"The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment," according to the Associated Press, which reports that the documentarian's Ali film is slated to appear in 2021. I suppose that this is no big surprise. Best known for his Civil War opus, Burns has also made films about Jackie Robinson and Jack Johnson, and his big release this year will be on the Vietnam War. Race, politics, the 1960s, and war: it was a matter of time before he got to Ali.
I still enjoy Burns's films, mostly because I'm interested in the subjects but also because they're so well made and alluring to watch. I've basically priced in his political perspective. His Johnson film, Unforgivable Blackness, was excellent, though it did tend to elevate Johnson into a hero, a stature as misleading as his older image of a villain. Burns devoted nearly an entire episode of his Baseball marathon to Robinson before making his 2016 film about the Dodgers star, whom he called "the most important person in the history of American sports.” (He skipped somebody.) Given Ali's grandeur, and the grandeur he inspires in most of his chroniclers, I wonder what fresh superlatives Burns will come up with.