Stephan James
Credit: Pierre Gautreau

• Stephan James (The L.A. Complex) is in talks to star as famed Olympian Jesse Owens in Race. He’d be replacing John Boyega in the role, who had to drop out due to his Star Wars: Episode VII commitments. Stephen Hopkins is directing the biopic, which will follow Owens from his humble beginnings to the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he won four gold medals. Not quite yet a household name, James has a number of higher profile projects coming up, including the football pic When the Game Stands Tall and Ava DuVernay’s civil rights drama Selma. [The Wrap]

• Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is also hoping to play Jesse Owens in his own project that he’s currently shopping with distributors according to Deadline. In addition to Hopkins’ project Race, Disney is also developing a Jesse Owens biopic based on Jeremy Schaap‘s book Triumph with screenwriter David Seidler (The King’s Speech). [Deadline]

• Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardner) is in talks to join Idol’s Eye, a gangster drama starring Robert Pattinson and Robert De Niro. Olivier Assayas (Carlos the Jackal) is directing the pic, which is based on Hillel Levin’s 2007 Playboy article “Boosting The Big Tuna” about some thieves who have the misfortune of choosing to rob Chicago mafia boss Tony Accardo. [Variety]

• Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop) will star in and produce the comedy Stranded for Sony. Plot details are being kept under wraps. [Variety]