×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Red Bird flies with Sugar Ray movie

Boxer's life to be documented in new film

Kevin Pollak’s Red Bird Cinema is putting a Sugar Ray Leonard biopic into development, with production expected to start early next year.

Leonard was one of the leading boxers of the 1970s and early ’80s, winning several WBC and WBA championships and a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He’s one of only two boxers to have been world champion in five different weight classes.

“I have been approached many times in the past regarding my life story, and I believe Red Bird Cinema has the perfect group of collaborators to give my story the right voice,” Leonard said.

H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger (“Friday Night Lights”) is writing the script. Redbird’s already developing Bissinger’s book “Three Nights in August” — centered on a three-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs in 2003 — with Pollak having adapted the book into a screenplay. Bissinger has also written “A Prayer for the City.”

Pollak’s partners in year-old Red Bird are producer John Loar and the St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.

Banner is partnered with Sandlot Venture Group, a new investment company focused on film production, to help provide the financing for the Leonard project.

Sandlot is launching a $25 million private equity fund with a development and production model intended to provide financing in the entertainment sector.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Daughter-of-Rage

    Laura Baumeister Brings San Sebastian Winning Project ‘Daughter of Rage’ to Morelia

    Already backed by a four-way production partnership spanning Nicaragua, Mexico, the Netherlands and Germany, Laura Baumeister’s debut feature project “Daughter of Rage” swept three of the four prizes on offer at San Sebastian’s 8th Europe-Latin America Co-production Forum this year. Now the project heads to Morelia, where Baumeister has been with short films in the [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    China Halts Release of Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

    Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has had its upcoming China theatrical release put on hold. It was set to hit theaters in the Middle Kingdom on Oct. 25. It had received previously received its release approval from Chinese censors. But an exhibitor source told Variety that the movie has been “temporarily put [...]

  • Some Beasts

    San Sebastian New Directors Winner Jorge Riquelme on ‘Some Beasts,’ Screening at MIA

    Jorge Riquelme Serrano’s sophomore feature “Some Beasts” has impressed since sweeping Toulouse’s 35th Films in Progress in March and premiering its final version in San Sebastian’s New Directors section where it once again notched top honors. Riqeulme writes, produces – with his company Laberinto Films – directs and edits his films, so its no surprise [...]

  • Hide-and-Seek

    ZDF Enterprises Unveils New International Slate in Rome

    ROME – ZDF Enterprises is continuing its push into high-end international drama series by tapping into new territories, introducing two new projects at the MIA market on Thursday that were produced in Ukraine and the Netherlands. “Hide and Seek” (pictured), an 8 x 50’ crime noir series produced by Ukraine’s FILM.UA, and “Echoes,” a 10 x [...]

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Disney and Tencent to Put Out New Chinese ‘Star Wars’ Story

    Disney and China’s biggest online publisher, Tencent’s China Literature, have teamed up to develop a new Chinese “Star Wars” online novel and release 40 older e-books in Chinese for the first time. In an attempt to cultivate grass-roots enthusiasm for a franchise that has not yet managed to find a strong foothold in the world’s [...]

  • A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

    Film Review: 'A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon'

    No asteroids are hurtling toward Earth in “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon,” though a flying frozen pizza does softly slice the top off an elderly shopper’s hairdo: That’s roughly the level of quirky peril we’re talking about in the latest outing from Aardman Animations, and as usual, the British stop-motion masters cheerfully prove that [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content