Chadwick Boseman will be Marvel Studios’ first solo lead of color, with the news that he will take the title role in the newly announced Black Panther movie, one of several new titles revealed at this morning’s Marvel Studios event at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles.
Boseman will play T’Challa, the head of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, in the movie, which is scheduled to be released Nov. 3, 2017. The Black Panther — created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — was a long-serving member of the Avengers who also enjoyed multiple critically acclaimed solo runs throughout his 48-year history.
Boseman is best known for his roles in 42 and Get On Up, playing Jackie Robinson and James Brown, respectively. He’s repped by Greene & Associates Talent Agency, Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
While no other information about the project was released at the event, the studio revealed show concept art for the character, shared on Twitter by Marvel’s Ryan Penagos.
Vanity Fair released a sneak peek of its 20th annual Hollywood Issue on Monday, and it may be the most groundbreaking one yet. The magazine has apparently taken steps toward emphasizing the diversity of Hollywood. For the first time since it began putting out the annual special in 1995, six of the 12 celebrated thespians gracing the 2014 cover are not white. The magazine has come under fire in the past for an apparent lack of diversity. Just a few years ago, as Buzzfeed has pointed out, a 2010 the cover featured nine actresses — all white, thin and under 40 years old.
Over the years the annual selection has included one or two minority actors — such as Angela Bassett in 1995, and Lucy Liu and Salma Hayek in 2004 — but this year’s edition shows how expansive the African-American film scope has grown across several genres.
Among those featured on the three-panel foldout are many of Hollywood’s most heralded actors of the past year, including Oscar nominees Julia Roberts, for August: Osage County, Jared Leto, who is the front-runner in his Best Supporting Actor category for Dallas Buyers Club, and Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years A Slave.
According to Variety.com, Universal and Imagine Entertainment have agreed to make the long-gestating James Brown biopic after hiring “42″ star Chadwick Boseman to play the legendary artist known as the “Godfather of Soul.” “The Help” director Tate Taylor is directing the film with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins producing, along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman under their Jagged Films banner.
Jez and John Henry Butterworth wrote the script, which follows Brown’s rise from extreme poverty in Georgia to becoming a world-famous and highly influential R&B musician with a string of hits in the 1960s and ’70s including “Please, Please, Please,” “I Got You (I Feel Good),” “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and many others. Brown died in 2006 at age 73.
Several actors were vying for the role, but Boseman emerged as the top choice a few weeks ago, though no offer could be made until the movie was formally greenlit by Universal. Boseman will be seen next in Summit’s NFL drama “Draft Day” starring Kevin Costner.
According to Variety.com, Universal Pictures segued a solid $61 million overseas debut for “Oblivion” last weekend into an estimated $38.2 million Stateside opening, a better-than-expected result that lifts the film’s worldwide total to $150.2 million. Internationally, “Oblivion” has earned so far $112 million.
The $120 million-budgeted Tom Cruise/Morgan Freeman science fiction flick launched a week ago overseas to lengthen its playtime before Disney begins rolling out “Iron Man 3″ on April 24. The Marvel tentpole bows May 3 domestically.
Warner Bros.’ second-frame holdover “42″ only dropped 34% for an estimated $18 million three-day gross. The film has reached $54 million and counting.
Sportswriter Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times recently wrote a thoughtful and necessary essay about sportswriter Wendell Smith, who covered Jackie Robinson’s ascendancy into major league baseball for the Pittsburgh Courier and “finally gets his due” in the recently released motion picture “42.” Here is an excerpt and a link to the entire article:
Baseball’s greatest story will be rewritten again Monday as the sport celebrates the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the major leagues’ color barrier.Yet the man who wrote the story will be forgotten.
In every game, players from every team will wear 42, the number on the back of Robinson’s jersey when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
Yet nobody will sit in the stands with a manual typewriter atop their knees in memory of the man who, even as he wrote about integration on the field, was barred from the press box because he was black.
Nobody will honor the man who endured the same prejudice as Robinson as he fought that prejudice with his words. Nobody will remember the man whose hidden fight became an inspiration for Robinson’s public battle.
Everyone will remember the headline, but few will remember the byline — Wendell Smith.
The humble, bespectacled journalist was Robinson’s chronicler, his confidant, and sometimes even his conscience. As sports editor and columnist for the African American-owned Pittsburgh Courier, Smith accompanied Robinson throughout his first major league season, creating his image, reporting his words and crusading for his rights.
As Robinson grew more popular, Smith became more invisible, until he eventually became Robinson’s ghost writer in the literal sense, the memory of him turning ethereal and nearly vanishing altogether.
“Everywhere we went, Wendell Smith was there,” said Don Newcombe, former Dodgers pitcher, who was Robinson’s longtime teammate, friend and fellow pioneer. “He was instrumental in so many things that happened, he should not be forgotten.”
Atlanta Braves’ Justin Upton hits a walkoff home run during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Saturday, April 6, 2013, in Atlanta. Atlanta won 6-5. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has created a task force that will study how to increase diversity in the game, especially among black players. Commissioner Bud Selig announced the committee Wednesday. This week, baseball will celebrate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. A new movie titled “42″ focuses on the Hall of Famer.
