Anthony Mackie Still Pursuing Jesse Owens

As Stephan James steps into a competing project

Anthony Mackie Still Pursuing Jesse Owens

by James White |
Published on


Flying high on the success of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie is hoping his impressive work to date can help him finally realise a long-held dream: playing Olympic legend Jesse Owens on the big screen. He’s been attached to a biopic of the man before, and now seems intent on producing his own, untitled take on Owens.

With We Are Marshall’s Jamie Linden on script and co-producing duty, Mackie is set to offer up the project that will chronicle Owens’ life and career. He showed his sprinting abilities early in his native Alabama and eventually earned a place on the American Olympics team in 1936. Though Adolf Hitler had tried to ban black and Jewish athletes from competing, he relented in the face of a potential boycott, and was angered when Owens surged to a victorious sweep of four gold medals. Despite his legendary achievement, the runner still faced racism at home.

Owens’ inspirational tale is fuelling several projects at the moment, with Disney adapting a book and The King's Speech writer David Seidler at work on another biopic. Then there’s Race, which has just had to replace its leading man. Though the filmmakers had thought they’d locked in John Boyega, a certain small job has lured the actor away. All is not lost for the Race team, however, because Stephen James will step in to take his place. Stephen Hopkins is directing that film, written by Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse.

James, who first appeared on Canadian high school series Degrassi: The Next Generation, has cropped up in films such as Perfect Strangers and Home Again. He’ll next be seen in sports pic When The Game Stands Tall and is at work on Selma alongside David Oyelowo and Tom Wilkinson.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us