Author: Will Phoenix


Fans of the late Muhammad Ali should find it fitting that Sony Pictures will be re-releasing their critically-acclaimed 2001 motion picture biography Ali on Friday, June 10, 2016.  According to a press release, the picture will have a limited-time comeback in order to give everyone a chance to once more experience the drama of the legendary boxer’s life via the silver screen.  The feature film stars Will Smith in the title role.  But first, for readers who may not be up on the late sports figure, here is a bit of background information on the athlete in question:


Muhammad Ali was born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr. on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky.  He was an American Olympic athlete, a professional heavyweight boxer and activist.  He was considered by those in the know as one of the most relevant, famous and oft’times controversial athlete the 20th century.


He was nicknamed “The Greatest”.  His boxing resume included 56 wins and 5 losses.  To date he is the sole three-time lineal world heavyweight champion.  He took the title in 1964, 1974, and 1978.  


He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to brain injuries he received during his boxing career in 1984.  He died of septic shock in a hospital in Phoenix, Arozona on June 3, 2016.  He was 74.  


Sony reportedly chose Friday as the re-release date because it is the same day that an interface memorial service and procession will occur in Louisville.  The movie will run in a “limited number” of movie theatres across the U.S.  According to the Sony statement, Ali will be shown “in homage and celebration of the life of the American legend.”


The motion picture was directed by the Academy Award-nominated Michael Mann.  Mann, also known for such motion pictures as Heat and The Insider co-wrote the script with two other Academy Award-nominated writers--Stephen J. Rivele (Nixon), Christopher Wilkinson (Nixon)--and Eric Roth who garnered an Oscar for his work on the 1994 film Forrest Gump.  Smith also caught the Academy’s eye for the first time and was nominated as Best Actor for his portrayal of Ali.  Additionally, Jon Voight also scored a nominational as the famous sports reporter Howard Cosell.


Online sources indicate that the motion picture Ali brought in a total of $58 million at the domestic box office during its first run.  It was a favorite of fans and critics alike. In a press release, Rory Bruer, the company’s president of worldwide distribution, reported that the corporation had received several demands to re-release the movie as a way of celebrating the celebrity’s life.


Bruer concluded: “The film truly honors everything that made Ali one of the central figures of our time, a man who commanded his sport but whose personal faith and principles made him mean so much more. Muhammad Ali truly was The Greatest, and this tribute is a great way to honor him.”  Ali hits selected theatres on Friday.



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