Geoffrey Rush has signed on to star in Race
, a biopic on African American track and field athlete Jesse Owens.
Brit John Boyega is cast to play Owens, the olympic champion who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Germany.
Carice Van Houten and Jeremy Irons have also joined the cast.
Owens' daugher, Marlene Owens Rankin, and director Stephen Hopkins, recently spoke with Variety about the film:
The message “is about the human spirit undefined about its endurance and vulnerability undefined but also the success you can achieve when you are motivated, and persevere in the face of adversity,” Owens Rankin said. “So, hopefully, kids who are underachieving and who lack hope will be motivated by his life and successes in spite of all he went through.”
“It will feel like a contemporary story,” Hopkins said. “It is about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks fighting his way to the forefront to represent his country. It should be something where people go, ‘I can’t believe this ever happened.’
“My dream is to present a real hero,” he added. “Someone who does it because of his need to better himself and to be dignified, but not in a stuffy way.”
Filming is scheduled to begin in May in Montreal and Berlin.