Last July it was announced that Jamie Foxx would be playing Mike Tyson in a film about the prolific boxers life, and The Wolf of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter would be writing the screenplay.
Now comes even more exciting news as Foxx has all but confirmed that the one and only Martin Scorsese will be directing.
In an interview with Power 105’s The Breakfast Club (via Uproxx), Foxx spoke about pitching the film to Paramount, and he revealed there and then that Scorsese will be directing the film, which is the best possible news for the film.
“I just went in with Paramount with Mike Tyson. So I’m going to do the Mike Tyson story. Listen, to be in the same room pitching Mike Tyson to Paramount, Mike Tyson is on one side, I’m on the other side and doing Mike Tyson at the same time. And Martin Scorsese at the helm. This will be the first boxing movie that Martin Scorsese has done since Raging Bull.”
Hopefully something official will be announced soon, but Scorsese directing his first boxing film since Raging Bull is very exciting news indeed. Raging Bull, which starred Robert De Niro as Jake La Motta, was an astonishing film about one man’s rise and fall in the boxing world. It also contained the most brutal boxing scenes ever put to film.
Tyson’s life, while at times controversial, is the perfect story for Scorsese and his trademark rise and fall scenarios, so the as yet un-titled film could not have wished for a better director.
Still without a studio, it looks like the Tyson film is being pitched to Paramount, so we may here more on this soon.
Here is what Variety reported last year when the film was first announced:
As one of the most polarizing figures in sports, producers are eager to tackle Tyson’s life story. Known for the power and ferocity he displayed in the ring, Tyson became not just the top boxer at the end of the ’80s but one of the most popular sports figures, with a rough around-the-edges personality he displayed both in and out of the ring.
After losing his heavyweight title in 1990 following the upset loss to Buster Douglas, Tyson’s life began to spin out of control, including a six-year stint in prison after being found guilty of rape. Tyson returned to boxing but never quite returned to form, and became more known for his losses to Evander Holyfied (a match which made headlines when Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear) and Lennox Lewis.
After leaving boxing in 2005, Tyson still had hurdles to overcome, such as his 2003 bankruptcy and the death of his young daughter. In recent years, he has kept out of trouble.
He premiered a one-man show in Vegas in 2012 that he later took to Broadway with the help of Spike Lee and released a memoir “Undisputed Truth” that made the New York Times bestseller list.
Though it’s unknown exactly which parts of Tyson’s life Winter will focus on, he has plenty of material to cover over the past 30 years. HBO tackled the story before with the 1995 pic “Tyson” starring Michael Jai White, but no one has tried to adapt his story as a feature film, though boxing is a popular sport for films.
Foxx played Muhammad Ali’s corner man Dwight “Bundini” Brown in “Ali” and also cocky quarterback Willie Beamen in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday.” Winter, on the other hand, is no stranger to taking on controversial figures after receiving an Oscar nom for adaptation on Wall Street bad boy Jordan Belfort’s life in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”