If there was ever any doubt that Hollywood is bringing the boxing film back in vogue – 2015 has already served up Jake Gyllenhaal’s Southpaw, not to mention the soon-to-be-released Creed – one need only look to the genre pieces arriving over the next year or so. Not only can fans look forward to the Miles Teller-fronted Bleed for This, but there’s also The Bleeder, an upcoming drama that focuses on the rip-roaring career of Chuck Wepner.
Picking up the gloves and hand tape as the lead fighter is Liev Schreiber, and Deadline reports that Mad Men alum Elisabeth Moss has boarded the starry project as Wepner’s second wife. She’ll join a cast that includes Naomi Watts – Schreiber’s real-life wife, incidentally – who will play the part of the boxer’s third wife, Linda, with each significant other coming in at a crucial part of Wepner’s life.
As the everyman who took the fight to sporting legend Muhammad Ali in ’75, Wepner’s career in the ring underpinned 2011’s documentary film The Real Rocky, explaining the life and times of the volatile sportsman who went on to earn the nickname The Bayonne Bleeder – hence the title.
As for The Bleeder itself, Jeff Feuerzeig is penning the script, with help from Jerry Stahl (Bad Boys II) and Michael Cristofer (Casanova). Philippe Falardeau is behind the lens for this one, and will look to round out the troubled life of Chuck Wepner – the former US marine was arrested several times – beyond the moment he rocked the boxing world when he knocked down Ali in 9th round of their title fight.
The Bleeder has now locked down Liev Schreiber, Elisabeth Moss and Naomi Watts, and we expect to hear word of a release date soon.