The life of Arthur Ashe, a civil rights activist, and the only Black man to have won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open is coming to the big screen.
The biopic is being brought to life by Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment, Warner Music Group and BlacKkKlansman co-writer Kevin Willmott.
Willmott, an Oscar winner in his own right, is a frequent collaborator with Spike Lee, most recently working on Spike’s Netflix film, Da 5 Bloods. He will pen the screenplay and Amritraj and Warner Music Group’s Charles Cohen are set to produce.
“Arthur’s legacy reaches far beyond his greatness as a tennis player,” said Amritraj, himself a former tennis pro and brother of Vijay, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon. “Always a gentleman; bold, graceful, and intellectual, while at the same time passionate in his fight against racial inequality and injustice.”
Warner Music Group played a key part in securing music from Ashe’s era to aid in the storytelling. We will hear works from iconic Black artists such as Prince, Aretha Franklin and Curtis Mayfield.
This is the second attempt at getting the biopic greenlit for production. In 2017, David Goyer and Russell Hollander were among a set of producers developing a script written by Krystin Ver Linden. That project is now inactive.