For Muhammad Ali, one of the most highly publicized fights of his lifetime happened outside of the ring, when, for religious reasons, he declined to enlist in the army during the Vietnam War. As the Stephen Frears film Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight details, the prize fighter’s decision to claim conscientious objector status after being drafted and the legal battles that ensued caused massive public uproar and outrage at Ali’s “audacity.”

You know, even though there were definitely white guys claiming CO status, too. The HBO film boasts a stacked cast, including Danny Glover, Frank Langella, Christopher Plummer, Barry Levinson, and Bob Balaban. What is particularly interesting is that rather than casting an Ali, the film solely uses archival footage during his scenes. At least we know his words are exactly as he said them?

Check out the trailer for yourself:

Let’s just hope this doesn’t get too far into where I think this trailer is heading, which is that the film is going to be about that young Supreme Court clerk’s (Benjamin Walker) struggle to do the right thing and get his supervisors to see how they’re treating Ali’s case unfairly.

Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight airs on HBO on October 5th at 8PM. [via The Playlist]

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