John Legend And Jesse Williams Team For Film On Olympian Tommie Smith
John Legend and "Grey's Anatomy" star Jesse Williams have joined forces to develop a documentary on football player and Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith.
The two stars are the brains behind "With Drawn Arms," which chronicles Smith's 200-meter sprint win at the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.
A member of the Olympic Project for Human Rights, Smith gained global acclaim when he and fellow athlete/activist John Carlos held up their black leather gloved hands to protest civil rights abuses during as the National Anthem played.
“We are excited to bring this powerful story to the world in a new and compelling way,” said Legend in a statement to Deadline.
"In the current climate we find ourselves in, we are once again being charged to stand up to supremacy, hate, fear, and racism in all forms," he added. "We are honored to be a creative partner on this film.”
Smith and Carlos were suspended from the sport and were under constant threat following their symbolic 'black power' gesture, and, for Williams, bringing their story to life means shedding light on a brave moment in American history.
“Tommie Smith is more than an iconic poster or risky act of defiance that inspires people the world over,” Williams said. “He is a living man, whose incredible journey is worthy of examination.
"I couldn’t be more excited to join forces with this team of filmmakers to share his reality and challenge our notions of heroism in the process."
"With Drawn Arms" is scheduled for release in October 2018 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Smith and Carlos' powerful Olympics protest.