Having already played the corner man to one of the greatest boxers of all-time, Jamie Foxx looks ready to get back in the ring to portray one of the most recognizable boxers and sports figures of this generation.
Sources tell Variety that Foxx is attached to play Mike Tyson in an untitled biopic that Terence Winter is set to pen. Rick Yorn, who is Foxx’s manager, is shepherding the project and will produce.
The package is still coming together and is currently without a studio, but once the final details are ironed out and it is presented to the market, it shouldn’t be hard to interest a distributor.
As one of the most polarizing figures in sports, producers are eager to tackle Tyson’s life story. Known for the power and ferocity he displayed in the ring, Tyson became not just the top boxer at the end of the ’80s but one of the most popular sports figures, with a rough around-the-edges personality he displayed both in and out of the ring.
After losing his heavyweight title in 1990 following the upset loss to Buster Douglas, Tyson’s life began to spin out of control, including a six-year stint in prison after being found guilty of rape. Tyson returned to boxing but never quite returned to form, and became more known for his losses to Evander Holyfied (a match which made headlines when Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear) and Lennox Lewis.
After leaving boxing in 2005, Tyson still had hurdles to overcome, such as his 2003 bankruptcy and the death of his young daughter. In recent years, he has kept out of trouble.
He premiered a one-man show in Vegas in 2012 that he later took to Broadway with the help of Spike Lee and released a memoir “Undisputed Truth” that made the New York Times bestseller list.
Though it’s unknown exactly which parts of Tyson’s life Winter will focus on, he has plenty of material to cover over the past 30 years. HBO tackled the story before with the 1995 pic “Tyson” starring Michael Jai White, but no one has tried to adapt his story as a feature film, though boxing is a popular sport for films.
Foxx played Muhammad Ali’s corner man Dwight “Bundini” Brown in “Ali” and also cocky quarterback Willie Beamen in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday.” Winter, on the other hand, is no stranger to taking on controversial figures after receiving an Oscar nom for adaptation on Wall Street bad boy Jordan Belfort’s life in “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Foxx can be seen next in Sony’s reboot of “Annie.” He is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment. Winter is repped by CAA and is currently working on the final season of HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”