ESPN Films has agreed to co-produce the film planned for theatrical release about legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey and their struggle to break baseball’s color barrier in the late 1940s. The untitled project will be produced by Robert Redford and Tracy Falco, Howard and Karen Baldwin (Baldwin Entertainment Group), and Andrew Cohen. The project is being developed by Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises and Baldwin/Cohen Productions, with Redford starring in the role of Rickey.
The film represents the first announced project from the collaboration between ESPN and Creative Artists Agency (CAA) aimed at identifying creative and commercial opportunities for ESPN Films’ scripted arm. ESPN will lend its sports storytelling knowledge and expertise to the production.
The film is being produced with the approval of Robinson’s widow, Rachel, Branch Rickey Jr. and Major League Baseball.
“ESPN Films is honored to be collaborating with such accomplished storytellers and filmmakers for such an important sports and American story,” said Ron Semiao, senior vice president, ESPN content development.
Robinson, said, “I am delighted that ESPN will be joining with Wildwood, Baldwin/Cohen Productions, and me, to help bring our story to the world. Having lived it, I fervently hope that the passionate team we have assembled thus far will protect our story and bring it to fruition.”
Part of the ESPN Content Development group, ESPN Films will present quality scripted and documentary film projects for television and theatrical release, including “30/30,” a celebration of the last three decades of sports timed with ESPN’s 30th anniversary in September 2009.
Baldwin Entertainment Group
Baldwin Entertainment Group (B.E.G.), founded by Howard and Karen Baldwin in 2004, is a film entertainment company dedicated to creating and developing high-concept, quality commercial films. BEG’s past producing credits include Ray, Sahara, Death Sentence and Swimming Upstream. For more details about BEG go to: www.baldwinent.com