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Smithsonian Channel, Two Rivers Media look at early days of Muhammad Ali

Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) at Golden Gloves in 1960

Smithsonian Channel has greenlit a feature length documentary from Two Rivers Media in Scotland exploring the transformation of Cassius Clay into international boxing icon and activist Muhammad Ali.

Cassius X: Becoming Ali (2×60′) is the first commission from Two Rivers for Smithsonian Channel and will be directed by Muta’Ali (HBO’s Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn).

Based on the book Cassius X: The Transformation of Muhammad Ali by former Channel 4 exec Stuart Cosgrove, the documentary is set to air in the US and UK in 2022 and will feature interviews with Attallah Shabazz, Dee Dee Sharp and Thomas Hauser as well as veteran sports writers including Robert Lipsyte and Jerry Izenberg.

In addition to backing from the Smithsonian Channel, the project has secured support from The National Lottery and the Scottish Government through Screen Scotland.

The documentary focuses on the boxer’s life experiences between 1959 and 1964, a time when Clay fought his way to achieving his lifelong dream of becoming World Heavyweight Champion while embarking on a secret spiritual journey.

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