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Ang Lee to use 3D to recreate one of the greatest boxing matches ever

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For those who were disappointed by Mayweather vs. Pacquiao (and who wasn’t?), Ang Lee just might have the antidote.

The Life of Pi director has been trying to get in the ring for a long time now, but his 3D “Thrilla in Manila” project stagnated at Universal and was starting to look like it might be abandoned entirely. According to The Wrap, however, the project has moved to Studio 8, and it looks like it will get off the mat before it’s counted out.

For the uninitiated, the Thrilla in Manila is the nickname Muhammad Ali coined for his third, tiebreaking fight with rival boxer Joe Frazier. Frazier defeated Ali in the pair’s first showdown, but Ali came back and won the second, leading to a decisive third bout. We won’t spoil the upcoming film for you if you don’t know who won, but suffice it to say, the fight was an all-time classic.

There have been no offers made as of yet, but David Oyelowo (Selma) and Ray Fisher (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) are the front-runners to play Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali respectively.

Shooting a boxing film in 3D makes an awful lot of sense and could help audiences feel more immersed in the action going on in the ring. That said, we’re not sure if we really want to feel like we’re in there taking punches from Ali and Frazier. Sounds … painful.

This is isn’t just run of the mill 3D we’re talking about, either. Lee’s vision for the film is reportedly ambitious enough that he put the project aside to make Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, since the technology he intended to use wasn’t yet up to snuff.

This early news sounds promising, but the film is still untitled and has yet to set a release date. We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available but, in the meantime, feel free to check out the entire Thrilla in Manilla bout for free below. If you’re a fan of the sweet science, it’s most definitely worth an hour of your time.

Adam Poltrack
Adam is an A/V News Writer for Digital Trends, and is responsible for bringing you the latest advances in A/V…
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