Benjamin Walker close to deal for HBO’s Ali telepic

'Abraham Lincoln' thesp in talks to star in 'Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight'

HBO is close to casting “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” actor Benjamin Walker in its upcoming Muhammad Ali telepic about the boxing legend’s fight with the Supreme Court.

Story for “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight” is Ali’s battle with the Supreme Court over his Muslim beliefs as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War. Ali was convicted by a Houston court in 1967 and spent three years exiled from the ring as his case journeyed to the Supreme Court.

Film, to be directed by Stephen Frears, will utilize actual footage of Ali and not cast an actor to play him.Several important details have to be worked out before the young thesp signs on. If the deal comes together, he would play Kevin Kennedy, a Supreme Court clerk who championed the issue and wrote the briefs that ultimately resulted in approving Ali’s status as a conscientious objector.

Walker became available for “Ali” after Legendary Pictures pulled the plug on Alex Proyas’ “Paradise Lost,” which was slated to star Walker and Bradley Cooper.

Last week Christopher Plummer signed on to play Supreme Court judge John Marshall Harlan. Frank Langella was also added and will play Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Shawn Slovo wrote the script. Frank Doelger, Tracey Scoffield and Jonathan Cameron are set to exec produce. Scott Ferguson is producing.

Walker is repped by WME and Inspire Entertainment.

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