EXCLUSIVE: If you love sports films like I do, here is one that has knockout potential. Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez have signed on to star in Hands Of Stone, a drama written and to be directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Boxing fans will know where we are going from the title. Ramirez will play champ Roberto Duran. De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel in a drama that focuses on how each man changed the life of the other. It is set during boxing’s Golden Era, when Duran was among top notch fighters including Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho, Vinny Pazienza. Duran fought them all and won 103 of his 119 fights. The focus will be on the Panamanian boxer’s incredible brawls with Leonard, culminating in an inexplicable ending of the famous fight where Duran quit in the ring and cried “No mas,” on a night when Leonard was having his way. That was a terrible ending to a rivalry that was everything depicted by De Niro in Raging Bull, when Jake LaMotta had those classic brawls with Sugar Ray Robinson. This was back when boxing mattered, and well before it got eclipsed by mixed martial arts fighting, which is way more accessible to the public and more smartly run than is pro boxing. CAA is handling domestic rights on the film.
Taking on another real-life role, Carlos star Edgar Ramírez will play Simón Bolívar in the biopic Libertador. Danny Huston, María Valverde, Imanol Arias and Billy Elliot‘s Gary Lewis also star. Venezuelan helmer Alberto Arvelo, who directed Ramírez in his last feature Cyrano Fernandez, is working from a script written by Children Of Men scribe Timothy J. Sexton.
Bolívar was instrumental in Latin America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. Told from his point of view, the film traces his quests, epic military campaigns and vision to unify South America.
L.A. Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who’s also the artistic director of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, is scoring
Kathryn Bigelow’s Bin Laden Movie Looking To Add Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong And Edgar Ramirez To Killer Cast
EXCLUSIVE: While the Republicans keep kicking Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal’s Bin Laden movie around like a political football, Annapurna Pictures and Sony Pictures are ready to get the mission underway. I’m told that Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong and Edgar Ramirez are circling to join the previously discussed ensemble cast of Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton and Chris Pratt.
The drama portrays Navy SEAL Team 6′s long hunt for the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. Osama Bin Laden was finally killed in a covert mission last year. Reports today assert that the Pentagon will investigate charges made by Rep Peter King that Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker tandem Bigelow and Boal somehow got inside information about the mission from the Obama Administration in preparing the script. This saber rattling hasn’t affected the film’s progress: the script is now finished and the film is going forward. Sony Pictures has dated the film for release on December 19, deliberately steering clear of the Presidential Elections.
The prospect of Chastain joining the Bin Laden film has cast doubt on whether she will star alongside Tom Cruise in Universal’s Oblivion, which shoots in March. They apparently are trying to work out dates, but two informed sources tell me it looks dicey at the moment that she’ll do Oblivion. Chastain, who today was announced as star of a revival …
Edgar Ramirez last starred in the Olivier Assayas-directed Carlos, for which he won the Cesar Award for Best Male Newcomer. The Venezualan-born Ramirez also starred in The Bourne Ultimatum and is currently shooting the sequel Wrath of the Titans alongside Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson. Ramirez, who had been repped by WME, remains with Impression Entertainment and attorney Bob Wallerstein.
EXCLUSIVE: Edgar Ramirez has been offered the role of Ares, the God of War, in the sequel Wrath of the Titans, which Jonathan Liebesman will direct for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures. I’m told he’s on the verge of making a deal to star opposite Sam Worthington. Ramirez got Golden Globes and SAG Award nominations for his breakout performance as terrorist Carlos the Jackal in the five and one-half hour Olivier Assayas-directed biopic Carlos. Unfortunately, Ramirez won’t be in Oscar contention, the film deemed ineligible because it aired on the Sundance Channel before it was released in theaters by IFC. The Venezuelan actor also played a memorable assassin in The Bourne Ultimatum. He’s repped by WME and Impression Entertainment.