CANNES — Hisami Kuroiwa, the New York-based producer of “Smoke,” has announced an October start date for her new production, “The Legend of Pig Eye,” directed by Lauren Lee and starring David Morse and Vivian Wu.

Set in rural Mississippi, the drama centers on a former ace boxer who mentors a hungry young fighter, and a Chinese woman who threatens to derail their rise in the competitive boxing world. Director Lee scripted, based on a short story by Rick Bass.

Morse, who starred in Sean Penn’s “The Indian Runner” and “The Crossing Guard,” will play the retired boxer; Jared Leto of “Prefontaine” is in negotiations for the role of his protege. Wu was previously seen in Peter Greenaway’s “The Pillow Book.”

“This is not just a boxing film, it’s a love story and an exploration of the human soul,” Kuroiwa said.

Kuroiwa also was executive producer of “Bent,” screening at Cannes in the Intl. Critics Week, as well as Sundance Festival main prize-winner “Sunday,” which is playing here in Un Certain Regard.

“The Legend of Pig Eye” will be co-produced by George Lavoo and German outfit Peter Rommel Prods. French cinematographer Pierre Aim, who shot Mathieu Kassovitz’s “Hate,” has signed on as d.p.

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