A biopic based on tennis champion Arthur Ashe, the first black player to selected to the United States Davis Cup team, is in the works.
Deadline reports that Krystin Ver Linden has completed the script for the film, which would simply be titled Ashe. David Gover, Russell Hollander (Valentine’s Day), John Schoenfelder (Cargo), and Russell Ackerman (Cargo) have signed on as producers. The project is “currently being packaged and will be shopped to studios and financiers,” according to Deadline.
The film will tell the story of Ashe’s professional tennis career, which includes being the first African-American player to be selected for the United States Davis Cup team, and the only black man to win the singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Australian Open. He was ranked the no. 1 tennis player in the world in 1968 and 1975. Along with his accomplishments on the court and in the context of the civil rights movement, the film will also cover his humanitarian efforts and his work to fight AIDS after revealing his own struggle with the disease.
Shadow and Act points out that Boris Kodjoe said in a 2012 interview that he hoped that Ashe’s story would make it to the big screen. Kodjoe attended Virginia Commonwealth University in 1992 on a tennis scholarship.
“I’m a huge fan of Arthur Ashe. He’s one of my heroes,” Kodjoe told MovieFanatic.com.
ESPN’s ESPY Awards annually honor an individual with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award to people whose contributions “transcend sports.” Honorees have included Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Nelson Mandela and Pat Summitt, among others.
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