Photo by Harry Dempster/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Arthur Ashe estate will back the story of the Tennis star, coming to the big or small screen. According to reports, “The biopic follows the sporting story of the African American tennis icon who defied all odds, from the public courts in Richmond, Virginia, to becoming the only black man to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open, and was ranked No. 1 in the world in 1968 — one of the most charged eras in American history as the nation struggled with the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., anti-Vietnam protests, and the civil rights movement — before he retired in 1980.”
“Ashe demonstrated his emotional courage and bravery in his choice to reveal to the world his struggle with AIDS, which was believed to have been contracted from a blood transfusion he received during heart bypass surgery. Ashe publicly announced his illness in 1992, then spent the last year of his life working to educate and broaden public awareness of HIV and AIDS.”
So who could portray Ashe? In 2012, Boris Kodjoeexpressed interest in the role, calling the Tennis pro one of his heroes. Fun fact: the 47-year-old attended college on a Tennis scholarship and has a reported 75 wins under his belt.
Earlier this yearJay Ellis said, “I wanna play Arthur Ashe in a biopic. I think he’s got just an amazing story of how he fought apartheid while he was the No. 1 tennis player in the world and South Africa wouldn’t come let him play down there because he was a Black man. And then ultimately what ended up happening in his life, how he passed, I think it’s such an amazing story.”