1/12/2016 12:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The daughter of Olympic legend Jesse Owens says the family had final script approval for the upcoming biopic “Race” — and actually REJECTED certain scenes to ensure the movie was 100% authentic.
TMZ Sports spoke with Marlene Owens Rankin who tells us producers approached her family several years ago to get their blessing to make a movie about the sprinting hero who beat Hitler at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin.
“We were involved from the very beginning. The production company contacted us 5 years ago. We’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the years. We had script approval, by our request, and we were even on location in Berlin for a little while.”
Marlene says she was very impressed with producers — “the script and facts are really very well done” — but says there were times the family had to use their veto powers.
“Our focus was to make sure history wasn’t rewritten and that they stuck to the facts. Of course, they had to use a bit of creative licensing, and we had to reject a couple things. But they took those parts out and we love the product. We’ve been to several screenings.”
As for the actor who plays Jesse — Stephan James (who also played John Lewis in “Selma”) — Marlene says the family DEFINITELY approves.
“He did a phenomenal job. He’s a very nice man and it was great to have him involved.”