William Hurt Joins Jesse Owens Biopic Race


Focus Features have added veteran actor William Hurt to the cast of their Jesse Owens biopic, Race. The actor will take on the role of Jeremiah Mahoney, the president of the Amateur Athletic Union, who spearheaded efforts to boycott the 1936 Olympics.

The movie, penned by Frankie And Alice writers Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel, is based on the real story of American athlete, Jesse Owens. Now a legend, the movie will tell his backstory before he became a four-time Olympic gold medalist and track-event pioneer. On board to direct is noted TV director Stephen Hopkins (Californication, House Of Lies). The film, which has the distinct aroma of award-bait, has already accrued a solid cast, despite undergoing a shuffle in its line-up earlier this year.

Along with Hurt to flesh out the call sheet for the sports biopic are Jeremy Irons (Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Margin Call), Carice Van Houten (Game Of Thrones) and Jason Sudeikis (We’re The Millers.) Stephan James is now attached to lead as the record-breaking athlete after original star John Boyega left the production. The Attack The Block actor jumped ship after landing a role in the upcoming Star Wars VII reboot.

The movie will reunite Hurt with his Lost In Space director, Hopkins, who rarely delves into features anymore. While that 1998 family romp hardly lit up the box office, Race is of an entirely different calibre. Who knows, it could land everyone involved some serious awards nods.

Race opens in theatres on April 8th, 2016.

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