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It would seem that Robert De Niro has gotten bit by the pugilist bug as of late. While the actor is best known for his role in Raging Bull - the only performance to win him Best Actor at the Academy Awards - he recently completed shooting Grudge Match against fellow boxing movie veteran Sylvester Stallone, and now he's lined up another fighting pic, this time alongside Edgar Ramirez.
Deadline reports that the two actors have signed on to star in Hands of Stone, a new boxing drama from writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz about famed fighter Roberto Duran. While Ramirez will be playing Duran, De Niro will portray trainer Ray Arcel and the story will focus on "how each man changed the life of the other." Production is scheduled to begin in September in Duran's home country of Panama.
For those not up on their boxing history, Duran is considered one of the greatest of all time and fought during the same time as greats like Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. Over the course of his career he fought in 119 boughts and won 103 of them, 70 of which by knockout. The movie will largely focus on his time in the ring with Leonard, particularly the notorious fight in November 1980 when Duran quit during the eighth round, calling out to the referee "No mas" ("No more" in Spanish). The site doesn't mention who will play the notable opponent.
Said Jakubowicz about the film, "The infamous 'No Mas' fight is the biggest enigma in the history of boxing. This movie will answer the enigma, with the best talent any director can possibly dream."
While Grudge Match won't be out until the fall, De Niro will next be seen in the romantic comedy The Big Wedding - which is due out later this month. Ramirez, meanwhile, was recently seen in Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, and most recently completed production on director Alberto Arvelo's drama Liberatador.