The 18-member committee includes representatives from club ownership, the players’ union, minor league and college baseball, the MLB scouting bureau and other areas. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and former major league manager Jerry Manuel are among the members. MLB says about 8.5 percent of players on this year’s opening day rosters identified themselves as African-American or black. That’s around half the number from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s.
“As a social institution, Major League Baseball has an enormous social responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all people, both on and off the field,” Selig said in a statement.
Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in “42,” which did better than expected at the box office this weekend.(Warner Bros.)
Jackie Robinson beat the odds again this weekend, as a film about the player who broke baseball’s color barrier outperformed at the box office. “42,” which tells the story of the first African American Major League Baseball player, debuted as the highest-grossing movie with a robust $27.3 million this weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. That figure far exceeded prerelease industry polling, which suggested the film would start off with about $21 million.
Those who saw “42” this weekend loved it, assigning the film a rare perfect average grade of A+, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That’s great news for Warner Bros. Nearly every film that has earned an A+, including such movies as “The Avengers” and “The Help,” has gone on to become a commercial hit. “42” attracted both genders in nearly equal measure and played well with all races in suburbs and in cities. The picture drew an older crowd, however, with 59% of the audience over 35. Dan Fellman, the studio’s president of domestic distribution, said that indicated the resonance of Robinson’s tale with those familiar with his story.
“Most adults remember what he accomplished and the purpose of what he did for not only baseball but the betterment of mankind,” Fellman said. “I think the story is proving to be a lot greater than many people had anticipated.” “42,” which stars Hollywood newcomer Chadwick Boseman as Robinson alongside Harrison Ford, was financed by Thomas Tull’s Legendary Pictures for $40 million. The movie is set in 1947, when Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, illuminating the country’s racial tensions.
Whether or not Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager, ever said this about Jackie Robinson in response to those who thought he might be trouble for major league baseball because of being court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of an Army bus, doesn’t matter. What does is that Rickey’s (gamely played by Harrison Ford) matter-of-fact delivery of that line sums up not only the heart of the movie, but the heart of the double standard commonly applied to systemically oppressed people who refuse to comply with their own dehumanization.
Although based on actual events as Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball, spirit is ultimately what the biopic “42” is about – fighting for unequivocal truths to come to light, and to stir the best within us all regardless of race, color or religion by leveling the playing field and by just straight up playing ball.
“Lincoln Heights” actor Chadwick Boseman, in his first major film role, does a commendable job bringing sports legend and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson to life. Boseman has an athletic grace and physicality that conveys the intelligence and scrappiness of Robinson’s game, but his performance shines most when he silently conveys Robinson’s struggle to hold himself in check when he is verbally and physically assaulted on and off the field. At one point in the film, Robinson’s baseball prowess is remarked on as “superhuman,” but after seeing all he endured off the field in “42,” his ability to stay calm and focussed in the midst of a sea change in American sports and culture was arguably his most compelling power.
Writer/director Brian Helgeland wisely starts the film with a black reporter chronicling Robinson’s achievements (later revealed to be Wendell Smith of the Pittsburgh Courier, a well-known black newspaper of that era; Smith was assigned to cover Robinson’s journey), setting the stage by introducing and narrating America’s still racially tense post-war years. By framing this film about a black hero through the eyes and words of a black reporter shows Helgeland, who wrote the acclaimed “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River,” understands how deeply this movie is about a watershed moment in African-American history as much as it is about one extraordinary man. It needs to be told as “our story,” so by making Smith (played with quiet strength by Andre Howard) a guide, witness, admirer, and beneficiary of Jackie Robinson’s accomplishments, the core audience of “42” is able to hold the same positions while watching the story unfold.
This Saturday, April 13th, the Zimmer Museum Honors Jackie Robinson with Family Friendly Events & Activities in conjunction with the Sports Museum of LA.
Sixty-six years ago on April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base, making him the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. This weekend, in addition to the national release of the Warner Bros. “42,” a feature film about his life, Robinson will be honored by a rare display of his, as well as Negro League memorabilia, at the Sports Museum of Los Angeles. This exhibit, hosted by the Zimmer Children’s Museum, coincides with Jackie Robinson Triple Play Day, which also includes family-friendly events, food, prizes and a historical scavenger hunt for kids.
Proceeds from Triple Play Day go to support the Zimmer Children’s Museum’s youth services program, youTHink, which empowers youth to find their voice around social issues that matter to them and make a difference in their communities.
Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in a scene from “42.” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City was announced Wednesday as the host site for the only advance public screenings of a film chronicling the rise of Jackie Robinson, a nod to the city where the baseball great made his professional debut two years before breaking the major league color barrier. Harrison Ford stars as former Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey in the film, “42,” which details Robinson’s Rookie of the Year season in 1947 while combating unabashed racism on and off the diamond.
Ford and fellow cast member Andre Holland planned to attend the screenings on April 11 at a movie theater on the city’s north side. Proceeds will benefit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, museum president Bob Kendrick said. Although the story of Robinson in Brooklyn is well known, Kendrick said Kansas City also played a prominent role in his early career. Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs, a member of the Negro Leagues, in 1945, batting .387 while hitting five home runs and stole 13 bases in 47 games. After a year in the minor leagues, he joined the Dodgers in 1947 and won the inaugural Rookie of the Year award.