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Blades Joins Duran Biopic ‘Hands of Stone’ (Exclusive)

Musician-actor gets in the ring with De Niro, Ramirez for boxing pic

Panamanian singer-composer-actor Ruben Blades joins Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez in “Hands of Stone,” Jonathan Jakubowicz’s upcoming biopic on boxer Roberto Duran.

The Emmy- and Grammy award-winning Blades, who will portray Duran’s manager Carlos Eleta, had put his music career on hold for five years to fill the post of Panama’s tourism minister, but returned to entertainment in 2009; most recently, he was in 2012’s “Safe House” with Denzel Washington and is in the upcoming Ridley Scott pic “The Counselor.”

Ramirez plays Duran, who rose from the slums of Panama to become a world-class boxer.

De Niro plays Ray Arcel, the first boxing trainer to be elected to the boxing hall of fame.

Jay Weisleder and Jakubowicz of La Piedra Films are producing “Hands of Stone.” Claudine Jakubowicz, Carlos Garcia de Paredes and Ben Silverman serve as executive producers. Helmer-scribe Jakubowicz is best known for “Secuestro Express,” a depiction of crime on the streets of Caracas, Venezuela which became a blockbuster in Venezuela.

Hands of Stone” will shoot on location in New York and Panama, where it will be the first international pic to benefit from the new Panama Film Law, which offers 15% cash rebates to foreign shoots.

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