Mark Wheaton to write first authorized take on boxer's life
Morris S. Levy’s Mega Films has landed a heavyweight to pen the first authorized Rocky Marciano biopic.Mark Wheaton has signed on to script “Undefeated: The Rocky Marciano Story,” a bigscreen indie drama that follows the legendary boxer from childhood through his 49 winning fights to his 1969 death in a plane crash. Wheaton, best known for scripting the Kristen Stewart-toplined Screen Gems thriller “The Messengers” and the story behind 2009’s “Friday the 13th” reboot, will include never-before-revealed details given to producer Levy by the fighter’s younger brother and occasional sparring partner, Lou Marciano. “Wheaton was so passionate and had such a great handle on boxing and the era,” said Levy. The scribe will have access to rare articles, memorabilia and more than 600 pages of notes on the late boxer’s life from Lou Marciano, who will receive a story credit. “Rocky Marciano came along at a time when the sport of boxing was going through monumental changes,” said Wheaton, who explained that factors like the advent of televised fights, the rising influence of organized crime and the monopoly of the Intl. Boxing Club of New York make Marciano’s rise from a one-punch neighborhood fighter to never-defeated heavyweight champion a fascinating story in sports. Levy plans to attach a director to “Undefeated” when Wheaton completes his script in late fall. Principal photography, including location shooting in the fighter’s Brockton, Mass., hometown, is slated to begin next year. Levy is exec producing James Toback’s upcoming feature doc on the film finance world, “Seduced and Abandoned,” starring Alec Baldwin. Under his Mega Films banner, Levy produced “The Ten” starring Paul Rudd, the Rosario Dawson-toplined “Descent” and Kevin Asch’s now-filming “Affluenza” with Samantha Mathis and “Glee” star Grant Gustin. Wheaton is repped by Verve, Kaplan/Perrone and attorney Stewart Brookman. Lou Marciano is repped by attorney John Daniels. Levy is repped by attorney John Hughes.