Back in the summer of 2014 it was announced that the actor famous for channeling Ray Charles, Jamie Foxx, would attempt to bring his talents to a wholly different kind of celebrity, starring as former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. But the already intriguing project has become even more so with news that celebrated filmmaker Martin Scorsese will direct the movie.
Foxx revealed Scorsese’s involvement with the film during a recent radio interview, and described the surreal scenario that developed when he pitched the project to Paramount Pictures.
“Listen, to be in the same room pitching Mike Tyson to Paramount, Mike Tyson is on one side, I’m on the other side and doing Mike Tyson at the same time,” recalled Foxx. “And Martin Scorsese at the helm. This will be the first boxing movie that Martin Scorsese has done since Raging Bull.”
The Tyson biopic is being penned by Oscar-nominated The Wolf of Wall Street and Boardwalk Empire writer Terence Winter, who collaborated with Scorsese on the former film. The film is expected to use visual-effects techniques similar to those used in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button to allow Foxx to portray Tyson at various stages of his life and career.
And as Foxx mentioned, the film will be a return to the ring of sorts for Scorsese, who directed the Oscar-nominated 1980 film Raging Bull, which earned star Robert DeNiro an Academy Award and garnered seven additional Oscar nominations.
The upcoming film won’t be the first inspired by “Iron” Mike Tyson’s rise to fame, and subsequent fall from grace. A 1995 HBO biopic called Tyson cast Michael Jai White in the title role. There’s no word yet on when Scorsese’s biopic will arrive in theaters.