Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way 'MacGyver' Movie Reboot And New TV Series Pilot On The Way Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More

Stephen Frears To Direct 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight' For HBO, Casting Underway

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 1, 2012 at 4:31PM

If there is one thing about Stephen Frears, he doesn't usually let too much time pass before he's on to the next project. And barely a week after his latest film "Lay The Favorite" premiered at Sundance, it looks like he may be on to something new. And now, it's not the developing remake of "The Hit" or "The Bengali Detective." Instead, it's "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" and it's gearing up at HBO.
0
Stephen Frears Muhammad Ali

If there is one thing about Stephen Frears, he doesn't usually let too much time pass before he's on to the next project. And barely a week after his latest film "Lay The Favorite" premiered at Sundance, it looks like he may be on to something new. And now, it's not the developing remake of "The Hit" or "The Bengali Detective." Instead, it's "Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight" and it's gearing up at HBO.

The folks over at Shadow & Act first got wind of the project, and have learned that casting is underway. The film seems to be moving under the radar, but when is known thus far is that it has a script from Shawn Slovo ("Catch A Fire," "Captain Corelli's Mandolin") and Scott Ferguson ( past HBO successes "You Don't Know Jack," "Temple Grandin," "Recount") is one of the producers according to Montana Artists Agency. So what's it all about?

The film will center on highly publicized moment in the fighter's career, set in 1967 in the midst of the Vietnam War when Muhammad Ali refused to enlist and go fight for his country. "Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?" is just one of a handful of provocative statements he made at the time. Not surprisingly, authorities were not impressed and sentenced him to a stint in jail, but Ali fought the conviction and it went all the way to the Supreme Court where the charges were reversed.  Amidst all of this, the tide was shifting in the country against the war and Ali found a sea of supporters around him.

It's a great subject for a movie and during a panel discussion at Sundance (attended by Miss N-Tertainment), Frears explained, “being an Englishman in America, you find a lot of these small corners to explore that are exotic.” No word on who exactly is being sought to play Ali, but it's a tough role to fill. Will Smith famously took it on in Michael Mann's "Ali" and earned himself an Oscar nomination for his efforts.

Hopefully some more details will surface soon, but this is definitely promising and well, you already know how we feel about the awesomeness of HBO and their dedication to shepherding quality material.

This article is related to: Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Stephen Frears


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates