In the past two years alone, moviegoers and boxing fans in particular have found themselves a little spoilt for choice. We’ve had Bleed For This, Hands of Stone, Southpaw, Creed and Philippe Falardeau’s gripping biopic The Bleeder, all of which debuted in theaters to varying degrees of success and critical acclaim. The latest addition to the crowded sports genre hails from Thomas Q. Napper, who is primed and ready to make his directorial debut with Jawbone.
We use the term ‘directorial debut’ quite loosely in this instance, as Napper has garnered a metric ton of experience working as second unit on Atonement, Into the Woods and Bill Condon’s upcoming Beauty and the Beast remake, and will soon be serving up a sporting comeback story with added British grit. Also starring Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, and Michael Smiley, Jawbone follows Johnny Harris’ washed-up champ Jimmy McCabe, who returns to the one place in the world where he really felt at home: the ring. Cue the Rocky-styled training montage and Jimmy laying his life on the line. Then again, although Napper’s feature film debut does include many of the tried-and-tested tropes of the boxing film, Jawbone looks set to deliver something relatively fresh in an otherwise crowded genre.
Jawbone will make its world premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival on February 25th, before making the jump into UK theaters on March 17th. Napper’s directorial debut is still, at the time of writing, in search of U.S. distribution, but we’ll be sure to notify you if and when that changes.
A former youth boxing champion, Jimmy McCabe (Johnny Harris), is a man desperately in search of hope, but looking in all the wrong places. When he hits rock bottom he turns to his childhood boxing club and the only family he has left: gym owner Bill (Ray Winstone) cornerman Eddie (Michael Smiley) and promoter Joe (Ian McShane). In a battle between fear and faith, Jimmy risks his life, as he tries to stand tall and regain his place in the world.