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Garcia Bernal to play boxing champ Duran

Ben Silverman, Jay Weisleder to produce 'Hands' biopic

Gael Garcia Bernal will star as five-time world boxing champ Roberto Duran in “Hands of Stone.”

Al Pacino is circling the role of trainer Ray Arcel, and Spanish thesp Oscar Jaenada is attached to play a key role.

The $15 million biopic will be produced by Ben Silverman and Jay Weisleder. Paul Webster of Shine Pictures, an arm of Elisabeth Murdoch’s company, will executive produce.

Los Angeles-based Venezuelan helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz will helm and produce the pic from his own screenplay. Duran’s son, Robin Duran Iglesias, is an associate producer.

Roberto Duran made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title — but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying “no mas” (no more).

“The infamous ‘no mas’ fight is the biggest enigma in the history of boxing. This movie will answer that enigma,” said Jakubowicz, who recently returned from helming part of HBO Latin America’s 13-episode action skein “Profugos” in Chile.

Hands of Stone” (title is Duran’s nickname) will shoot mainly in English in Panama, where Duran was born, and New York next spring.

Silverman said, “I’m thrilled that Gael Garcia Bernal is to play legendary fighter Roberto Duran. This is a dynamic story that will have an impact.”

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