An Anthony Mackie twofer… movement on 2 old projects that we’ve been following for years now…
First, not to be left in the dust (pun intended) to the finish line by that other recently-announced Jesse Owens project that Stephan James is attached to star in, Mackie has apparently made his own Owens dream project even more of a priority, currently shopping its script to distributors, says Deadline, hoping that it will be fast-tracked by whomever bites.
It’s the 3rd Jesse Owens film currently in development – the other 2 being the aforementioned Stephan James starrer (to be directed by Stephen Hopkins (The Life and Death of Peter Sellers); and the Antoine Fuqua/Disney Jesse Owens project, based on ESPN anchor Jeremy Schaap’s book, Triumph.
Who will make it to the finish line first (I’m so full of puns today)?
And second, Mackie’s long-in-development Buddy Bolden film will make it to the finish line after all, but without Mackie. The actor has left the project, and will be replaced by the British actor who played Downton Abbey’s first black character, Gary Carr.
When we interviewed Mackie last year while he was on Pain & Gain junket duties, he told us: “I’m not sure what’s going on with Bolden. It’s been six years, so I’ve decided I was finished.“
I can’t blame him for that; 6 years is a long time. But he’s certainly not exactly desperate for work, given how busy he’s been over the years – although that leading man role in a major Hollywood motion picture all his own, continues to elude him.
Our last full report on the Bolden project was in late 2012, when first time director – jazz lover, musician and Hyatt hotel heir Dan Pritzker – said in an interview that he was in no rush to complete the film, adding that it was (is) a passion project for him, and his goal is make the best film possible.
“If I were doing this to make money, I wouldn’t have made a movie. I’m not a filmmaker,“he said at the time, adding that it would be another 12 to 18 months before its expected release; and if the film doesn’t make any money, “It won’t affect my life.“
Easy to say when you’re heir to billions of dollars!
Pritzker said he first heard of Buddy Bolden through a radio station manager back in 1996, and was inspired by his life then and there.
Alongside Mackie (who’s now exited the project), Bolden’s cast also previously included Jackie Earl Haley, Wendell Pierce, Michael Rooker, Reno Wilson, Omari Hardwick, Eugene Byrd, Omar Gooding, Lisa Arrindell Anderson and April Grace.
No word yet on whether all the above actors are still involved.
So, there’s still hope for Bolden (just without Mackie). This could be new star of the film, Gary Carr’s breakout role Stateside, so kudos to him.
By the way, Mackie also is attached to star in a Jimi Hendrix film, based on a screenplay by British screenwriter and director Ol Parker,who will also direct the project.