Jamie Foxx is set to play Mike Tyson in "uncomfortable" biopic
Mike Tyson, now 51 years old, has come to that familiar part of any iconic sportsman's life: the point where they get their own biopic. The former professional boxer dominated the sport from 1985 to 2006, winning 50 of his 58 professional bouts, with 44 of them by knockout.
Known as 'The Baddest Man on the Planet', 'Kid Dynamite' and most commonly 'Iron Mike', he has lead a colourful life to say the least. While he was the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title at 20 years old, reigning undisputed for a number of years, he is perhaps best known for how his ferocious style often overflowed the strictures of the sport, such as the time he bit off a chunk of Evander Holyfield's ear in 1997.
From his childhood living in a high-crime neighboorhood in Brooklyn, New York, to the height of his career becoming the world heavyweight champion, there's plenty for a movie to explore. This wouldn't be the first time he's brought his life to forefront for the benefit of the audience, as the boxer starred as himself in The Hangover and performed a one-man show in Las Vegas, then Broadway, then touring the country.
Speaking in Vegas, Tyson confirmed that movie was on its way to the big screen, and they had decided on the actor to play his younger self. "It's on, as of right now," the boxer explained, "Jamie Foxx has signed on for it. Filming hasn't started yet but it's going to happen".
Foxx isn't a stranger to the biopic, as he played legendary musician Ray Charles in the 2004 film Ray, for which the actor won an academy award. According to The Sun, who spoke to a source close to the movie, it's "Jamie's dream to play him":
"Jamie went to a couple of sessions with his trainer in the gym for this movie. He looked quite good throing a few jabs and crosses against the pads. But when he tried a bit of sparring, he didn't fare so well. He took a couple of hooks and walked out. He knows if he wants to play Iron Mike then he needs to improve that side of his game"
"Mike knows it is Jamie's dream to play him and they have talked about gym work and how he could put him through his paces. The only thing is that if they go sparring and Mike connects, Jamie may never make any movie again"
There are some elements of Tyson's life that will be difficult to bring to the big screen, if they are mentioned at all. He was convicted of rape in 1992, a crime he plead not guilty to despite corroborating evidence and witnesses testimonies. He was sentenced to six years in prison, but served less than half of the sentence before he was released.
"A lot of people aren't going to like the things I've done in my life," Tyson stated, and said some will find the movie "uncomfortable". Not much else is known about the project, but it has been reported that Martin Scorsese is to be involved in the film in some capacity, likely as a producer.