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Documentarian Ken Burns making film on Muhammad Ali

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/28/2017
FILe - In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Ken Burns speaks at the PBS's "The Vietnam War" panel at the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILe - In this Jan. 15, 2017 file photo, Ken Burns speaks at the PBS's "The Vietnam War" panel at the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, Calif. Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment.

FILE - This 1966 file photo shows world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. Ali died June 3, 2016 after a three-decade battle with Parkinson's disease at age 74. PBS documentarian Ken Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ. (AP Photo, File) © The Associated Press FILE - This 1966 file photo shows world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali. Ali died June 3, 2016 after a three-decade battle with Parkinson's disease at age 74. PBS documentarian Ken Burns announced Tuesday, March 27, 2017, that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ. (AP Photo, File)

The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Burns, his daughter Sarah and David McMahon collaborated for a PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson that debuted last year.

The tentative plan is to air the Ali film in 2021.

Sarah Burns said the outpouring of good will at Ali's death made it easy to forget how divisive it was when the former Cassius Clay took the Ali name when he converted to Islam and refused to join the Army during the Vietnam War. She said filmmakers want to examine what influenced Ali's choices and how he stuck with them despite public condemnation.

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