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Boxers like Jake LaMotta and Muhammad Ali have had their stories told on the big screen, and apparently now it's Sugar Ray Robinson's turn. A new biopic based on Wil Haygood biography Sweet Thunder: The Life And Times Of Sugar Ray Robinson is now in development and it has been revealed that actor David Oyelowo is attached to star.
Deadline says that the project comes from producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball) and screenwriter/executive producer Danny Strong (Game Change) and is currently using a script written by Haygood. They are currently searching for a director, and depending on who is found Strong could do a draft of the screenplay as well. Apparently Strong, Oyelowo and Haygood were brought together on Lee Daniels' The Butler, which is based on an article that Haygood wrote and Strong adapted (Oyelowo is starring in the movie as the titular character's son).
Sugar Ray Robinson, who first started fighting professionally in 1940, is considered by many to be the greatest fighter of all time and finished with a record of 173-19. The new movie, titled simply Sweet Thunder will focus on the early part of Robinson's career when he was trapped in lower boxing classes due to his unwillingness to parter with organized crime and throw fights for profit.
Oyelowo, wowho also worked with Daniels on this year's The Paperboy, will next be seen in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, which will be followed by Christopher McQuarrie's Jack Reacher. He is currently in production on Cynthia Mort's Nina, a music biopic about pianist Nina Simone. That film co-stars Zoe Saldana and Mike Epps.