Jason Sudeikis Jeremy Irons Jesse Owens

Focus Features has officially acquired domestic rights to the Jesse Owens biopic “Race,” with Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons joining the cast.

Stephan James will play Owens with Stephen Hopkins directing the pic.

The pic is based on the true story of Owens, the legendary sports superstar whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics — where he faces off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

Sudeikis will star as Owens’ obsessive coach and mentor Larry Snyder, who, after his own prestigious track career, became a coach at Ohio State University. Irons will play Avery Brundage, the head of the American Olympic committee who fought to have the 1936 Olympics take place in Berlin.

“Race” is written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel. The movie is produced by Jean Charles Lévy for Forecast Pictures, Luc Dayan for ID+, Kate Garwood and Stephen Hopkins for Totally Commercial Films, Louis-Philippe Rochon and Dominique Séguin for Canada’s Solofilms, and Karsten Brünig and Thierry Potok for Germany’s Trinity Race.

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