464111657 John Boyega Wins the Race to Play Jesse OwensJeff Vespa/WireImage

“Race,” the biopic about Olympic runner Jesse Owens, is ready to take off now that it’s found the actor to play him.

Variety reports that British actor John Boyega will line up at the starting line when the film shoots this May. The 21-year-old relative newcomer debuted in 2011’s “Attack the Block” and appeared opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in last year’s “Half of a Yellow Sun.”

Boyega will lace up his running shoes to play the iconic Owens, who won a record four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. His triumphs cut down Adolph Hitler’s vision of Aryan superiority; the German leader had wanted to exclude black and Jewish athletes, but backed down in the face of a boycott.

Hitler only shook hands with German victors on the first day of the Games and didn’t appear at another medal presentation after. Director Stephen Hopkins will film in the Berlin stadium where Owens collected his golds.

“Race” is one of two competing biopics about Owens; the other is being developed at Disney with Antoine Fuqua attached to direct.

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