Spike Lee shares unmade Jackie Robinson script during quarantine - Sports Illustrated

Spike Lee Shares Unmade Jackie Robinson Script With Fans During Quarantine

Publish date:

People across the country adhering to self-quarantine protocol received a surprise bit of reading material on Sunday in the form of an unmade, previously unreleased script from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee.

On his Instagram page, Lee posted a video to his fans wishing them well as the world deals with the coronavirus pandemic. He also shared the link to an unmade script he wrote for a would-be feature film about Jackie Robinson.

Calling the film one of his "dream projects," the version Lee released is the fifth draft of the script, and was written in 1996. Though the project was never made, Lee had already tabbed his choice to play the iconic Robinson.

"I wrote a script for Jackie Robinson—I wanted Denzel (Washington) to play Jackie, but Denzel said he was too old," Lee said. "I pulled the script out of the vault, so I'm gonna share the script with you. And also, don't worry about it if you do not like baseball or sports—this is a great American story."

The screenplay, titled Jackie Robinson, is based on the autobiography I Never Had It Made, by Robinson as told to Alfred Duckett.

Robinson famously played himself in the 1950 biographical film The Jackie Robinson Story, and has also been portrayed in several television movies. Most recently, Robinson was played by Chadwick Boseman in the 2013 feature film, 42, directed by Brian Helgeland.

Lee would eventually make a sports-themed movie starring Denzel Washington in 1998's He Got Game, starring Washington as the father of a high school basketball phenom played by future Hall of Famer Ray Allen.

With baseball's Opening Day postponed indefinitely, Lee's unmade Robinson script is sure to be a good source of material to turn to for baseball fans missing out on the return of games.