UPDATED, August 27: Focus Features said today that its Jesse Owens Race has been moved up by seven weeks to February 19. It will open wide against Fox’s comic-book actioner Deadpool, Warner Bros’ rom-com How To Be Single and Paramount’s comedy sequel Zoolander 2.
PREVIOUSLY, October 1: Focus Features said today it has dated its Jesse Owens biopic Race for April 8, 2016. It also has added William Hurt to the cast opposite Jeremy Irons, Jason Sudeikis, Carice van Houten and Stephan James as Owens.
Hurt will play Jeremiah Mahoney, president of the Amateur Athletic Union, who led efforts to boycott the 1936 Olympics. The casting comes after Hurt was circling the basketball pic Men Of Granite as a possible lead role. He just wrapped The Moon And The Sun opposite Pierce Brosnan. Hurt of course was on the train tracks playing Gregg Allman the day Sarah Jones was killed during production of Midnight Rider; he since has left the project. He is repped by ICM Partners.
Race, helmed by Stephen Hopkins, is now shooting in Montreal and Berlin. Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel penned the script, about the real-life hero who won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals at the Berlin Olympics.