Chadwick Boseman is center stage in a new trailer for the movie “42.” He takes on the role of a lifetime as Jackie Robinson and captures the restraint, quiet dignity and fierce competitiveness the legendary baseball hero was known for during his career.
Sports movies are exceedingly hard to do well, but the latest trailer suggests Director Brian Helgeland will field a solid box office hit. He has a lot to work with.
In 1947, Robinson became the first African-American to break the color barrier in what was then the all-white major leagues. He faced incredible racism on the field and a nation divided by segregation off the field. The controversy that ensued was enormous.
“It’s intimidating because everybody has their interest in who he is. He’s a lot of different things to a lot of different people,” Boseman told The Los Angeles Times. “And none of them are necessarily the correct thing.”
Boseman has mostly worked in television, but he’s had roles in such films as 2008’s “The Express,” about the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis, who died tragically in 1962.
Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, which bankrolled the film, wanted authenticity. It hired Boseman, a relative unknown, so he’d make a more credible Robinson, and the actors trained for months with pro ballplayers, according to The Times.
Boseman is backed by a solid cast that includes Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, Christopher Meloni as teammate Leo Durocher, Lucas Black as Pee Wee Reese and Nicole Beharie as Robinson’s wife Rachel Isum.
“42” hits theaters April 12th. Check out the trailer below and a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of the movie. And be sure to follow TheImproper on Twitter for the latest film and movie updates.