Liev Schreiber has been killing it with his hit SHOtime TV series, Ray Donovan, now up for a fourth season. In the meantime, his career in film is moving forward as well as he’s also set to appear early next year in YA sci-fi epic, The 5th Wave.
Before then, the actor will begin filming in New York City with wife and actress Naomi Watts for the new boxing drama, The Bleeder, from Mandalay Sports Media and Campbell Grobman Films with Oscar-nominated director Philippe Falardeau (The Good Lie, Monsieur Lazhar) at the helm. Schreiber will produce and star from a script by Jeff Feuerzeig, Jerry Stahl and Michael Cristofer, based on the life of New Jersey Liquor Salesman-turned-underdog heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner whos upset defeat by Muhammad Ali in 1975 – ultimately encircled much of his career height and dissolve, and incidentally became the root of inspiration for the multi-award winning movie, Rocky starring Sylvester Stallone.
The news comes ten years after Feuerzeig and producer Mike Tollin bought the rights to Wepner’s life ahead of the 2011 documentary, The Real Rocky, which Feuerzeig directed. The news also reportedly marks five years since Schreiber expressed huge interest upon being reported for the role.
Also producing are Carl Hampe, Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman with Jeff Rice executive producing.
Stay tuned for more info!
Courtesy of Regan Arts
Ronda Rousey is having a most epic year so far. Well into a fruitful career as a mixed-martial arts champion now 12-0 after defeating challenger Bethe Correia over the weekend at UFC 190 in just 34 seconds, the currently-reigning bantamweight champion is also managing a lucrative career as a film actress with three titles to her name, including her 2014 debut in The Expendables 3, and this year’s releases of the movie adaptation of HBO’s Entourage and the blockbuster success of James Wan’s Furious Seven.
Her success is so far chronicled in My Fight/Your Fight, her new book published back in May as it discusses her time competing in Olympic judo up to her status now as a top-tier professional fighter. Such a resume has often spoken of prospects leading to my own questions on social media among others about who could possibly star in a biopic about Rousey‘s life. Dare I say I among a likely many fans and folks alike saw today’s news coming with word from THR that Rousey will be starring in, as well as producing a feature film adaptation of her book with a script by executive producer Mark Bomback, and Mary Parent also producing.
Mile 22 is also in the cards for Rousey which brings her together with Lone Survivor star and director Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg, and The Raid 1 and 2 star Iko Uwais. Of course there are other titles in the works as well and though they aren’t being mentioned in the headlines as of late, they’re still worth looking out for.
Keep an eye out for more details!
Sons Of Anarchy star, actor Charlie Hunnam is preparing to show off his Muay Thai chops according to a new report from ScreenDaily with news on the pending production of A Prayer Before Dawn. The news comes as one in a batch of recent casting headlines in the last several months which also include a potential lead role in Guy Ritchie’s forthcoming King Arthur film saga and the recently-announced Pacific Rim 2.
The past year saw a grave loss of a few notable, memorable and iconic film figures of the martial arts and film industry as a whole, including the passing of action cinema arbiter and late kung fu cinema legend Lau Kar-Leung.
Before passing away on June 25 last year at the age of 78, the late master Lau earned his acclaim in part through the shared legacy of his kung fu lineage through his father’s training under Wong Fei-Hung disciple Lam Sai-wing. In the following years, this would ultimately take his own training from the age of seven into a lucrative career as a teacher, a stuntman and rising film figure through Shaw Brothers studios in the 1960’s and 70’s, and evidently it didn’t stop there.
These articles of Lau‘s stellar history in the world of kung fu cinema could be part of what is now being formulated for a potential autobiographical feature film according to forwarded reports from Yahoo! Singapore. The update comes on the heels of this year’s events over at the Hong Kong Book Fair where author, former actress and Lau‘s spouse for 29 years until his passing, Mary Jean Reimer (a.k.a. Yung Jing Jing) who was on hand to promote her new book “Dangerous People” spoke to the press about this latest development.
“When Master Lau was still alive, he asked me to help him fulfil this wish,” Reimer said. “I even have someone in mind to portray him; a young man with a movie background.”, the latter quote being a statement to previous potential casting choice, Fearless and True Legend co-star Jacky Heung Cho before the idea rescinded due to Lau‘s diminishing health at the time.
“I might as well be writing a script first instead of a book about my husband,” said the former actress, who appears to be intended on helping make this film a reality. So I guess it’s safe to say this is only a matter of time, while it could take years to develop as we await official word from a studio or another trade news organization closer to the potential project.
I suppose the big question now is how one would go about cinematically approaching Lau‘s story? Will Reimer‘s vision see something more spectacular with what we have seen in films like the Ip Man movies? Or will we see a more contemplative adherence similar to Wong Kar-Wai’s approach to biographical storytelling in The Grandmasters? Or more importantly, will we see Rise Of A Legend helmer Roy Chow board the project considering his new film shares its protagonist’s legacy with the late great Master Lau? Or will Reimer direct it herself?
All speculative, yes, I know. But it’s well worth the chatter in my humble opinion. Chat away.
