Thursday August 15th, 2013

Alex Rodriguez as he appears in the animated film "Henry & Me." You won't see this version of Alex Rodriguez in the upcoming film "Henry & Me" (Creative Group)

So there's this children's movie that has been in the works for a while called Henry & Me, based on the 2006 children's book The Boy of Steel by long-time Yankees attaché Ray Negron. It's a story about a young Yankees fan named Jack who finds out he has cancer then subsequently has a magical experience involving the franchises great players of past and present. The screenplay was written by the author of the two Open Season sequels, the trailer is as disturbing as any of the Hostel films, and its release date has been pushed back repeatedly since 2010.

The film features a literal All-Star voice cast, all of whom donated their salaries to charity, with Richard Gere playing the titular Henry, Paul Simon as Thurmon Munson (seriously), Cyndi Lauper as a nurse, Hal Steinbrenner as a character identified in the trailer as "The Boss" (with the quotes) but who bears no resemblance to George Steinbrenner, and Yogi Berra, Reggie Jackson, Mariano Rivera, Goose Gossage, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, CC Sabathia, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera, and many other past and present Yankees playing themselves.

No longer included on that last list is Alex Rodriguez. According to a report on Wednesday by the New York Post's Howie Kussoy, Rodriguez, who has just a few lines in the film but is featured in 49 scenes, is being cut out entirely despite the great cost and further delays caused by doing so. Per Kussoy, Rodriguez was originally inserted into the film to replace Hideki Matsui after the latter signed with the Angels prior to the 2010 season, the film's intended year of release. Matsui, who retired as a Yankee at the end of July, will now be reinserted in Rodriguez's place. Kussoy's report does not comment on the involvement of Nick Swisher, who is listed among the voice cast on the Internet Movie Database. The current plan for the film, per Kussoy, is to give it a limited release, largely centered around New York, in April, then put it out on DVD with $2 from the sale of each copy going to charity. Based on that trailer, I'd happily send the entire price of the DVD to charity to avoid having to watch it.

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