinson, but the actor felt he was too old for the role.

“Afternoon From Da Corona Epicenter Of The USA-NYC,” Lee wrote on Instagram. “I Dug Deep Into Da 40 Acres Vault And Pulled Out This Script From One Of My EPIC Dream (Never Got Made) Projects-JACKIE ROBINSON. You Do Not Have To Be A Baseball Fan To Enjoy. This Script Is A Great American Story. Be Safe. Peace,Light And Love. And Dat’s Da “Brooklyn Dodger”Truth, Ruth. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF.”

“Hope you enjoy it,” Spike said on Instagram. “If not, that’s alright too. It’s never getting made.”

Lee did succeed in giving Robinson an official tribute back in 2019 with a Budweiser ad titled “Impact,” which honors one of the player’s watershed moments in sports history.

You can read the screenplay for “Jackie Robinson” via Dropbox here. It’s based on Robinson’s autobiography “I Never Had It Made,” as told by the baseball star to author Alfred Duckett. First published in 1972, the book charts Robinson’s struggles as a black athlete trying to make it in the white-centric world of American sports.

Spike Lee is still set to serve as president of the jury for the now-postponed 2020 Cannes Film Festival, making him the first black president of the panel in history.

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