There’s apparently a new animated kids film coming out in a few months entitled ‘Henry & Me’ and while full details are a bit sketchy, the movie’s narrative is said to center around a little boy named Jack who is overcoming cancer (already prime family entertainment material).
As part of a magic wish or something, he is taken on a fantastical voyage by a mystery man named Henry (voiced by Richard Gere) which centers on the history of the New York Yankees (winning kid vid fare number two). Wait…it gets weirder. Along the way, Jack interacts with the baseball legends past and present, with such noted names as Babe Ruth (Chazz Palminteri), Thurman Munson (musician Paul Simon), and Reggie Jackson (himself), among others, making an appearance.
But there is one current player, and part of the production, who may not make the cut come release date. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the producers, fearing backlash and unwarranted controversy over their charity oriented effort (all proceeds will go to organizations chosen by the participants), are considering removing Alex Rodriguez and his voice from the film. Apparently, with A-Rod facing a 211 game suspension by Major League Baseball – or at the very least, a very messy and scandal-plagued arbitration and/or lawsuit – the makers are angst-ridden over featuring him.
“I love Alex Rodriguez, but I love kids more,” Executive Producer Ray Negron was quoted by Newsday as saying. “We just don’t want to get caught up with everything that’s happening right now. The message that we are trying to relay to kids is too important that we don’t want to get caught up with that.”
This situation is indeed a pickle for the people behind “Henry & Me.” Negron is a children’s author and former adviser to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. The movie is clearly made with good intentions and, when it was created, Rodriguez was in career decline but relatively free of controversy. Now, he’s a hated egotist ready to challenge MLB even with (reportedly) a mountain of evidence against him.
Sure, some Yankees fans could care less how juiced their prized third baseman is, just so long as he drives in enough runs to earn the team a playoff spot. On the other hand, Rodriguez is also being castigated by the press as a clueless villain who doesn’t understand that his tenure as a titanic cheater is more or less up. Either way, Vegas is probably taking odds on which will happen first – A-Rod winning/losing his appeal or ‘Henry & Me”s editors getting out the scissors.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter