Alan Arkin & Kim Basinger Join Stallone and De Niro's 'Grudge Match'
Get Smart director Peter Segal has been attached to direct the boxing film Grudge Match for the better part of two years now, and though Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro were only rumored to star back then, they've since confirmed that they'll head back into the ring as former prizefighters who step back into the ring one more time after they fought for the title 50 years earlier. Yep, it's Rocky Balboa vs. Jake LaMotta. Warner Bros. greenlit the project last month and cast Kevin Hart as the boxing promoter, and now The Playlist and Variety have two more names added to the cast: Alan Arkin and Kim Basinger.
Arkin will play "Lightning" Louis Epstein, the former trainer of Harry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone). Sharp takes a fight against his old rival Billy "The Kid" McGuigan (De Niro) to pay for Epstein's escalating medical bills, and he busts Epstein out of a nursing home and gets him to be his trainer once again. Basinger will play one of Sharp's former lovers who, naturally, doesn't like the idea of him getting back in the ring.
One of my biggest quibbles with Ben Affleck's Argo was that Arkin didn't have more screen time, and even though he was great in that movie, hopefully he'll get a bit more to do here. Basinger hasn't made much of a mark in the past decade or so (Cellular, anyone?), and unfortunately this sounds like she'll be playing just another nagging female stereotype that seems to always pop up in boxing stories. We'd like this film to be more than just a gimmick, but we'll have to wait until we find out a little more before we make that call.