He hasn’t found his Ali yet, but director Stephen Frears has cast Christopher Plummer and Frank Langella in his upcoming Muhammad Ali film for HBO.
Titled Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, the film will take place in 1967, as then Heavy Weight Champion of the World Muhammad Ali refused to enlist and go fight for the USA in Vietnam; his objections to the war were very public, he was convicted and sentenced to serve time in prison, during which he appealed his case that would go all the way to the Supreme Court. This was all around the time the public began turning against the war, and thus support for Ali grew; eventually, some years later, the Supreme Court would reverse his conviction.
“I ain’t got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger.”
Remember that quote? :)
So while the Supreme Court was struggling with other hot-button issues like abortion and pornography, they were forced to tackle Ali’s appeal.
Plummer will portray Supreme Court Associate Justice John Marshall Harlan II; Langella will play Chief Justice Warren Burger.
As I said before, it’s not entirely clear if this’ll be a court room drama, or something more expansive. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.
Shooting is scheduled to begin in New York in March. No word on who is being considered for the starring riole – Ali – so we wait in anticipation for that announcement; let’s hope it’s an unknown, because I can’t immediately think of any young *known* black actor who’d be ideal for the part.