SBD/December 17, 2013/Media

Disney Developing Jesse Owens Movie Based On Jeremy Schaap's Book "Triumph"

Owens' upcoming biopic is set against the backdrop of the '36 Olympics in Berlin
Disney is "developing a biopic about American track and field hero Jesse Owens, setting up the project with BermanBraun and Netter Films and attaching Antoine Fuqua to direct," according to Dave McNary of VARIETY. Producers are BermanBraun’s Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun and Netter Films’ Gil Netter. Exec producers are BermanBraun’s Andrew Mittman and Netter Films’ Arthur Spector. The untitled film is "based on the book 'Triumph,' written [by] ESPN host Jeremy Schaap." David Seidler, who won a screenwriting Oscar for "The King’s Speech," is "on board to write the screenplay." Set against the "backdrop of the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, 'Triumph' tells the story of how the son of an Alabama sharecropper shattered Adolf Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy by winning a record four gold medals" (VARIETY.com, 12/16). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Borys Kit noted part of Owens' "myth is that Hitler snubbed him at the Games after his wins, but 'Triumph' claims that while it is true Hitler didn’t shake hands with Owens, that was because of other factors." The book "depicts Owens complaining more about being snubbed by Franklin D. Roosevelt than by the Nazi leader" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 12/16).
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