Michael Clarke Duncan and S. Epatha Merkerson have signed on for director-writer-director Kent Moran’s upcoming boxing drama The Challenger. The film centers on a struggling Bronx auto mechanic (Moran) who is forced back into boxing after he and his mother are evicted from their home and is helped by a legendary trainer (Duncan). Justin Hartley (Smallville), Ernie Sabella (The Lion King) and Lindsay Hartley (All My Children) will round out the cast. Moran’s production company, Wishing Well Pictures, will wholly produce Challenger, which began filming this month in New York City. Duncan, an Oscar nommed for his role in The Green Mile opposite Tom Hanks, currently appears in Fox’s crime drama The Finder. Merkerson received multiple awards for her role as Rachel “Nanny” Crosby in the 2006 HBO miniseries Lackawanna Blues. APA reps Duncan.