Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua has been steadily working to bring fighting drama Southpaw to the big screen since way back in 2011, when Eminem was attached in the lead role. The musician/actor left the project later, but Fuqua stuck around as Jake Gyllenhaal came aboard as a scrappy fighter on his way to becoming a welterweight champion. Now, Southpaw is closer to filming than ever, and The Weinstein Company is eying a talented trio of actors for major supporting roles.
We previously heard that Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) was in talks to play the main character’s trainer, a former fighter himself. It doesn’t look like a deal has been reached yet, but the actor is still in talks, and it’s expected he’ll join the film soon. News has also emerged that TWC and Fuqua are looking at Rachel McAdams (About Time) and Lupita Nyong’o (an Oscar winner for her debut in 12 Years a Slave) for supporting roles.
McAdams is set to play the lead female character, who is involved in a romance with Gyllenhaal’s protagonist. A lot of the film charts his downward spiral as he’s rocked by personal tragedy, so McAdams will likely either play the love he lost or a new character who helps him emerge from his slump.
Meanwhile, Nyong’o is coming aboard as a social worker who bonds with the daughter of Gyllenhaal’s character, who has suffered as a result of her father’s reckless behavior. It sounds like a strong, dramatic role for the actress, who has been red hot ever since her Oscar win for 12 Years a Slave.
Kurt Sutter, the creator of FX’s Sons of Anarchy, penned the script, so it’s safe to say that Southpaw will blend its feel-good underdog story with a large helping of grimy, gritty realism. Richard Wenk, who last worked with Fuqua on this fall’s action thriller The Equalizer, has been tapped to do rewrites, so Southpaw will probably shoot this summer at the earliest.