Spike Lee shares 'epic' script for unmade Jackie Robinson movie: 'One of my dream projects'
When Spike Lee says "this is a great Amerian story," you might want to listen.
The director unveiled the script for his unmade movie about Jackie Robinson that he hoped would star Denzel Washington. He shared a link to the screenplay on Instagram Sunday: all 159 pages can be read here.
Posting from his home in New York City, the Oscar winner said the film was a "dream project" that he hoped would reunite him with Washington, the star of Lee's 1992 film Malcolm X. The script focuses on the legendary athlete who broke color barriers when he began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
That was Lee's hope when he wrote the script in 1996, but, he revealed in the video Sunday, "Denzel said he was too old" to play Robinson at the time. Ultimately, the project never got made.
“Hello everyone, hope you are safe at home," Lee began the video, sitting in front of a poster of Alfred E. Green's The Jackie Robinson Story from 1950, which featured the slugger playing himself. "We've all had a lot of time to think about stuff. About life. What happened, what didn't happen. And I began to think about one of my dream projects."
The Do the Right Thing director continued, “I pulled this script out of the vault and so I'm going to share the script with you. And also, don’t worry about it if you don’t like baseball or sports. This is a great American story."
Back in 1994, EW reported on dueling films about Robinson: A documentary by Ken Burns, which was eventually made as a two-part series in 2016, and a scripted film by Lee, who was then confident about its chances and said he even interviewed Robinson's widow, Rachel, in preparation.
A recent Robinson biopic came in 2013 with 42, which starred Chadwick Boseman in one of his first film roles. Directed by Brian Helgeland, it also featured Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, and more.