×

Jerry Ferrara to Play Boxer Arturo Gatti in Biopic (EXCLUSIVE)

Michael Strahan is producing with Mark Wahlberg exec producing

Jerry Ferrara looks ready to show off his boxing skills and will play boxer Arturo Gatti in an untitled biopic.

Nicknamed “the Thunder,” Gatti was a two-time world champion boxer who went 40-9 over his 15-year career. His infamous battle with Micky Ward spanned three fights, all of which were  voted fight of the year by Ring Magazine.

Gatti died under controversial circumstances in 2009 when Brazilian authorities originally declared his death a homicide and charged his wife with the crime before deeming it a suicide. The Gatti family had a separate investigation into the matter and their private coroner declared his death a homicide.

Michael Strahan is producing the pic, along with his producing partner Constance Schwartz of SMAC Entertainment, Sandy Kyrkostas of 24p Media Group, and Pat Lynch. Lynch, who managed Gatti throughout his career and knew him better than anyone.

“I’m extremely excited to be able to tell Arturo’s true life story,” Lynch said. “He was more than just my fighter, he was so much a big part of my family.”

Mark Wahlberg (who actually played Ward in “The Fighter”) and Stephen Levinson are exec producing.

Popular on Variety

“I’m excited to be a part of making a film about an incredible champion, boxer, character, and someone that deserves to have their story told in the right way,” Strahan said.

Ferrara is also signed on for the indie drama “The Life.” With both projects Ferrara, who is known primarily for his role on TV’s “Entourage,”  is starting to show more of a dramatic side in his career.

The Gatti role would also show Ferrara’s athleticism. The thesp has recently been Tweeting about his training, even mentioning hurting his hand during his preparation and hinting at the role by sharing a famous quote from Gatti.

Aside from the “Entourage” movie, which is in limbo, Ferrara has stayed busy in the feature world. He co-starred in the hit comedy “Think Like a Man,” which already has a sequel set to bow in June and co-stars with Michael Douglas and Robert De Niro in “Last Vegas.” He also has a role in Universal’s “Lone Survivor” and recently wrapped production on the indie “The Life.”

He and Wahlberg are repped by WME and Leverage Management. Strahan is repped by WME and SMAC Entertainment.

More Film

  • SAG Awards 2020: What You Didn't

    SAG Awards 2020: Charlize Theron to "Parasite," What You Didn't See on TV

    Brad Pitt made a crack about his marriages. Robert De Niro got political. And Jennifer Aniston talked about appearing in a commercial for Bob’s Big Boy. Those were just some of thing that happened on stage at the SAG Awards that were broadcast on TNT/TBS on Sunday night. However, Variety was inside the Shrine Auditorium [...]

  • Will Smith and Martin Lawrence star

    'Bad Boys for Life' Triumphs on MLK Weekend With $73 Million Launch

    “Bad Boys for Life” has given a jolt to the North American box office, blasting past forecasts with a $73.4 million opening over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. The third iteration of the Will Smith-Martin Lawrence action comedy franchise will finish the Friday-Monday as Sony Pictures’ biggest R-rated opening ever and the industry’s [...]

  • Laurene Powell Jobs

    Laurene Powell Jobs Invests in Davis Guggenheim's Concordia Studio

    Oscar-winning director Davis Guggenheim and Jonathan King are launching Concordia Studio in partnership with Laurene Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective. Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, founded social change organization Emerson Collective in 2004. Emerson Collective became the majority owner of the Atlantic in 2017 and made an investment in 2018 in Reese [...]

  • Jumbo

    Noémie Merlant on Sundance Player 'Jumbo,' Feature Directorial Debut 'Mi Lubita'

    French actor Noémie Merlant plays a young woman who falls in love with a funfair ride in Zoé Wittock’s “Jumbo,” which is screening in Sundance’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Variety spoke to her about the film, and her debut feature as director “Mi Lubita.” Merlant is viewed as one of the most promising actors of [...]

  • Under the Stars of Paris

    Claus Drexel on 'Under the Stars of Paris,' and Prostitution Documentary 'The Amazons'

    One of the widest-selling titles at the UniFrance Rendez-Vous, a showcase of French cinema that wraps Monday, is Claus Drexel’s “Under the Stars of Paris.” The French-German speaks to Variety about the pic and his upcoming prostitution documentary “The Amazons.” “Under the Stars of Paris” centers on a homeless woman – played by Catherine Frot [...]

  • Farewell Movie 2019

    Why 'The Farewell' Flopped In China

    “The Farewell” has flopped in China with a dismal $261,000 opening weekend gross, and a cumulative of $580,000 so far, once again proving the difficulty of creating content that resonates equally on both sides of the Pacific — even when a story is set in China, features Chinese talent, and unfolds primarily in Mandarin. Although [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content