Boy, it sure is great to be in the month of February, where movies like I, Frankenstein and That Awkward Moment are a part of our past. Granted, it’s a very recent past, as both films are currently still in theaters, but we’re grateful nonetheless. Stars from both of those movies will soon come together to create what will hopefully be a late fall release, as Aaron Eckhart and Miles Teller are attached to join Bleed for This, a boxing biopic that Martin Scorsese will oversee as executive producer. That’s a good thing, right?
Bleed for This will follow the tumultuous life of world champ Vinny Pazienza, with Teller inexplicably taking on the lead role. The way THR explains it, the film will focus on the Pazmanian Devil’s 1991 car accident that nearly killed him and his career, as well as his somewhat miraculous return to the ring only a year later. He wasn’t supposed to walk again, but a heavy gym regimen and help from his legendary trailer Kevin Rooney (Eckhart) allowed him to continue a career that would last another twelve years.
This will be the third feature for director Ben Younger, who also penned the screenplay. His previous films include 2005’s romantic drama Prime and 2000’s Boiler Room, which was based on the life of Jordan Belfort (who also served as the subject of Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street).
While I have no strong feelings for or against Eckhart playing Rooney, I’m a little bothered by Teller playing Pazienza. He’s mostly known for his comedic work, and even if his recent Sundance hit Whiplash gives him more dramatic weight as an actor, it still doesn’t mean he’ll exude the Italian machismo that Pazienza so effortlessly put forth. I’m willing to be blown away by surprise, though.
Interestingly enough, two of Pazienza’s more memorable fights include defeating an older Roberto Duran, who is getting his own biopic with Jonathan Jakubowicz’s Hands of Stone, with Édgar Ramírez as Duran. It would be pretty amazing if these films met at a crossroads that linked them together.
Teller, who gained acclaim with last year’s The Spectacular Now, will soon become omnipresent as the Divergent series enters our lives, along with the comedies Two Night Stand, involving an unwanted second date as dictated by a snowstorm, and the long delayed, R-rated Get a Job, which follows college kids seeking employment. Eckhart, meanwhile, has Incarnate, the first thriller from Journey 2 director Brad Peyton, and the upcoming thriller Fadeout expected to hit in the next year or so.
All this talk about boxing has gotten you in the mood to see a classic fight, am I wrong? While it’s too bad we can’t watch I, Frankenstein and That Awkward Moment come to blows, below you can watch Pazienza taking on Roy Jones, Jr. in their classic 1995 bout. No spoilers, but the fourth round is a boxing anomaly.