Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson will star in “Resurrecting the Champ,” the Rod Lurie-directed drama.
The Yari Film Group is co-producing with Phoenix Pictures. Filming begins June 19 in Calgary.
Hartnett will play a young reporter who finds a homeless man who he thinks is a famous former boxer. But the fighter, with whom he has developed a close relationship, proves not to be the former champ.
Pic will be produced by Bob Yari, Mike Medavoy, Arnold Messer, Brad Fischer and Marc Frydman.
Eight years ago Phoenix optioned a series of articles written by Los Angeles Times reporter J.R. Moehringer.
Lurie said he auditioned for the writing job at that time, but the gig went to Allison Burnett. Lurie, who subsequently directed “The Contender” and created ABC’s “Commander in Chief,” got the last word, rewriting the script.
“The article made me cry and this is a wonderful story of fathers and sons and the honesty between them,” Lurie said.
Hartnett, who stars in the Weinstein Co. release “Lucky Number Slevin,” has wrapped the Brian De Palma-directed “Black Dahlia.” Jackson just finished “Snakes on a Plane” and “Black Snake Moan,” the Craig Brewer-directed drama.