Muhammad Ali

  1. Sydney Chaplin, The Adding Machine, 1969.   Surprise, surprise, Ali’s greatest name came up in director Jerome Epstein’s discussions about who should be Lieutenant Charles… in the weak UK film version of Elmer Rice’s play about a human adding machine (Milo O’Shea) being replaced at work by a mechanical adding machine.
  2. Ali Achmed Taram, Al-Risalah, Libya, 1976.    “There is no god but God, and Mohammed is the Messenger… “ The Champ was extremely keen to play Bilal in producer Moustapha Akkad’s Islam epic. Or epics: one in Arabic, the other in English. Akkad would not hear of hiring Ali. “It would smack of commercialism.” Enter the Arabic Taram…
  3. Johnny Sekka, The Message, Libya, 1976.    … and the Senegal-born Sekka as producer Moustapha Akkad made both films without depicting the prophet, true to the strict teachings of Islam.
  4. Warren Beatty, Heaven Can Wait, 1978.  Warren Beatty  became infatuated with Ali after meeting him in a plane.  They later discussed Beatty’s notion of re-making Here  Comes Mr.  Jordan  (already re-made as Down to Earth ,1947) and bringing Ali back from death in a white man’s body. “It’d be funny. Ali’s funny! But Ali wouldn’t stop fighting… I couldn’t see myself as a boxer but I had been a football player as a lad so I changed it.”
  5. Christopher Reeve, Superman, 1978. 


 Usual occupation: Boxing LegendBirth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  5