While Antoine Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen managed to spawn an upcoming sequel set in London, we’re not sure if the director will return to head up that film. What we do know is that Disney has tapped Fuqua to direct their untitled Jesse Owens biopic. Owens was an American track and field star who took home four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. His athletic performance that year was impressive to be sure, but it’s perhaps best remembered cast in the light of Adolf Hitler’s Aryan racial supremacy propaganda depicting people of African decent as inferior. While the biopic will certainly feature the games, the backbone of the story will come from “Triumph”, a book on Owens written by ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. Hit the jump for more.
Variety reports that Fuqua will head up the untitled Owens biopic for Disney. Oscar-winning screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech) is on board to adapt the book for the screenplay. Here’s a look at the synopsis for “Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics” (via Amazon):
At the 1936 Olympics, against a backdrop of swastikas and goose-stepping storm troopers, an African-American son of sharecroppers won a staggering four gold medals and single-handedly demonstrated that Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy was a lie. The story of Jesse Owens at the Berlin games is that of an athletic performance that transcends sports. It is also the intimate and complex tale of one remarkable man’s courage. Drawing on unprecedented access to the Owens family, previously unpublished interviews, and exhaustive archival research, Jeremy Schaap transports us to Germany and tells the dramatic tale of Owens and his fellow athletes at the contest dubbed the Nazi Olympics.