In 1936, Jesse Owens represented the United States in a competition against Nazi Germany. The stage for his legendary performance was set at the Olympics in Berlin, where he won four gold medals- destroying Adolf Hitler’s myth of about “Aryan athletic supremacy.” Hitler had tried to prevent blacks and Jews from participating in the games altogether, but eventually gave in after threats of a boycott. Prior to the games, Owens was the son of an Alabama sharecropper, but after winning the gold in 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, the 400 relay, and the long jump, he cemented his place as an American hero.
Now his story will be told on the big screen, with Disney backing the production. The screenplay is being written by Academy Award-winner David Seidler (The King’s Speech), based off the book “Triumph” by ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) is attached to direct the film.
Surprisingly, this will be the first big screen adaptation of his story. The only other attempt was a small screen venture,Â The Jesse Owens Story, back in 1984.
The film will be produced by BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Neil Braun, and Gil Netter of Netter Films. As of now, no cast or release date have been announced.