Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw Revived By The Weinstein Company
For a while there back in 2011, it looked like we might get to see Eminem in a boxing movie, which would have definitely been the final check on a lot of people’s bucket lists. Since that time, Eminem fully returned to his music career, and the boxing movie, Southpaw, went down for an 8-count.
But not a 10-count, as the LA Times reports the Southpaw has been picked up by The Weinstein Co., which has seemingly snatched up every movie it can get its hands on these last few weeks. The film, which moved from Dreamworks to MGM before this recent acquisition, has retained the directing talents of Antoine Fuqua, whose jam-packed upcoming schedule could keep Southpaw in cinematic purgatory for at least another year or two, though Fuqua says he and members of Weinstein’s staff have met up to have casting discussions and that the project might actually begin production this year. Eminem, sadly, is no longer attached.
Southpaw tells the tale of a left-handed boxer who rises to the top of the sport while his personal life bottoms out, and he must overcome personal tragedies to win back the love of his daughter. It sounds like generic sports film schmaltz, but the screenplay was written by Sons of Anarchy’s Kurt Sutter, so my guess is that the sentimentality will still retain a razor sharp edge. And anyway, it’s not as if it’s really a sports movie anyway, right?
“It’s about boxing but it’s not about boxing,” says Confucius, er, Fuqua. “The heart of the movie is about a man learning to be a father.” I’m a sucker for boxing movies, even as the sport gets increasingly overshadowed by the no-holds-barred world of MMA fighting, but I’m pretty sick of movies that celebrate the redemptive paths that estranged parents take to win their children back. What happened to movies about the dads who weren’t shitty people for the first dozen years of their kids’ lives?
Fuqua’s next film Olympus Has Fallen hits theaters March 22, so expect to hear quite a bit more about Southpaw as the director makes the press junket rounds. That is, when he’s not answering questions about Chicagoland, Steel Town, Storming Las Vegas, his Showtime documentary about Suge Knight, his untitled Chinese historical epic, or rumors of a 24 movie.
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