Fuqua to Direct Jesse Owens Biopic

Biopic of the Olympic medalist who defied Adolf Hitler…

‘Training Day’ and ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ helmer Antoine Fuqua is to take the director’s chair for an untitled biopic about American track and field hero Jesse Owens, says Variety.

Oscar-winning scribe David Seidler (‘The King’s Speech’) will pen the script for the film based on ESPN host Jeremy Schaap’s 2007 book ‘Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics.’

Set against the backdrop of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, ‘Triumph’ tells the story of how Owens, the son of an Alabama sharecropper shattered Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy by winning a record four gold medals in the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the long jump and the 400-meter relay. The German dictator had insisted Jews and Blacks not be allowed to participate in the games, but relented when threatened with a boycott. He shook hands only with the German victors on the first day of competition and then skipped all further medal presentations.

BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun will co-produce the biopic with Gil Netter of Netter Films.

Fuqua’s next, a big screen reboot of ‘The Equalizer’ starring Denzel Washington, arrives in cinema October 2014.