I had no idea that Stephen Frears was developing a Muhammad Ali film for HBO; but apparently he is, and it's currently casting.
Titled Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, the film will take place in 1967, as then Heavy Weight Champion of the World Muhammad Ali refused to enlist and go fight for the USA in Vietnam; his objections to the war were very public, he was convicted and sentenced to serve time in prison, during which he appealed his case that would go all the way to the Supreme Court. This was all around the time the public began turning against the war, and thus support for Ali grew; eventually, some years later, the Supreme Court would reverse his conviction.
"I ain't got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger."
Remember that quote? :)
So while the Supreme Court was struggling with other hot-button issues like abortion and pornography, they were forced to tackle Ali's appeal.
I'm not sure if this'll be a court room drama, or something more expansive. I guess we'll have to wait to find out.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in New York in March. No word on who is being considered for what role, although it looks like the primary roles have already been cast.
There isn't a lot available on this just yet; the writer is listed as Shawn Slovo whose past credits include Catch A Fire and Captain Corelli's Mandolin.