Independent film darling Anthony Mackie (Half Nelson), is set to star in a biopic based on the life of Olympic Gold medalist Jesse Owens. According to BlackBookMag, the actor had been in talks to play Owens for years, but nothing ever came of it, until now.  Jesse Owens was an African American track and field athlete who endured many racial, economical, and social hardships throughout his triumphant life.

We’re putting it together now,” the charismatic actor told me at W New York. “It’s going to be a big thing. We’re chronicling his life from birth, to the ticker-tape parade down Park Avenue to The Waldorf Astoria, where he does all this stuff and basically defeats the German Empire. Then he gets to the Waldorf Astoria and he has to go around the back entrance. It’s like, really? He should’ve stayed in Germany … they treated him better over there. So the whole movie was based around this quote that he gave. He was like ‘Everybody asked me how I felt when Hitler didn’t allow me up to the box to shake my hand … well, you know the President didn’t invite me to the White House either.’ That sums up the whole movie. Hopefully that will come together.”

Owen won four gold medals in 1936 at the Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany. Can you image the political climate during that time? No fun.