Ang Lee’s Boxing Pic Lands at Studio 8; David Oyelowo Circling Joe Frazier Role

After failing to get off the ground at Focus, Ang Lee’s untitled boxing film revolving around the classic Thrilla in Manilla fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali has found a new home at Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8, sources tell Variety.

While there is no offer yet, sources are also telling Variety that David Oyelowo is the choice to play the role of Frazier in the pic.

Peter Morgan penned the most recent draft and James Schamus is currently attached to produce. The production timeline is currently unknown as Lee is currently wrapping up post on his next film, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” at Sony.

The film will dive into the world of boxing in the 1970s when Ali and Frazier were the kings of their sport and boxing had reached a peak in popularity.

As for Oyelowo, while an offer is pending, sources say he is Lee’s top choice to play the boxing heavyweight and Oyelowo is very interested in stepping into Frazier’s shoes. Oyelowo is coming off his Emmy-nominated role in HBO’s “Nightingale” and was most recently seen in “Captive.” He most recently shot “United Kingdom” with Rosamund Pike.

Lee is repped by CAA. Oyelowo is repped by CAA, Inphenate and Hamilton Hodell. Deadline Hollywood first reported Studio 8’s part in the project.

More Film

  • The Great Hack (2019) - pictured:

    Film Review: 'The Great Hack'

    When I was growing up, we learned that the moral cornerstone of the First Amendment — the very essence of it — is that it’s about protecting the speech you don’t like. If the Nazis aren’t allowed to march in Skokie (a major test case in the 1970s), then a treacherous principle gets laid down: that [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Columbia Pictures claims the top spot in spending with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Ads placed for the drama had an estimated media value of $5.71 million through Sunday for 997 national ad [...]

  • Circus of Books

    Outfest Film Review: 'Circus of Books'

    Rachel Mason grew up believing that her parents ran a small bookstore in Los Angeles. She wasn’t entirely mistaken, although the naive young woman — then an artsy teen, now a documentary filmmaker — never imagined that, as her mother Karen bluntly tells her on camera, “at one point, we were probably the biggest distributor [...]

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content