Robert De Niro And Edgar Ramirez Step Into The Ring For Hands Of Stone

In case you did not know, Robert De Niro is no stranger to the boxing ring. A little movie entitled Raging Bull solidified that one. And now he is set to stand at the sidelines and give his wealth of experience to a Edgar Ramirez, as they both sign on for boxing drama Hands Of Stone.

Ramirez will be Roberto Duran, a boxer who began fighting in 1968 and only retired, at the age of 50, in 2002. Duran defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 (same year as Raging Bull, everyone!), but bowed out of the November rematch by returning to his corner with the words ‘no mas’ (no more). And it is that fight that the film will focus on, according to Hands Of Stone director Jonathan Jakubowicz. The film will attempt to answer the question of just why Duran chose to stop.  The ‘no mas’ fight did not end Duran’s career, but it remains an interesting enigma in an interesting career.

De Niro, meanwhile, will play Duran’s trainer Ray Arcel, in a role that Al Pacino was initally set to take on. As we all know, when you cannot get Al Pacino, you get Robert De Niro.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I always enjoy seeing Robert De Niro in roles where he’s unlikely to parody himself. Despite the undoubted connections between one of De Niro’s more iconic roles and Hands Of Stone, he’s not going to be a posturing parody of Jake LaMotta here.

However, we will get something like that when De Niro faces off against Sylvester Stallone in Grudge Match, a sports comedy from director Peter Segal (Tommy Boy, Get Smart). I do not know how I feel about that one.

So Hands Of Stone looks interesting. Ramirez’s major claim to English-speaking fame right now is his role in Zero Dark Thirty – although we cannot overlook his turn in Carlos, now can we? Between him and De Niro, this one should turn out to be pretty interesting.

The film will begin shooting in Panama this Spring. What do you think of the casting for Hands Of Stone? Exciting? Let us know in the comments.