For what it’s worth, those who have seen director Martin Scorsese’s 1980 Oscar-winning classic, Raging Bull, are about to get an unofficial follow-up from director Martin Guigui titled The Bronx Bull, based on the events of co-author and former boxer Jake LaMotta. The film took a while to come through as producers were forced to dissociate the new film from the first movie with said title upon settling all legal differences in court with MGM, who own the rights to first refusal for a sequel, after the studio filed a detailed lawsuit nearly two years ago to stop the film from happening under its previous title, Raging Bull 2.
There’s no release date planned as of yet, but we do get to see a trailer for the time being. And for stunt aficionados, fans can look forward to what the film offers in its boxing sequences, courtesy of stunt coordinators Larnell Stovall (Undisputed 3) and Arnold Chon (Arena).
*Just so you know, some websites have already posted the trailer with a few being sent cease and desist notices to take it down. It’s been several hours now, so hopefully with the trailer having gone viral, I can leave my article here with a decent embed for your own viewing pleasure. However, if it disappears, you know why.
Based on the tumultuous real-life experiences of legendary boxing champion Jake LaMotta, “The Bronx Bull” is a dramatic and stylized biopic with an outstanding ensemble cast. Chronicling LaMotta’s violent childhood, to his rise as a world-class boxer, through his life after leaving the ring, “The Bronx Bull” offers an unflinchingly honest look into the heart of a champion. Veteran character actor William Forsythe (“The Rock,” “Boardwalk Empire”) stars as the enigmatic fighter, while Paul Sorvino (“Goodfellas”) plays his father. Also starring Joe Mantegna (“Criminal Minds”), Tom Sizemore (“Saving Private Ryan”), Penelope Ann Miller (“The Artist”), Natasha Henstridge (“Species”), and Ray Wise (“Robocop”).
It was back in February of last yearthat QED International and Groundswell Productions announced their backing of a new Bruce Lee biopic titled Birth Of The Dragon. The film’s announcement couldn’t have come at a better time last year as a new Bruce Lee statue was unveiled in California, in addition to a star-studded screening of Enter The Dragon at the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences, and a special exhibition launched at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum attributed to the Jeet Kune Do master and martial artist 40 years after his passing.
On Friday, it was officially announced that The Adjustment Bureau helmer George Nolfi will be directing the film, which will center on a story inspired by the historic closed-doors fight between Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man at a time when the Hong Kong Triads were prominent in San Francisco. Nolfi‘s writing credits also include Timeline (2003), Oceans Twelve (2004) and The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Written by Nixon and Ali scribes Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen Rivele the film will be told from the perspective of Steve Mackin, once a student of Lee who ultimately joins forces with Lee and Wong to take on vicious Chinatown gangsters.
Wilkinson and Rivele are producing with Janice Williams, QED founder and CEO Bill Block, and with Groundswell CEO Michael London. Kelly Mullen is executive producing for QED. Birth Of The Dragon will begin rolling cameras next Spring.
The twenty million dollar question is, now who will play Bruce Lee? We’ll find out eventually. And I know once I do, I’ll pass it on.
From a producer of Rain Fall and Battle of a Warrior, comes a new epic film about the rise of Mongol Emperor, Genghis Khan, as he builds an empire that spans most of Asia in Kingdom of Conquerors arriving on DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital HD and Video on Demand March 18 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Director Wang Ping (Soul of the Sword) delivers the action-packed film that stars Asian Film Award winner Yu Shaoqun (Shaolin) and Geng Le (Shanghai Calling). Hailed by critics as “a fascinating historical anecdote” (Variety), the Kingdom of Conquerors DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $26.98.
After initially being censored from premiering at this year’s 39th Annual Metro Manila Film Festival due to “excessive violence”, it appears the circumstamces have changed, and now writer and director Chito S. Roňo is now getting the chance to debut his new biopictoral action crime drama, Boy Golden: Shoot-To-Kill. After previously starring in the 2011 award-winning thriller, Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, actor ER Ejercito returns center stage as the lead in his second role as another historical crime figure, now centered around the life and times of 1960’s notorious Filipino gangster, Arturo Porcuna, a.k.a. Boy Golden, who eventually met his demise at the hands of a group of assassins nearly fifty years ago this week. The film is also the latest of two notable titles centered on Porcuna’s life-the other being Daniel Zialcita’s Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna, which won a FAMAS award in 1978 for Best Director.
Other than that, the entire thing is pretty much a re-broadcast of the teaser that many viewers of the teaser from several yeara ago have already seen: Tony Leung Ka-Fai in character, battling a dozen or so baddies in the rain in the dark of night amidst a whirlwind of total Wing Chun smacketh down.
Beyond Hollywood recently forwarded a new trailer to promote the premiere of Ip Man: The Final Fight at this year’s Hong Kong International Film Festival. The trailer features a more different tone than can be seen in previous trailers, illustrating the latest directorial take on Ip Man’s life and legacy from filmmaker Herman Yau with a little more subtlety and charisma than a grim and dramatic actioner.
The film will be titled Birth Of The Dragon and will take place in 1965 San Francisco, with a plot that sets up a larger focus where Bruce Lee, a purveyor of Wing Chun at the time, and Wong Tak Man unite to take on the Triads, with the story to tie into their brutal one on one private match which later defined Lee’s career as a martial artist.