Fans of The Natural, take note: Robert Redford is set to play Branch Rickey in an upcoming biopic, according to the LA Times. Fans of the St. Louis Cardinals, get disheartened about being in Hollywood's idea of flyover country, again—the story is, of course, not about Rickey's revolutionary ideas about the business of baseball as gestated in St. Louis but his revolutionary shove across the color line in Brooklyn. Redford will play Rickey to an as-yet-uncast Jackie Robinson, attempting to break the color barrier "for reasons of both idealism and economics."â†µ
My current plan is to watch this movie as written, only with the name "Roy Hobbs" dubbed over Branch Rickey in every scene. It's not like he spent the entire rest of his life playing catch with his kid; at some point, the New York Knights having been destroyed at the hands of a young George Steinbrenner, he escapes to Brooklyn to fight racism, the only thing he finds more noxious than Max Mercy.
My version ends with The Natural returning to the field and hitting a game-winning home run through a literal color line, which might explain why the current screenplay is coming from director Brian Helgeland.â†µ