Jesse Owens Biopic Coming Soon
Focus Features has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Race, a biopic of Olympic gold medalist Jesse Owens.
Directed by Stephen Hopkins, Race begins with still photographs taken on July 24, 1936 at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where the track and field athlete won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals.
Owens wanted to be the greatest track and field athlete in history, fighting discrimination and hardship to reach his full potential. He set three world records and tied another, causing many to credit him with “single-handedly crush[ing] Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy.”
Owens will be portrayed by rising star Stephan James, who played Julian Williams on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons will also star in the film. Sudeikis will star as Owens’ coach and mentor Larry Snyder, who coached record-setting athletes. Irons will portray Avery Brundage, the head of the American Olympic committee who fought to have the 1936 Olympics take place in Berlin.
“Together they will recreate the chemistry and life-long friendship of Jesse Owens and his young, maverick coach Larry Snyder – who challenged not only the Olympic committee but the Nazis themselves,” said director Hopkins in a press release.
Check out some historic photos of Jesse Owens from the JPC archives and click HERE to purchase your piece of history!