A biopic about Wimbledon tennis champion and African American civil rights activist Arthur Ashe is working on Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Warner Music Group.
Academy Award winner Kevin Wilmot, whose credits include “Blackklanksman” and “The 5 Bloods” will write the screenplay, with the full support of Arthur Ashet Estate.
The inspirational story of Asher began on Richmond’s public tennis court in Rich, eventually becoming the only black to win Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, and to achieve the world number one ranking. Asher’s victory at the 1968 U.S. Open came with the assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., as the nation struggled against anti-Vietnam protests and the civil rights movement. As Sheikh embarked on a new bold path against South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement and helped pave the way for the country’s independence, Ashe was able to make his mark in the Black Revolution in America.
The film will feature music from the epoch, featuring the work of African American artists, including Aratha Franklin, Prince, Curtis Mayfield and many more. Warner Music Group will help secure music and provide creative direction.
Participating in Wimbledon before becoming a producer, Amritraj said, “Arthur’s legacy has gone beyond his greatness as a tennis player reaches always gentleman; Brave, compassionate and intelligent; I am honored to bring Arthur’s story to the screen while being equally passionate in the fight against racial discrimination and injustice.
Amritraj will produce for Hyde Park and Charles Cohen for WMG. Executive producers include Alexandra Dale as well as Asher’s wife Jenny Moutussami-Ashe, Priya Amritraj of Hyde Park and Addison Meher.
Wilmott is represented in the Paul Hastings LLP by Gersh and Eric Human.