Grudge Match is the next in a long line of self-referential films from iconic stars, but this one has the chance to be more than usually iconic. The film pits Robert DeNiro and Sylvester Stallone against each other as two aging boxers meeting again 50 years after they fought each other for the title. If you don’t know why that pairing is iconic, you apparently don’t like movies.
Grudge Match is a comedy, though, and comedies are not exactly Stallone’s forte. In fact, he’s never really poked fun at his Rocky persona. Director Peter Segal (Anger Management, Get Smart) says that Stallone really got into the spirit of the thing, despite being a little nervous to begin with. DeNiro is no stranger to self-reference, or to comedy, though I do not think there’s a film that references his Raging Bull performance so directly.
This latest image from Grudge Match gives us a chance to see our two iconic boxers together, flanked by their teams and promoters, which include Alan Arkin and Kevin Hart. The boys actually look pretty good for elderly gentlemen boxers.
What we would like to know is who wins the fight between Jake LaMotta and Rocky? According to Segal, three different endings have been shot for Grudge Match, including one in which both boxers … die? Really? OK, that’s kind of a downer for a comedy.
Kim Basinger and Jon Bernthal round out the cast of Grudge Match, which will premiere in the US on Christmas Day. We can expect the first trailer to hit any day now, so keep an eye on this page. Until then, you can check out the latest still below.
What do you think of the potential of Grudge Match? Does it sound like it depends too much on the personas of its stars, or can you see it working with these two heavyweights in the lead roles? Let us know in the comments below.