This project is, and will always be, bittersweet. The bitter is that they didn’t shoot my script, or at least not enough of it. I shared credit on this movie. Too many cooks and no vision. The movie wasn’t awful. It just was a travelogue of Ali’s life. My script, “Power and Grace,” was epic, mythic, and character driven.

But the sweet, is and has been, very sweet: I’ve developed and maintained a relationship with Ali, his lovely wife, Lonnie, my sister from another mother; and Mr. Howard Bingham, official first friend of the champ. I would have to write several pages to express the joy these relationships have given me.

When I was hired to write Ali, Will Smith was the Fresh Prince; nothing more. He wasn’t then financeable. When he became a movie star, then the movie got made. By the time he became a star, I had been fired, the second writing team had been fired, and the director brought in his guy and they wrote their version. Ego destroyed the movie. Oh, what could’ve been.

  • Hired : 1992
  • Premiere : December 2001


Even as scriptwriter Gregory Allen Howard returns to Vallejo for a holiday respite, he can't help but marvel at the changes. Not so much in the city where he graduated from high school, but the surrounding communities.

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