Jesse Owens Biopic In The Works, Antoine Fuqua Attached To Direct
Given the way that Jesse Owens was able to stand up in the face of oppression and earn victory, it's pretty amazing that we haven't already seen the release of a biopic about the famous Olympic medal-winning runner, but finally that mistake is being corrected. According to Variety, The Walt Disney Company is now in the process of developing a new movie about the runner that will center on Owens historic victory at the 1936 Olympic Games. Antoine Fuqua has already been hired to direct the priject while David Seidler, who won an Academy Award for his work on the screenplay for The King's Speech, will be adapting the script from the book "Triumph" by ESPN host Jeremy Schapp.
Back in 1936 Berlin was the host city for the Olympic Games, and German leader Adolph Hitler worked to try and ban all black and Jewish athletes from competing in the competition. Hitler was forced to back down when countries threatened to boycott the event all together, and while running in the track and field events for the United States Owens managed to win four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 400-meter relay. For a more in-depth version of the story, you can watch this 30-minute documentary:
After a few years of picking up and then dropping projects - a four year gap forming in his career from 2009 to 2013 - Fuqua is back and producing at a rapid rate. His last movie, the "Die Hard in the White House" film Olympus Has Fallen, just opened a few months ago, but the director is already in post-production on his next feature, a film adaptation of the television series The Equalizer (which reunites the filmmaker with Training Day star Denzel Washington). That movie isn't due in theaters until September of next year, so it's entirely possible that Fuqua will finish early and start working on the Jesse Owens biopic early next year.
The next big question for the project, naturally, is finding an actor to star as Owens. There is the option of going for a bigger recognizable name, but it may actually be in the project's best interest to find someone who is lesser-known, like what Brian Helgeland did when he cast Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in 42. If the production goes the latter route, then all Fuqua has to do is find some big names to make up the supporting cast. Who do you think should play the lead role? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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