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Redskins Fan Matthew McConaughey Will Star in Film About Native Runners

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Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey has signed on to star in a film adaptation of Born to Run, a 2009 book that explored the famous running skill and stamina of the Rarámuri or Tarahumara, an Indigenous people of northwestern Mexico.

Journalist Christopher McDougall, a runner plagued by injuries, ventured into the Copper Canyons to investigate the Rarámuri, who were said to be capable of running vast distances—over 100 miles—without injury. What McDougall learned ended up popularizing barefoot running and sparking an industry of barefoot-style running shoes. McDougall's book, the full title of which is Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Super Athletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, spent 178 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List.

RELATED:Run Like the Rarámuri: Grueling UltraMarathon Helps Tarahumara Indians Through Turmoil

It has not been revealed which character McConaughey will play, but reports suggest he has not been cast as a Native. That's the view of author McDougall, who told Philly.com that "it’s not locked in that he’s actually playing me, but he might play another character in the book. He might be playing Caballo Blanco [a /k/a Micah True], the mysterious loner."

RELATED:Micah True’s Death May Have Ripple Effect for Rarámuri Indians

It's worth noting that McConaughey, for all his prowess as an actor, comes with some baggage in Indian country—he's a diehard fan of the Washington Redskins. Last summer, he attended a team practice and yukked it up with Dan Snyder for the assembled paparazzi. And when interviewed for the cover feature of GQ's November issue, he said that he doesn't want the team to change its name. It will be interesting to see whether McConaughey's feelings about the team name and mascot dampen Natives' enthusiasm for the movie. 

RELATED:Matthew McConaughey, You're All Wrong About the Redskins

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

Actor Matthew McConaughey, right, stands with Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder during NFL football practice at Redskins Park, on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Ashburn, Va.