EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company and director Antoine Fuqua have added a little ring credibility to their boxing pic Southpaw. Former world welterweight champion boxer-turned-actor Victor Ortiz has been added to a cast that has Jake Gyllenhaal starring with Rachel McAdams and Forest Whitaker. Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter wrote the script. Ortiz signed on to portray Ramone, a flyweight kid from the streets with real sparring potential. The character parallels Ortiz’s own rags-to-riches story of rising from childhood as a foster kid, to brawling his way to the championship belt in 2011. It’s the second significant role for Ortiz, who makes his feature film debut later this summer as one of the Young Expendables in Expendables 3. He was personally selected for the role by Sylvester Stallone. Shooting on Southpaw just began in Pittsburgh. Ortiz is repped by Gersh, The Syndicate, Xtreme Couture Management and lawyer Chad Christopher at Stone Meyer.
Kaitlyn Dever Joins ‘The Greens Are Gone’; Miguel Gomez Cast In ‘Southpaw’; Richard Cabral Books ‘Blood Father’
Kaitlyn Dever has been cast in director Peer Pedersen’s drama The Greens Are Gone. Catherine Keener stars as the matriarch of a dysfunctional family who’s pushed to her limits by the disappearance of her son (Anton Yelchin). Dever will play a bipolar teenager. Her credits include TV’s Last Man Standing and Justified and features The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12. She next appears in Men, Women & Children. Dever is repped by UTA and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.
Miguel Gomez has booked a role in director Antoine Fuqua’s boxing feature Southpaw. Written by Kurt Sutter, the pic stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an up-and-coming fighter who loses everything in a moment of rage and has to start from the bottom to get his life back. Gomez will play his ring rival Miguel “Magic” Cantu. His credits include Louie and The Domino Effect, and he next will be seen in FX’s upcoming drama The Strain and the feature Pacific Standard Time. Gomez is repped by Greene & Associates, manager Eli Selden and Jackoway Tyerman.
Richard Cabral has joined the cast of Blood Father for director Jean-Francois Richet. Mel Gibson stars as an ex-con who reunites with his estranged daughter to protect her from Mexican mobsters. Cabral will play Joker, a tough enforcer for the Mexican Mafia. …
EXCLUSIVE: Southpaw, the long-gestating Kurt Sutter-scripted drama about a fighter who tries to overcome adversity to recapture glory, is finally getting close to the start line. I’m hearing that The Weinstein Company and director Antoine Fuqua have made Rachel McAdams their choice to play the female lead alongside Jake Gyllenhaal, with Forest Whitaker in talks to play the boxing trainer who tries to guide his fighter back after his world is shattered by personal tragedy. It sends him on a downward spiral and puts his young daughter in a bad spot. I’m hearing TWC is courting 12 Years A Slave Oscar winner Lupita Nyong‘o to play the social worker watching out for the kid. Alan Riche and Peter Riche are producing with Todd Black and Jason Blumenthal. Fuqua has brought his Equalizer scribe Richard Wenk on for a rewrite.
EXCLUSIVE: Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) has chosen his next film. He will direct Southpaw, the drama written by Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter set in the boxing world. Jake Gyllenhaal is now set to star as a welterweight champion who rises in his profession while his personal life falls apart. The picture, financed by The Weinstein Company, will start before the cameras this summer. Fuqua was looking at a number of projects to helm but decided on Southpaw, and his deal closed last night. Still to cast is the other lead, Titus ‘Tick’ Willis, a former fighter who was forced to retire after losing an eye and was on his way to becoming a pro trainer but retreated after his son was killed. This is a movie that could include some breakthrough performances as the script plays to cultural diversity.
The project is being produced by Fuqua, Alan Riche and Peter Riche. Gyllenhaal is currently in production on Everest alongside Josh Brolin, Emily Watson and newcomer Clive Standen (Vikings) for Emmett/Furla and Universal. He last starred in the critically-acclaimed Prisoners and in Enemy which opens later this month in limited release via A24. The actor also stars in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler which does not yet have a distributor. Fuqua is repped by CAA, Gyllenhaal is repped by WME.
EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has thrown in the towel on Southpaw, the boxing drama that has Eminem returning to the screen for the first time since 2002′s 8 Mile, and Antoine Fuqua directing a script by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter. The plan was to start in January. DreamWorks’ Stacey Snider, who worked closely with Eminem and his team on 8 Mile while she ran Universal, basically gave the project back to the filmmakers to set up elsewhere and that’s what they are trying to do. Maybe DreamWorks was concerned the market is crowded with brawler films after The Fighter and the upcoming Gavin O’Connor-directed mixed martial arts drama Warrior, or maybe the studio’s cautious after its big bet on Cowboys & Aliens didn’t pay off. (I’m sure it’s coincidence that Snider once unplugged the Fuqua-directed version of American Gangster before putting the picture back together with Ridley Scott). But given the appetite of a crop of distributors looking for wide release product, I’d be surprised if this one, which is fully packaged, doesn’t get off the canvas quickly.
EXCLUSIVE: DreamWorks has made a preemptive acquisition of Southpaw, a pitch for a star vehicle for Eminem (Marshall Mathers) that will be written by Sons of Anarchy creator/exec producer Kurt Sutter. Like in Eminem’s 2002 screen starring debut 8 Mile, Southpaw will be fueled by the struggles that inform Eminem’s music and mirror his life. Eminem will play a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to tragedy. The movie is about his fight to reclaim past glory.
The pitch was bought in the room by DreamWorks co-chairman/CEO Stacey Snider, who got first crack because she championed 8 Mile when she was Universal Pictures chief. The film will be produced by Eminem’s Shady Films’ managers and producing partners Paul Rosenberg and Stuart Parr, and Alan and Peter Riche of Riche Productions. The deal comes as Eminem’s comeback album, Recovery, just got 10 Grammy Awards nominations.
Sutter, who just completed the third season of his FX series, said the project was borne out of his observation of Eminem’s struggles. “I took meetings with Marshall’s producing partners over the past 7 years, looking for something to do together,” Sutter told me. “I know he’s very selective and doesn’t do a lot. But he shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest album, one that I connected with on a lot of levels. He is very interested …