Special to Blackflix.com
Will Smith is scheduled to began shooting the bio-pic Ali in July. Ali, the only biography having the heavy-weight champion Muhammad Ali's full endorsement, follows Ali's early rise through the heavy-weight ranks as well as his bouts in the political arena.
A poll taken by Blackflix.com last October reported 77 percent of those polled felt Smith was definitely not Ali material, however, Ali was quoted in the Hollywood Reporter saying, "This is the only film that will tell it like it is. I'm the only one that knows the real story of my life, and Will Smith is the only person I want and trust to bring that story to the screen. I stand by Will, and his film is the only one that I am supporting."
The script flows from the early career of young Cassius Clay, then moves on to his winning of the heavy-weight championship from Sonny Liston, to his joining the Nation of Islam and changing his name to Ali, to his refusal to fight in the Vietnam conflict and finally to the legendary fights with Joe Frazier and George Forman.
Director Michael Mann, whose film the Insider has been nominated for best picture, is directing Ali which is scheduled for release in the summer 2001.