There may not be a better screenwriter working on biographical films today than Peter Morgan, the scribe behind The Queen, Frost/Nixon, The Last King of Scotland and The Other Boleyn Girl.
Currently, critics are giving the writer rave reviews for his latest script, Ron Howard’s racing film Rush, and he is also on tap to pen the highly anticipated Freddie Mercury biopic. As if he had not covered enough history, Morgan is now attached to write the screenplay for Ang Lee’s untitled boxing film, about the legendary bouts between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
Lee is coming off Life of Pi, a global blockbuster that boasted some of the most lush use of 3D in recent cinema history. His upcoming collaboration with Peter Morgan will also be 3D heavy and incorporate the technology to make the audience feel as if they are pouncing with the fighters inside the ring. It could be a gruelling, visceral experience for viewers, since the punches are bound to fly furiously.
Peter Morgan recently revealed to The Daily Mail that new footage will be edited together with archival video. With the screenplay for the Mercury biopic being fast-tracked, he also said that the story is now in its early stages and likely won’t be in a draft format until later next year.
Meanwhile, just imagining the director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon taking on the Thrilla in Manila (which was the third and final boxing match between the legendary opponents) is making me float like a butterfly. And with an ace screenwriter attached, this could be a major Oscar contender come 2016.
Now that there is awards potential behind this film, who would you cast to play either Muhammad Ali or Joe Frazier?