Zim-born star teams up with Morgan Freeman on new Muhammad Ali TV series

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A scripted eight-part series about boxing icon Muhammad Ali, titled Excellence: 8 Fights is currently in the works, reported Deadline. English-Zimbabwean actor Regé-Jean Page and American artist Morgan Freeman are both confirmed to be on board as executive producers.

Regé-Jean Page

The series will be based on Jonathan Eig’s biography, Ali: A Life and written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Kevin Willmott. As per the publication, Willmott, Lori McCreary for Revelations Entertainment and Emily Brown will join Freeman and Page as producers.

Although an official date for the series hasn’t been announced yet, it is set to release on the streaming service, Peacock.

According to the show’s description, Excellence: 8 Fights “will chronicle eight distinct and defining moments in the iconic life of Muhammad Ali. Each episode will be framed by one fight from Ali’s life, but the essence of the episode, what it’s really about, is the internal fight—the drama outside the ring—where we will explore the struggle going on in the heart and mind of one of the most consequential and controversial figures of the 20th century.”

This is not the first time the sports legend will be celebrated in the cinema. Prior to this, several documentaries and films have honoured the great boxer, including The Greatest (1977)Ali (2001)What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali (2019), Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali (2021).

Heavyweight boxing legend Ali, a 20th Century icon whose fame transcended sport during a remarkable career that spanned three decades, died in 2016.

Ali’s 30-year career, which stretched from 1960 to 1981 and saw him retire with a record of 56-5, included such historic bouts as the Rumble in the Jungle against George Foreman.