With The Equalizer in the can, set for a late 2014 release, Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) has been busy looking for his next project. Now, it seems that he has officially settled on a film that has been on his radar for a while – the long-gestating Southpaw, which will star Jake Gyllenhaal.
As the story of a rising welterweight boxing champion who enjoys continued professional success while his personal life disintegrates, Southpaw was originally conceived by Kurt Sutter (creator of Sons Of Anarchy) as a vehicle for Eminem (Marshall Mathers). As Deadline reported in late 2010, DreamWorks co-chairman/CEO Stacey Snider acquired the project after championing 8 Mile as head of Universal Pictures. Sutter explained that it was inspired by the struggles Eminem had endured:
“He shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest album – one that I connected with on a lot of levels. He is very interested in the boxing genre, and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl.”
Having developed as “a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of (Eminem’s) life,” Antoine Fuqua announced his interest in the project in the summer of 2011. The movie then seemed to stall, however, with no further progress being made until this week when Gyllenhaal and Fuqua were confirmed.
Southpaw will be produced by Kurt Sutter, Alan Riche (Starsky And Hutch) and Peter Riche, and will hopefully head into production later this year. We’ll keep you posted when we hear more.