To me, boxing movies will always be the ultimate sports movies. "One man against the world" and all that. But, last year saw two boxing biopics square off and neither one was all that great. There was Edgar Ramirez as Roberto Duran in Hands of Stone, and Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza in Bleed for This. Both were solid but unspectacular. There was another such drama making the rounds on the festival circuit, the Liev Schreiber-led film, The Bleeder, and after an unfortunate name change it finally has a trailer ahead of release next month.
Now titled Chuck (Zzzzzzzz), this is yet another biopic on a fighter who overcame the odds to challenge for the gold. In this case, Wepner nearly went fifteen rounds with World Champion Muhammad Ali, even knocking the champ down at one point. There were rumors Wepner was the inspiration for Rocky Balboa but Sylvester Stallone has long denied it.
In a neat little factoid that ties Wepner in to my beloved WWE, he actually fought Andre the Giant in 1976 and lost by count out when the behemoth threw his ass out of the ring. Here's hoping they put that in the movie.
Directed by Philippe Falardeau, Chuck opens May 5th and co-stars Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss, Ron Perlman, Jim Gaffigan, Michael Rapaport, and Pooch Hall as Muhammad Ali.