8/11/2011

Dreamworks passes on Antoine Fuqua/Eminem boxing flick, Southpaw

Movies about the sweet science of boxing always make the best sports movies. Whether it be The Fighter, or something lesser in scale like Play It To the Bone, there's just something awesome about two men locked in mortal combat against eachother with no help, nobody blame but themselves for failure. And right now is probably a hot time for these types of movies. The Fighter did great at the Oscars last year, and the Joel Edgerton/Tom Hardy MMA pic, Warrior, looks amazing(seeing it tonight!!). There was one more boxing flick that had caught my eye, and that was Southpaw, which had been set to star rapper Eminem, along with Antoine Fuqua(Training Day) to direct.

The film was first mentioned last December, with writer Kurt Sutter(Sons of Anarchy) and Eminem as part of an overall package. The story would have been basically 8 Mile with mouthpieces and ring girls, with the rappper playing a fighter who claws his way to the top while tragedy destroys everything else in his life. Dreamworks snapped up the film quickly, but in a surprise move has decided to pass on it without any explanation given.

Production was aiming for a January start date, and with all the pieces basically in place it likely won't be long before another studio picks it up. The question is how in the heck Fuqua will fit it into his busy schedule. He's got everything from Chinese epics, to 2pac biopics, to Las Vegas crime flicks on the table right now. And is it possible that audiences will be sick of fight films by the time Southpaw would have been released? Maybe that's why Dreamworks made their decision?[Deadline]