Cuba steps into ‘Boxer’

Thesp to play contract killer in Daniels' directorial debut

Cuba Gooding Jr. is starring opposite Helen Mirren in Lee Daniels’ indie pic “Shadowboxer.”

Ryan Phillippe was originally cast as the lead but had to drop out of the project due to a scheduling conflict.

Mirren and Gooding will play a mother-stepson team of contract killers. Pic centers on the pair’s unusual relationship, which is both romantic and lethal.

“Shadowboxer,” Daniels’ directorial debut, was written by “Monster’s Ball” co-scribe Will Rokos.

Gooding, who recently signed with UTA, is currently the voice of Buck in Disney’s animated pic “Home on the Range.”

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