Matthew McConaughey will play the character Caballo Blanco in the upcoming film Born to Run, one of the film’s producers confirmed to Runner’s World on Wednesday. The movie is an adaptation of Outside contributor Christopher McDougall’s book of the same name.
The film has yet to begin shooting. Deb Newmyer, president of Outlaw Productions and a producer on the movie, told Runner’s World that McConaughey will play the character of Caballo Blanco (Spanish for “white horse”), aka Micah True. He was an American ultrarunner who became a central character in McDougall’s book for training with the Tarahumara people in Mexico. The Tarahumara are known for embarking on extraordinary endurance runs in little more than sandals. True died on a run in New Mexico in 2012.
“As I understand, Matthew read the book and fell in love with the character,” Newmyer told RW. True also fits in with the types of eccentric characters McConaughey has brought to the screen in films like Mud, True Detective, and Dallas Buyers Club.
The film is still in the early phases of production; McConaughey is the only actor signed on so far, according to Runner’s World. Peter Sarsgaard was originally slated to write and direct Born to Run, but McDougall told Competitor.com in 2013 that Sarsgaard’s take on the story was a “much different concept of what it should be, and it just wasn’t flying.” McDougall is a writer on the film, but how much creative control he’ll have is unclear. “I anticipate he will be on set,” Newmyer told Runner’s World. “We adore him and want to capture his voice as part of the process.”
Newmyer told Runner’s World that the plan is to use real extras to fill out the fields of runners in the film rather than use computer-rendered creations. The movie will feature sequences of the Leadville Trail 100 and a 50-mile pursuit across Tarahumara country—the book’s climax.