Variety reports that Jamie Foxx has agreed to play heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson in an untitled biopic expected to be written by Terence Winter (“Boardwalk Empire,” “The Sopranos,” “The Wolf on Wall Street”).
There aren’t many other details, but without question, this is one of the greatest sports stories to not have a movie, up there with Roberto Clemente’s life story and the NBA’s eventual acquisition of the ABA (“Semi Pro” does not count). (There was a documentary done on Tyson in 2008, but really, this was well before many amazing events happened in his life, including the tragic death of his daughter, and his redemption into an intriguing, sober and well-liked celebrity.
Foxx first started out on the TV show, “In Living Color,” where he played numerous characters, but none were more memorable than Wanda. I still have bad dreams about this. Foxx, of course, went on to more TV shows and film, where he eventually won an Oscar for playing Ray Charles in “Ray,” back in 2004.
It remains to be seen where Tyson’s life story will rank among the best boxing movies. The “sweet science” has more movies made about it than any other sport, but there have been plenty of stinkers, as well. Will Smith’s portrayal of Muhammad Ali in “Ali,” was fantastic, but the movie itself just didn’t do it.
While you’re waiting for the new Tyson movie to arrive to your local theaters, here are five excellent boxing movies you might not have seen.
5 Boxing Movies To Watch Now
1. “The Hammer” – Adam Carolla starred in this movie, and while it sounds like it might be a sophomoric romp through the rings with girls on trampolines, this was actually a sweet movie that followed the life of an amateur boxer. It is certified fresh on RottenTomatoes.com, with an 80-percent score.
2. “The Fighter” – “Irish” Micky Ward is played by Mark Wahlberg, with Christian Bale winning an Oscar for his performance as Micky’s brother, Dicky Eklund. This movie ended just before the first of three famous bouts against Arturo Gatti. Wahlberg is now in the midst of producing a movie about Gatti, who will be played by Jerry Ferrara (Turtle from “Entourage,” also a Wahlberg production).
3. “Cinderella Man” – One of the reasons boxing is so great cinematically is because the characters are so often tragic. James Braddock, played by Russell Crowe, stars in this movie about a down-and-out boxer in the 1930s. Just a great, underrated movie.
4. “Snatch” – This follows the unscrupulous side of boxing, directed by Guy Ritchie. This has become a nice cult classic, which will make you also want to watch “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Brad Pitt’s part as a piker in this is just awesome. Jason Statham is the star of this movie, and it’s tough to not enjoy him.
5. “The Champ” – Jon Voight stars as the champ, with Faye Dunaway at his side. A young, pre-“Silver Spoons” Ricky Schroder plays his son … Spoiler Alert: Watch this while cutting onions, so you have something to blame the crying on.
Hopefully, the new Mike Tyson movie starring Jamie Foxx will rank among the best boxing movies of all time – and not among some of the stinkers, like the later Rocky movies.