You can now read the entire screenplay of a movie Spike Lee planned on producing about Dodgers great Jackie Robinson.
As the White House announced on Sunday that the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing would be extended until April 30, people lucky enough to be healthy, while stuck at home, are looking for ways to distract their minds from everything going on around them.
Spike Lee has given baseball fans something to do to pass the time. Sitting below a giant Jackie Robinson movie poster, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker announced on Instagram that he is releasing the screenplay for an unmade movie about Jackie Robinson.
The script is the fifth draft, written in 1996. Lee said he wanted Denzel Washington to play the part of Robinson, but Washington thought he was too old.
Lee said one of his dream projects was to make a movie about the baseball star who broke the color barrier. The movie was never made. Given more time to reflect on his work over the past several weeks, Lee didn’t want to let his script go to waste.
You can now download all 159 pages and read the story, perhaps imagining Denzel in the lead role as Spike wanted. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, it is an incredible story in American history. For movie fans, it is also fascinating to see how a script looks before it becomes a big movie production.
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Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, wearing #42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite intense pressure and ridicule by opposing fans, the speedy infielder won the Rookie of the Year award, batting .297/.383/.427 over 151 games in that historic season. He also hit 12 home runs and led the league in stolen bases.
Robinson would go on to win the MVP award in 1949, the same year that he won the batting title. He appeared in six All-Star games and won the World Series in 1955.