Billy Bob Thornton Joins the Boxing Drama Pound for Pound
by Ethan Anderton
August 21, 2009
If there's one genre that has consistently reeled in audiences, but remained mostly unchanged for decades, it's the sports drama. Athletes facing adversity and overcoming obstacles to an inspirational soundtrack never fails to warm our hearts. While the most common of these sports tales is that of the struggling football team, perhaps the second most popular sports arena lies within the boxing ring. THR reports that Billy Bob Thornton will be the next actor going the rounds in Pound for Pound, an indie boxing drama from F.X. Toole, the same author responsible for the book that was adapted into Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby.
The story focuses on the intersection of two character's lives: a widowed former boxer (Thornton), recently depressed from the loss of his grandson in a fatal car accident and a young up-and-coming Latino boxer who comes from a very rough background. With regards to the similarities this story may share with the wholly depressing Million Dollar Baby, producer Leslie Greif says, "this is a dark story but with a life-affirming, hopeful ending." So even though this movie won't make me want to kill myself, I'm not entirely sure that we need another boxing film at this point. Plus with The Fighter going into production, do we need another?
Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, and Play It to the Bone director Ron Shelton, who is also directing a golf comedy called Q School, will write and direct Pound for Pound. The project is aiming to start shooting in the first quarter of 2010. So stay tuned for more updates and additional casting details as they arrive.