Jake Gyllenhaal Will Be Antoine Fuqua's Southpaw
For years, Antoine Fuqua has been trying to get Southpaw off the ground. The low budget boxing film was a passion project, and with Eminem attached to star it seemed like Fuqua had a greenlight. But that greenlight never came, and while the director attracted a sea of leading men to the project, it remained without support. Earlier last year The Weinstein Company got onboard, however, and you sensed that momentum had gathered.
And now, they have a picture. Fuqua’s leading man is Jake Gyllenhaal, according to Deadline, and it’s set to be Fuqua’s next movie. Gyllenhaal would play a welterweight champion with a personal life in shambles who attempts to punch his way back to the top of the sport. The one-time Prince of Persia is coming off the success of Prisoners and has a diverse collection of roles on the docket, including the survival drama Everest and the crime drama Nightcrawler.
Fuqua, meanwhile, is riding something of a hot streak. His Olympus Has Fallen was a massive hit last year, and his latest film is The Equalizer, which is apparently already drawing sequel talk. For awhile, the director looked like a one-trick pony, treading off the success of Training Day for years as he burned studio money on underperformers like Tears of The Sun and Shooter. His best film was ultimately Brooklyn’s Finest, a tense potboiler centered around an array of cops and criminals in New York City. Made independently, it allowed him to test his chops on a smaller budget, working with a cast that included Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes and Don Cheadle, all actors eager to cut their teeth on something good. Check it out below.
Apparently there’s another lead role to be cast. The script calls for Totus "Tick" Willis, a retired champ who tries to become a trainer but ultimately opts out due to the death of his child. Deadline referencs "cultural diversity" here, which means that this is likely an older black or Hispanic actor to pair with Gyllenhaal. There was a similar dynamic at play in End Of Watch, where Gyllenhaal worked side-by-side with Michael Pena, and that could be the sort of back-and-forth they’re pursuing here.
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