KANSAS CITY, MO - April 12, 2013 - Film stars, filmmakers and Kansas City VIPs turned out for last night's special benefit screening of "42," the new film about Jackie Robinson, at the AMC BarryWoods 24 theatre in Kansas City, MO. Red carpet attendees included the film's stars Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Andre Holland and Derek Phillips, as well as producer Thomas Tull and executive producer Dick Cook. They were joined by Kansas City Mayor Sly James; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Thomas Butch, executive vice president of Waddell & Reed Financial; Kathy Nelson, President/CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission; Stephen Colanero, AMC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Kander, Missouri Secretary of State, Senator Ryan Silvey, Senator Kiki Curls, Senator Paul Lovato, Senator Jason Holsman, Rep Rick Stream, Rep Randy Dunn, Rep Gail McCann Beatty, Rep Bill Otto, David Robinson, the son of Jackie Robinson; former Negro Leagues Baseball players Ulysses Hollimon, Bob Motley and George Altman; Diego Segui, former Major League Baseball pitcher; DeMorris Smith, son of Hall of Fame KC Monarchs pitcher Hilton Smith (Hilton Smith is credited with recommending Jackie Robinson to Monarchs owner J.L. Wilkinson); Linda Paige-Shelby, daughter of the legendary Leroy "Satchel" Paige (a teammate of Robinson on the '45 Monarchs); Edwin Charles, Jr., son of Edwin Charles, former MLB player, St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Lou Brock; former MLB All-Stars Tony Clark, Bobby Bonilla, Dennis Leonard, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Art Stewart and George Brett; and current Kansas City Royals Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Luis Mendoza, Wade Davis and Bruce Chen.
Waddell & Reed, through its relationship with Thomas Tull and producer Legendary Pictures, became aware of the pending release of "42," the story of Jackie Robinson. Robinson's career began with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1945, before he was discovered by Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey. Robinson played with the Monarchs on the old Muehlebach Field, the predecessor to Municipal Stadium, at 22nd and Brooklyn.
Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., including Thomas Butch, who also is chairman of the board of the Kansas City Sports Commission, recognized the release of this film as an opportunity to support the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City and the Kansas City Sports Commission through a special advance screening. AMC Theatres, another Kansas City-based entity, served as host and venue sponsor, donating the entire theatre space, theatre team, concessions and spirits for the event.
Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, who is well-versed in Kansas City Monarchs and Robinson's history, agreed that Kansas City makes a fitting location for an advance screening, noting that Robinson's step into Major League Baseball marked the unofficial beginning of the civil rights movement in this country. The Kansas City Monarchs ultimately sent more players to MLB than any other Negro League franchise.
Waddell & Reed, founded in Kansas City in 1937, is one of the oldest mutual fund and financial planning companies in the country. Through its subsidiaries, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. provides investment management and financial planning services to clients throughout the U.S. Waddell & Reed Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to the Waddell & Reed Advisors Group of Mutual Funds, Ivy Funds Variable Insurance Portfolios and InvestEd Portfolios, while Ivy Investment Management Company serves as investment advisor to the Ivy Funds.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), founded in 1990, is a privately funded, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American baseball. The NLBM opened its permanent, 10,000 square-foot facility in 1997 in Kansas City, Missouri, where visitors can experience multi-media displays and hundreds of photographs and artifacts dating from the late 1800s through the 1960s.
Kansas City Sports Commission -- The Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation aims to enhance the quality of life and economic success of Greater Kansas City by taking the lead in maintaining and selectively acquiring a diversity of amateur and professional sporting events; to collaborate with area economic development agencies to attract and retain amateur and professional sports organizations; and to promote the lifetime benefits of sports for the youth of Greater Kansas City. The organization has helped more than $750 million in estimated economic impact on the metropolitan area since 1990.
AMC Theatres delivers distinctive and affordable movie-going experiences in 332 theatres with 4,804 screens primarily in the United States. The company operates 22 of the 50 highest grossing theatres in the country, including four of the top five. AMC has propelled industry innovation and continues today by delivering premium sight and sound, enhanced food and beverage, and diverse content.
Kansas City Royals -- Founded in 1968, the Kansas City Royals began play in 1969 and are a member of Major League Baseball's American League Central Division. The Royals have won two American League pennants and a World Championship in 1985. The club plays in beautifully renovated Kauffman Stadium, located in Kansas City, Mo., and part of the Truman Sports Complex. Kauffman Stadium was the site of the 2012 MLB All-Star Game and related festivities, which brought a weeklong celebration of baseball to Kansas City. The Royals have a number of promising young players emerging both at the Major League level and in the club's minor league system.
Academy Award® winner Brian Helgeland ("L.A. Confidential") wrote and directed the drama "42," starring Chadwick Boseman ("The Express") and Oscar® nominee Harrison Ford ("Witness").
Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. "42" tells the story of two men-the great Jackie Robinson and trailblazing Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey-whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1947, Branch Rickey put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing blatant racism from every side, even his own team, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey's hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking-ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired the number 42 for all teams, making it the first number in sports to be universally retired. The only exception is every year on April 15th-Jackie Robinson Day, when players from every team proudly wear the number 42 to honor the man who altered the course of history.
Rounding out the main cast of "42" are Nicole Beharie as Rachel Robinson, Christopher Meloni as Leo Durocher, Andre Holland as Wendell Smith, Lucas Black as Pee Wee Reese, Hamish Linklater as Ralph Branca, and Ryan Merriman as Dixie Walker. The film is produced by Thomas Tull, with Dick Cook, Jon Jashni and Jason Clark serving as executive producers, and Darryl Pryor and Jillian Zaks co-producing.
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present, a Legendary Pictures Production, a Brian Helgeland film, "42." Slated for release April 12, 2013, the film will open in time to commemorate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day-April 15, the date of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. This film has been rated PG-13 for thematic elements, including language. Watch the trailer at www.42movie.com.