Producers for the upcoming Henry & Me movie are taking great lengths—spending months and a small fortune—to cut Alex Rodriguez's role from the animated feature.
To be fair, it would have been far more arduous to make him seem like a lovable character.
Howie Kussoy of The New York Post reports producers have moved forward with slicing every last part of Rodriguez from their film that will hit New York theaters in April.
Rodriguez, who did his own voice work while appearing in the upcoming animated film "Henry & Me," will be removed from the film's final version due to fears from investors that the Yankees third baseman, who is currently appealing a 211-game suspension for his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs, will hurt the marketability and profitability of the picture.
Some of you might be wondering what this grand Yankees film will look like. Larry Brown of Larry Brown Sports managed to find a trailer for the movie.
Reporters saw an early version of the movie Wednesday and Rodriguez was still featured, "hitting a home run with the help of the main character Jack, a boy battling cancer, and later visiting the protagonist in the hospital."
Initially, the part went to Hideki Matusi but was later changed to include Rodriguez when the Japanese slugger went to the Los Angeles Angels back in 2010. Give another win to hindsight, because Matsui will now reprise his role.
The movie was originally slated to open in 2010 but now has to go through an arduous process to axe the parts featuring the Yankees third baseman.
Kussoy explains just how difficult that will be.
Though Rodriguez only has a few lines in the approximately one hour film, he is featured in 49 sequences. Producer Joseph Avallone said the editing process to remove Rodriguez will take four to six months and "cost a fortune."
The interesting part is producers were already well aware of Rodriguez's admission to using PEDs while a member of the Texas Rangers.
They were under the belief that had all blown over and his character in the movie would be a welcome addition for fans.
The MLB star then agreed to record his part over two meetings in 2009 in exchange for $1,500 being donated to charities of his choice.
Executive producer Ray Negron is in a tough spot as he is trying to placate investors uneasy about including the star currently fighting a lengthy suspension. The report states Rodriguez has not been informed of the decision, but Negron offered, "We have to do what we have to do," and continued with, "He'll understand."
The film isn't exactly hurting for star appeal, because the likes of Richard Gere, Chazz Palminteri, Paul Simon, Danny Aiello and current—as well as former—Yankees stars offer their voices.
At the heart of the decision is Negron, who wants to put out a movie that sends a positive message he doesn't want sullied with incessant debate and peripheral controversy.
When $2 from each DVD purchase goes to charity, we tend to agree that any change to make the movie marketable to the masses is a good one.
The last few weeks have centered on a once marketable star who, because of PED allegations, has become baseball's biggest pariah.
While the effect of using performance-enhancing drugs may be open to some conjecture, there is no question as to what they have done to Rodriguez's legacy.
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