Jesse Owens biopic in development at Disney

By Kyle Johnson,

Disney is working on a biopic about Olympic gold medal track and field star Jesse Owens based off of ESPN's Jeremy Schaap's book Triumph.

The movie already has Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) attached to direct and Disney is partnering up with Netter Films and BermanBraun, according to Variety, who first reported the news.

The biopic will focus Owens' early life and the 1936 Berlin Olympics where Adolf Hitler famously demanded that African-Americans and Jews not be given the right to participate. He eventually backed down after a boycott was threatened, but he only ever shook hands with German winners on the first day, then didn't involve himself in medal presentations from there on out.

Owens was allowed to race and managed to win gold in several Olympic races, including the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the 400-meter dash and the long jump.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar winner David Seidler (The King's Speech) is writing the screenplay for the adaptation. BermanBraun's Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, along with Netter Films' Gil Netter, are producing.

Triumph evidently goes into the myth surrounding Hitler not shaking Owens' hand, but sees it being for other reasons and the runner was more upset with Franklin D. Roosevelt.

image: Wikimedia Commons


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