quarantine reads

Spike Lee Adds Unmade Jackie Robinson Screenplay to Your Quarantine Reading List

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

You normally spend your days hoping to carve out some time to curl up with a good read. Now that we’re weeks into quarantine, however, you’ve curled up so much with so many books, you’re practically a Junji Ito character. Why not mix things up with a Zoom reading of Spike Lee’s unmade Jackie Robinson movie with your equally coiled friends? The director released the screenplay for the film on Sunday, along with a little backstory about the “dream project” that wasn’t to be. Lee says he wanted Denzel Washington to play the groundbreaking Brooklyn Dodger, who, as the first African-American player in the MLB, brought an end to racial segregation in the sport in 1947. “I wanted Denzel to play Jackie,” the director says. “But Denzel said he was too old.”

“I pulled this script out of the vault and so, I wanted to share the script with you,” Lee explains in an Instagram video. “Also, don’t worry about it if you don’t like baseball or sports. This is a great American story. Never got made, but I wanted to share this script with you.” So, go ahead and read all 159 pages of Jackie Robinson by Spike Lee, written in 1996, based on I Never Had It Made, Robinson’s 1972 autobiography as told to Alfred Puckett. And then after that? Well, what other movies haven’t you read in a long time?

Quarantine With Spike Lee’s Unmade Jackie Robinson Script