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Hollywood loves a good biopic, but for both advertising and the film’s sake, executives tend to green light the more controversial stories first. Such is the case with the rumored biopic of Mike Tyson, starring Jamie Foxx and to be directed by the legendary Martin Scorsese. Foxx himself hinted at the possibility of the project back in 2014, confirming himself in the leading role as well as the involvement Scorsese and Wolf of Wall Street writer Terence Winter. But that was three years ago, and there has not been much chatter about the project since… until now.
Mike Tyson himself reportedly confirmed that Jamie Foxx has signed on and the project "is on." "Filming hasn’t started yet but it’s going to happen," Tyson told The Jasmine Brand. "A lot of people aren’t going to like the things I’ve done in my life."
This is the only source of information about Tyson's comment, and there have been no official announcements on the biopic as of yet. Foxx’s publicist could not be reached for comment.
But in a January interview with Screen Rant, Jamie Foxx seemed to confirm that the movie is a go. The exchange goes as follows:
Screen Rant: Speaking of getting punched, one of the most polarizing lives of the past thirty years has been Mike Tyson. I know you were attached [to a biopic of Tyson], what’s the update on that?
Jamie Foxx: That is a go.
Screen Rant: It’s a go? Martin Scorsese’s still attached?
Jamie Foxx: Yeah, he’s attached, and it’s—Mike Tyson’s life is one of the most amazing American stories.
This is exciting news, especially when you start imagining what a team of this caliber could achieve with such a complicated story. To help your imagination run wild, here’s Jamie Foxx detailing what would be the opening scene of the Mike Tyson movie in a 2015 interview with Hot 97.
Of course, although it would be great to see Foxx, Scorsese and Winter work on a project together, Mike Tyson’s life is a particularly complicated story to tell. The former heavyweight boxing champion was raised in Brooklyn and was the protégé of legendary trainer Cus D’Amato, but his personal life is full of less than savory details. Tyson’s 1992 conviction for rape, for which he spent three years in prison, is a main source of contention for anyone who deals with his influence in popular culture, so the movie would surely have to grapple with that reality.
If this Mike Tyson biopic is indeed a go as Foxx says it is, Scorsese would have to find time for the movie in his schedule, which is already rumored to be quite busy. Warner Bros. are reportedly working with the director to produce a Batman origin story that would exist outside of the current DC Extended Universe; this would be a dark, gritty story and having Scorsese’s name attached could be a tool to lure the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio to play the Joker.