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Oscar winning 'BlacKkKlansman' co-writer Kevin Willmott to pen Arthur Ashe biopic

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An Arthur Ashe biopic is officially on its way.

According to Deadline, Kevin Willmott, who won an Oscar for co-writing BlacKkKlansman with Spike Lee, is set to write a feature that tells the story of Wimbledon tennis champion Arthur Ashe. Willmott joins tennis pro Ashok Amritraj’s Hyde Park Entertainment Group and Warner Music Group, who are producing.

The forthcoming film will center on the tennis legend’s career, following Ashe’s humble beginnings on the public courts in Richmond, Virginia, to becoming the only black man to win Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Australian Open.

Ashe was also ranked number one in the world in 1968, which was one of the most tumultuous 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.

Ashe was also regarded as an educator and activist, and decided to reveal to the world that he had contracted AIDS after a blood transfusion following a heart operation. He publicly announced his illness in 1992, and then spent the last year of his life working to create public awareness of HIV and AIDS.

For the upcoming feature, Hyde Park obtained the full support of the Arthur Ashe Estate. Meanwhile, Warner Music Group is said to have plans “to tap into the extraordinary works of the era by such artists as Aretha Franklin, Prince, Curtis Mayfield and others” for the soundtrack.

By Candice Williams
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