Focus Features Moves Up Jesse Owens Drama ‘Race’ to February 2016

Rising star Stephan James plays the Olympic hero, while Jeremy Irons, William Hurt and Jason Sudeikis co-star

Focus Features has moved up its Jesse Owens drama “Race” from April 8, 2016 to February 19, 2016, where it will open against “Barbershop 3” and the Naomi Watts thriller “Shut In.”

It’s a smart move on Focus’ part, as “Race” had been slated to open against Melissa McCarthy‘s comedy “Michelle Darnell,” George Clooney‘s thriller “Money Monster,” Jake Gyllenhaal‘s drama “Demolition” and the big-budget fantasy film “Gods of Egypt.”

Rising star Stephan James plays Olympic hero Jesse Owens in the film, which co-stars Jeremy Irons, William Hurt, Jason Sudeikis and Carice van Houten.

“Race” tells the incredible true story of Jesse Owens, whose quest to become the greatest track and field athlete in history thrusts him onto the world stage of the 1936 Olympics, where he faced off against Adolf Hitler’s vision of Aryan supremacy.

The film was directed by Emmy winner Stephen Hopkins and filmed on location at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin where Owens won a record-breaking four Olympic gold medals in 1936. The movie has the support of the Owens family, the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Jesse Owens Trust, and the Luminary Group.

“Race” was written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel. The movie was produced by Jean Charles Lévy for Forecast Pictures, Luc Dayan for ID+, Kate Garwood and Mr. 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 GmbH.

The film’s executive producers include Christopher Charlier, Ben Grass, Scott Kennedy, Bonnie Timmermann, George Acogny, Nicolas Manuel, Jonathan Bronfman, and Al Munteanu. Square One, which is distributing the film in Germany, is a co-producer on the film. Entertainment One is distributing “Race” in Canada.