Focus Features has peeled back the curtain covering the first official poster for Race, featuring up-and-comer Stephan James (Selma) at the starting line.
Telling the life and times of legendary athletic superstar Jesse Owens both on and off the track, the awards-friendly biopic takes place in 1936 during the heyday of Adolf Hitler’s fascist rule, exploring some of the prejudice and discrimination that was directed at James Cleveland “Jesse” Owens. Flying in the face of adversary, Owens was a four-time Olympic gold medalist, and is widely considered to be one of – if not the – best track and field athlete in the sport’s history.
Hosted in Berlin, Germany, the 1936 Summer Olympics was an undisputed high point in his decorated career, clinching gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. A remarkable coup, no doubt, and the Stephen Hopkins-directed drama will chart Owens’ path to becoming a sporting legend.
Frankie and Alice scribes Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel penned the screenplay for Race, which will serve as Hopkins’ first directorial effort in over a decade. Having supplanted John Boyega in the star role once the actor parted ways for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Focus Features’ drama will serve as another milemarker on James’ would-be path to stardom.
Focus Features’ Jesse Owens biopic will make a break for theaters when Race debuts on February 19, 2016. Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons, Games of Thrones‘ Carice van Houten, Shanice Banton and William Hurt also star.
Based on the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, the legendary athletic superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy. “Race” is an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend.