When it rains, it pours: Screen International brings word that Ray Winstone, Johnny Harris, Michael Smiley and Paul Weller are primed to weigh into the ring for a new, yet-to-be-titled boxing drama. It’s the development in a long line of genre films, following in the footsteps of the soon-to-be-released Creed, Hands Of Stone, Chuck Wepner biopic The Bleeder and Miles Teller’s Bleed For This.
Yes, the boxing drama is very much in vogue once again in Hollywood circles, and this time it’s Thomas Napper stepping behind the lens to helm the aforementioned cast. It’ll herald the filmmaker’s directorial debut, too, having carved out a niche for working as second unit director on the likes of Anna Karenina, The Woods and many more.
Penned by Johnny Harris himself, Napper’s untitled boxing flick is loosely based on the actor’s own sparring experiences of yesteryear. He’ll topline the drama as Jimmy, a man out of luck and out of love who stumbles back to his old boxing club, crossing paths with its hardboiled owner Bill (Winstone) and respected cornerman Eddie (Smiley).
On paper, it reads similar to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Southpaw, charting a familiar riches-to-rags-to-riches arc only with less melodrama. There’s no word yet on who Paul Weller will play in the finished feature, though there’s still plenty of time for his part to be revealed before Napper gets the cameras rolling in early February or March.
Ray Winstone, meanwhile, can be next seen in Ericson Core’s Point Break remake.