Jason Sudeikis and Jeremy Irons have not had similar careers up to this point, but they are both going to be co-starring in an upcoming film about legendary track and field athlete Jesse Owens.
Variety reported on Wednesday that the two actors both joined the cast of Race, which was written by Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel and will be directed by Stephen Hopkins.
Owens rose to fame at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, when he trounced his competition, winning four gold medals along the way. He also happened to be a black man in Germany as the Nazi Party was in charge and promoting their views of Aryan Supremacy. Owens' success flew directly in the face of those notions, which is why he remained such a revered figure.
Of course, neither Sudeikis nor Irons will be playing Owens. Instead Owens will be played by Stephan James, a young Canadian actor who has not done much of note yet. Perhaps Race will be his breakout film; it certainly is a significant role. Sudeikis, the Saturday Night Live alumnus and star of films such as Horrible Bosses, will play Owens' mentor Larry Snyder. Irons, an Oscar winner, will be portraying Avery Brundage, the head of the American Olympic committee.
While this sort of film seems to be right in Irons' wheelhouse, it is a bit of a departure for Sudeikis, who has pretty much just been a comedic performer to this point of his career. It will be interesting to see how he handles a role it what will assuredly be a more serious movie, but there is no reason to think he's not up to the task.