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“Attack the Block” Star John Boyega Cast In Jesse Owens Biopic


Attack the Block‘s John Boyega has been cast in the upcoming Jesse Owens biopic, Race.

After his breakout performance in Attack the Block, British-born actor John Boyega went on to star in Half of a Yellow Sun, the movie adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton – as well as the failed Spike Lee pilot, Da Brick. This year, he portrays a reformed L.A. gangster in Imperial Dreams, which premiered at Sundance.

In Race, Boyega will play African-American Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, who competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Owen won four gold medals after winning the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump, and the 400-meter relay, ruining Adolf Hitler’s goal of showcasing Aryan supremacy at the Games. At first, Nazi leaders were against black and Jewish people competing in the Olympics, but after a boycott, they eventually relented. Stephen Hopkins will direct, with screenplay written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel.

Coincidentally (or not?), Disney also has a Jesse Owens biopic in development, with Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen, Training Day) attached to direct.

Race is scheduled for a spring 2015 release.