A Jackie Robinson biopic is headed to theaters soon, and the fairly unknown up-and-coming actor Chadwick Boseman will star as the legendary baseball star.
The 27-year-old actor will be joined by Harrison Ford, who will star as Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey, the man responsible for signing Robinson to be the first African-American player in the history of Major League Baseball.
According to Legendary Pictures, the film will be called 42, which stands for Robinson’s baseball jersey number.
42 could be Boseman’s breakout role, and many are surprised the young star landed the gig. The actor is best known for his TV appearances dating back to 2003, in shows like Law & Order, All My Children, CSI: NY, Persons Unknown, and Fringe.
In 2008 Boseman starred as the All-American running back Floyd Little, in another sports biopic, The Express. The movie tells the story of the NFL running back Ernie Davis.
42 is still in development, but will be written by Brian Helgeland, the mastermind behind the Oscar-winning films L.A. Confidential and Mystic River.
Robinson defied the odds becoming the Rookie of the Year in 1947 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
A Jackie Robinson biopic has been in the works since 2005. The film was brought back from development hell with the help of Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson. Other big name actors that were once rumored for the role of Rickey, include Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford.
Boseman will next appear as the lead of the indie drama Kill Hole, a film about a troubled Iraq War veteran.