By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
A major Hollywood film studio will be in Georgia and Alabama soon, filming scenes for its upcoming Branch Rickey biopic. The movie, titled “42,” stars Harrison Ford as Rickey and will be released to theaters in 2013.
The Macon (Ga.) Film Commission confirms that Legendary Pictures will be on-location in Georgia beginning in late-May to film scenes for the movie. The city will serve on the setting for several cities in the film, including Brooklyn, N.Y., where Rickey signed the first black baseball player, Jackie Robinson, to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Robinson was born in Cairo, Ga. — about 140 miles south of Macon.
The Commission said the studio is also filming scenes in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Birmingham, Ala.
The movie is written and directed by Brian Helgeland (“Man of Fire,” “L.A. Confidential”) and will chronicle how Rickey and Robinson helped eliminate segregation in baseball in 1947. Actor Chadwick Boseman has been cast to play Robinson.
Legendary Pictures (“The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “The Hangover”) is producing the film slated for a 2013 release. Other Legendary films have been shot in our region. The studio also produced the 2006 movie “We Are Marshall” about the Marshall University football program in nearby Huntington, W.Va.
Born in Scioto County in 1881, Wesley Branch Rickey became president of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club in 1917, and saw the team to six pennants and four World Series titles. During this time, he also organized the baseball farm system. In 1942, he moved to Brooklyn as president of the Dodgers. He left the Dodgers in 1950 to become vice president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he was elected chairman of the board at Pittsburgh in 1955. Four years later he was tapped to be president of the Continental Baseball League, which never materialized. He retired in 1960 to write a book, and returned to the Cardinals as a consultant in 1962.
Rickey died in 1965 and is buried in Rushtown Cemetery in Scioto County.
There is no word yet whether the studio will film any scenes in Rickey’s hometown southern Ohio, and a spokesperson from the Ohio Department of Development’s Film Office said the studio has not contacted them for tax credits.
A spokesperson from the studio did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.