Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons Join Jesse Owens Drama 'Race'

Focus Features has acquired the U.S. rights to the drama.

Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons have joined the cast of Race, the Jesse Owens biopic whose U.S. distribution rights were just acquired by Focus Features.

The movie, directed by Stephen Hopkins, begins shooting July 24 in Montreal and on location at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where the real-life runner won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals in 1936.

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Stephan James is portraying the black racing legend who ruffled white feathers in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Focus describes the movie as “an enthralling film about courage, determination, tolerance, and friendship, and an inspiring drama about one man’s fight to become an Olympic legend.”

Sudeikis will play Larry Snyder, Owens’ obsessive coach. Snyder coached athletes who set 14 world records and won eight Olympic gold medals.

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.

Producing are Jean Charles Levy for Forecast Pictures, Luc Dayan of ID+, and Kate Garwood and Hopkins via their Totally Commercial Films banner. Also producing are Louis-Philippe Rochon and Dominique Séguin of Canada’s Solofilms and Karsten Brünig and Thierry Potok for Germany’s Trinity Race GmbH.

EOne is distributing the film in Canada.

Sudeikis starred in We’re the Millers and is now filming the male lead in the Leslye Headland-helmed Sleeping With Other People.

Irons will be portraying Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler Alfred in the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.