The HBO Films presentation Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight tells the story of how boxer Cassius Clay became the world’s best-known and most controversial athlete. After joining the Nation of Islam and changing his name to Muhammad Ali, he was stripped of his title and banned from the sport after he refused to be drafted into the U.S. military, based on his religious opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1971, his case for being a conscientious objector reached the United States Supreme Court, with Nixon-appointed conservative Chief Justice Warren E. Burger (Frank Langella) at its helm, leaving his case in the hands of nine justices. Directed by Stephen Frears, the film also stars Christopher Plummer, Benjamin Walker, Danny Glover, Ed Begley Jr. and Pablo Schreiber.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Benjamin Walker – who plays Justice Harlan’s (Plummer) idealistic new clerk, Kevin Connolly – talked about how he became a part of this project, why he wanted to help tell this largely unknown story, how he felt about the decision to let Muhammad Ali do all of his own talking in the film instead of having an actor play him, and what it was like to work with an actor as accomplished as Christopher Plummer. He also talked about working with Ron Howard on In the Heart of the Sea (based on the 1820 event when a whaling ship is preyed upon by a sperm whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home), all of the training the cast got to do together, the extreme physicality of the role, and how the goal is to be done shooting around Christmas. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
HBO has released the first full trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. Ali’s is portrayed using archival footage, as the majority of the film involves the internal debates between the justices and clerks who faced an incredibly tough decision at a tumultuous time for America. There’s certainly plenty of conflict to draw from, but I’m interested to see if Frears can keep the film engaging given its limited scope.
Hit the jump to watch the full trailer. The film also stars Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th.
HBO has released the first teaser trailer for director Stephen Frears’ (The Queen) new film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight. The pic focuses on Muhammad Ali’s refusal to go to Vietnam and the court battle that ensued, centering on Justice Harlan (Christopher Plummer) and his clerk, played by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter star Benjamin Walker. This teaser doesn’t show too much footage from the film, but it looks like Ali won’t actually be portrayed onscreen by an actor. Instead, we see archival footage of the legendary fighter while the narrative plays out in the courtroom and the judge’s chambers.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Frank Langella, Danny Glover, Bob Balaban, Ed Begley Jr., Barry Levinson, and Pablo Schreiber. Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight premieres on HBO on October 5th.
HBO has released new images for several upcoming projects:
- Clear History – Larry David stars as a marketing executive who sold his shares in an electric car startup and missed out on billions of dollars. Jon Hamm, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Michael Keaton, and Kate Hudson also star. Greg Mottola (Superbad) directs.
- Hello Ladies – Stephen Merchant (Extras) stars as an Englishman looking for love in Los Angeles in the comedy series he co-writes with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky (The Office).
- Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight – Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella, Benjamin Walker, and Danny Glover star in the Stephen Frears-directed political drama centered around Ali’s refusal to fight in the Vietnam War.
- Seduced and Abandoned – Director James Toback and Alec Baldwin comment on the absurdity of Hollywood with this documentary about their failed efforts to secure financing for an Iraq-set love story.
See the images after the jump.
The full lineup for the 2013 Cannes Film Festival was announced today, and it looks like a really great group of films will be screening in the south of France later next month. Official selections include Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra, Joel and Ethan Coen’s Inside Llewyn Davis, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Roman Polanski’s Venus In Fur, and James Gray’s The Immigrant (previously titled Low Life). Additionally, the Robert Redford man vs. nature film All Is Lost will premiere out of competition, and Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, James Franco’s As I Lay Dying, and the Sundance hit Fruitvale Station (previously titled Fruitvale) will screen Un Certain Regard.
A number of these titles are early awards contenders, and I’m particularly interested to hear the reaction for the Coens’ Davis and Payne’s The Descendants follow-up Nebraska, which is a black-and-white road trip movie starring Will Forte and Bruce Dern. Hit the jump to read the full lineup. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – 26th.