In the wake of Muhammad Ali’s death, Sony Pictures is rereleasing its 2001 biographical drama “Ali,” starring Will Smith in an Academy Award-nominated performance as the heavyweight champ. On Long Island, it will screen starting Friday at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 and Regal Deer Park Stadium 16.
Directed and co-written by Michael Mann (“Heat,” “The Insider”), “Ali” spans the years 1964 to 1974, a period in which Ali took the heavyweight title from Sonny Liston, converted to Islam, was banished from boxing after becoming a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War draft, lost to Joe Frazier in a comeback attempt, and reclaimed his title in the famed “Rumble in the Jungle” fight with George Foreman.
Aside from Smith’s Oscar nomination, Jon Voight was nominated for his supporting role as sportscaster and frequent Ali foil and friend Howard Cosell.
The film also stars Ron Silver as Ali’s trainer Angelo Dundee, Jamie Foxx as assistant trainer Drew Bundini Brown, Mario Van Peebles as Malcolm X, LeVar Burton as Martin Luther King Jr., Mykelti Williamson as boxing promoter Don King, Giancarlo Esposito as Ali’s father, and Smith’s real-life wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, as Ali’s first wife, Sonji Roi.