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Director Steven Frears Thinks No One Can Replace Ali For His HBO Pic

Director Steven Frears Thinks No One Can Replace Ali For His HBO Pic

Director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liasions) has announced that he will not cast an actor for the role of Muhammad Ali in his soon-in-production HBO film Muhammad’s Ali’s Greatest Fight, and will instead use achival footage of Ali for his film.

The film doesn’t deal with boxing, but instead with Ali’s battle with the Supreme Count over his belief as a Muslim as conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. Ali was actually convicted by a Houston court and spent three years exiled from the ring as his case slowly made it’s way to the Supreme Couurt.

(And for those too young to remember that was a HUGE story back then; what athlete would have the guts to do something like that today? Go ahead name me one)

Personally, I agree with Frears’ decision since, for me, there is no actor I think of who could do justice to Ali (And no, not even Will Smith) and having an actor to play the role would constantly take me out of the film.

What do you say?

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I just saw The Greatest on DVD and had to admit, Muhammed Ali does the best Muhammed Ali. The Greatest and When We Were Kings will be hard acts to follow. I believe Frears made the correct call in using archival footage to tell a slice of Ali's life. Spike Lee made the same decision to cover the Rumble in the Jungle and it worked well for him.


BILL NUNN, with a little make-up & mirrors.




Will did fine. OVERKILL


I disagree with you Sergio and Mr. Frears. I got at least two off the top of my head. Chiwetel Ejiofor and Omari Hardwick. I think these two actors can probably pull it off.

Dankwa Brooks

When 'Ali' came out some critic said that the problem with trying to portray MA is that he has been in the media SO MUCH that we already have a wealth of footage of what the REAL Ali was like. He had been one of the most media driven athletes like—EVER. I had to agree with the critic. I was a kid at the end of his run, but I knew who he was.

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