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John Boyega Will Star As Jesse Owens In New Biopic - Third Owens Project In The Works

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 24, 2014 3:04 PM
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This is an unexpected, and interesting choice.

John Boyega has been cast to play Jesse Owens in a biopic titled Race, from Forecast Pictures and ID+.

The companys' execs - Jean Charles Levy and Luc Dayan - announced the news today.

It's not the Jesse Owens biopic that Anthony Mackie has long been trying to make (he's called it his dream project, although there hasn't been any movement on it in ages, meaning it might be dead); nor is it the Antoine Fuqua/Disney Jesse Owens project, based on ESPN anchor Jeremy Schaap's book, Triumph - making it the 3rd Jesse Owens project in development.

Which will make it to the finish line first?

Race will be directed by Stephen Hopkins (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers), from a script penned by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel.

The project, according to Variety, will...

... focus on how Owens, the son of an Alabama sharecropper, shattered Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by winning a record four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 400-meter relay. Owens’ victories are considered among the greatest atlhetic feats of all time.

Shooting is set to begin on the German-Canadian co-production in May in Berlin and Montreal, with a spring 2015 release planned.

It's a project that has the backing of the Jesse Owens Foundation, and the Jesse Owens Trust, so it shouldn't face the same kind of hurdles that other recent biopics have had to wrestle.

Up next for Boyega is his starring role in Malik Vitthal’s drama Imperial Dreams, which is making its premiere at the ongoing Sundance Film Festival.

Fuqua is coming off this year's Olympus Has Fallen, and is currently in production on Sony’s The Equalizer big screen adaptation, with Denzel Washington starring.

By the way, Laurens Grant's acclaimed 2011 Jesse Owens documentary, co-produced by Stanley Nelson -  the team behind the Emmy-Award-winning documentary Freedom Riders - is available on home video.

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  • Black People | January 24, 2014 10:51 PMReply

    White people love to keep black people in the past. Also, are there no famous black people in the history of Europe? Why must people constantly shoot films about American Black History?Wouldn't black Europeans (whatever that means), rather show off their history for the world, instead of playing American historical figures, with whom they don't care about, share their history, or don't care for American Black History?

  • Rocket | January 28, 2014 1:40 PM

    Maybe because its an American production. And maybe because Boyega wants the role. Boyega must care enough about American history to agree to play an American historical figure.

    The irony of your ignorant statement is that Jesse Owens, on behalf of ALL black people, gave one big middle finger to Adolf Hitler and his notion of Aryan supremacy at the '32 Berlin Olympics. Oh let me guess. You think the Germans only had those notions about American blacks.

    Your skirt is showing.

  • boomslang | January 25, 2014 8:33 AM

    Um. 90% of diasporan roles still go to african american. You do not hear many west indians or africans complain.

    As far as I am concerned it doesn't matter as long as said person is black and most importantly of dark hue ( as this a symbol of our ethnicity )

  • patchneck red | January 24, 2014 6:28 PMReply

    Good Actor! Excellent choice.

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