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Universal Sets ‘42’ Star Chadwick Boseman To Play James Brown

By | Monday August 26, 2013 @ 5:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Universal Pictures has found its James Brown. They’ve set Chadwick Boseman, who just played iconic  Brooklyn Dodgers second baseman Jackie Robinson in 42. The Help‘s Tate Taylor is directing the film. Imagine Entertainment‘s Brian Grazer is producing the film with another musical icon, Mick Jagger. The film will be a co-production between Jagged Films, based on a screenplay by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth. Grazer and Jagger will produce along with Jagged’s Victoria Pearman and Imagine’s Erica Huggins. Universal signed on recently. The story charts a young boy’s rise from extreme poverty and violence to become The Godfather Of Soul, one of the most influential black artists in history whose career spanned six decades. Grazer started the project at a time when the singer himself was an active part in its development, before he died in late 2006.

Related: Chadwick Boseman Tapped For ‘Draft Day’

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Obama Not Attending Friday’s Young Hollywood Fundraiser

By | Monday June 25, 2012 @ 7:42pm PDT

President Barack Obama will not be coming to LA on Friday for his Gen44 fundraiser after all. Instead of coming to town, Obama will be sending surrogates to the June 29 evening event at Soho House. Harper Reed, campaign Chief Technology Officer, Mitch Stewart, the Battleground States director and David Simas, director of Opinion Research, will be standing in for the President. From the event’s announcement on June 20th, Obama’s actual presence at the fundraiser was always ambiguous until today. However, a plethora of Young Hollywood and not-so-Young Hollywood, from chair Jared Leto to Olivia Wilde, director David Fincher, musician Peter Frampton, Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, Connie Britton, DJ Steve Aoki, Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki, The Game author Neil Strauss and Maggie Q, among others, will still be there. A source close to the event told Deadline there may be a video from the President played for the paying guests. Tickets for Friday’s reception are $500 each for attendees and $2,500 each for Host Committee members like Leto and Britton. That’s a far cry from the $40,000 an individual price for Obama’s record-breaking $15 million May 10 dinner at George Clooney’s house. It’s not close in price either to the June 7 $40,000 a couple event the President attended at Glee creator Ryan Murphy’s Beverly Hills home or the $40,000 a person dinner Sarah Jessica Parker and Vogue editor Anna Wintour hosted for the … Read More »

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Obama Wants Jackie Robinson Pic Set Visit

Legendary Entertainment chief Thomas Tull tells Deadline that President Obama is hoping to drop by  the set of the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 on Tuesday. The President on June 26th will be appearing at fundraisers in Atlanta, where Legendary’s film is shooting. Tulls says they’d received a call from the White House earlier this week to see if it would be OK if Obama came by. “Well, of course I said it would be OK,” said Tull, who has given $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund 2012 so far. Details of the set visit are still being worked out. In recent campaign speeches, Obama has mentioned Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier, as “laying the groundwork” for an African-American to become President.  Obama recently has relentlessly been hitting up Hollywood for cash.

42, which was the ball player’s uniform number, details Robinson’s 1947 rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Brian Helgeland-directed film stars Harrison Ford as Dodgers GM Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson.  42 is scheduled to be released on April 12, 2013, not long after the MLB season opener.

The last time the President was in Atlanta was on March 16 for a pair of fundraisers at supporter Tyler Perry’s film and TV studio.

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Nicole Beharie To Play Jackie Robinson’s Love In ’42′

By | Tuesday February 14, 2012 @ 10:08am PST

42 is the biopic of Jackie Robinson, the first black major league baseball player. Nicole Beharie will play the role of Rachel Isum, Robinson’s life love. Legendary Pictures will bring 42 to the screen. Last year Beharie starred in Fox Searchlight’s Shame with Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. She also appeared last year with Mos and Jeffrey Wright on Broadway in John Guare’s Free Man Of Color. She made her film debut in Samuel Goldwyn’s American Violet and appeared in Universal’s Express. Beharie is represented by ICM and ATA Management.

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Chris Meloni To Play Leo Durocher In Jackie Robinson Film ‘42’

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 2:54pm PST
Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Chris Meloni has been set to play Leo Durocher in 42, the Brian Helgeland-directed biopic for legendary Pictures about Jackie Robinson and the breaking of baseball’s color line. Chadwick Boseman is playing Robinson, and Harrison Ford is playing Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers general manager who signed the second baseman and changed the world. Gersh-repped Meloni plays Leo the Lip Durocher, who was the Dodgers manager and who was an avid supporter of Robinson, and stuck up for him when he faced racism from crowds, and sometimes opposing even his own dugout. Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull is producing and chief creative officer Jon Jashni exec producing along with former Disney chairman Dick Cook. They’ve got Robinson’s widow, Rachel, consulting. (Getty Images photo of Durocher and Robinson when he was with the minor league Montreal Royals)

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TOLDJA! Harrison Ford Set To Play Branch Rickey In Jackie Robinson Film ’42′

By | Friday December 9, 2011 @ 4:36pm PST
Mike Fleming

Deadline revealed yesterday that Legendary Pictures was courting Harrison Ford to play Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers GM who with Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball in 1947. Legendary has announced that Ford is set, and that they’ve cast Chadwick Boseman to play the Hall of Fame second baseman who had a profound impact on the Civil Rights movement. Brian Helgeland wrote the script and will direct. Here’s the release:

Burbank, CA – December 9, 2011 – Legendary Pictures announced today that it has cast Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford to star in the company’s film based upon history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson.

Boseman will depict the iconic baseball star, paying tribute to the legacy and impact Robinson made when he became the first African American Major League Baseball player.

Ford will star as Branch Rickey, the innovative Major League Baseball executive who is best known for breaking MLB’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945. Two years later, at the start of the 1947 major league baseball season, Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers major league baseball team with the help of Rickey. Rickey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.

Chadwick Boseman is best known for his performance in Universal Pictures’ THE EXPRESS. Boseman also just completed a lead in the independent feature KILL HOLE. On television he was a regular on the NBC

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Legendary Courts Harrison Ford To Play Branch Rickey In Jackie Robinson Film ’42′

By | Thursday December 8, 2011 @ 8:42am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Legendary Pictures is courting Harrison Ford to play Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey in 42, the Brian Helgeland-directed chronicle of how Rickey and Jackie Robinson eradicated segregation in baseball in 1947. Helgeland has written a script after Legendary jump-started a long dormant project in collaboration with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson. The film’s being produced by Legendary’s Thomas Tull with Jon Jashni and Dick Cook exec producing. The film will be released by Warner Bros.

Numerous top actors have been mentioned for the Rickey role, including Robert Redford, who was attached a decade ago when the project was first contemplated. Now, it looks like it’s Ford’s role if he wants it, and while he has been mentioned for a number of projects including Ender’s Game, here he would be playing the man who with Robinson was the catalyst for the most groundbreaking event to occur in sports in the 20th century.

It wasn’t enough to decide to break baseball’s color line; Rickey had to search for the right player and qualities that went beyond hitting, fielding, speed and a throwing arm. Read More »

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