Robert De Niro & Edgar Ramirez Land 'Hands of Stone' Boxing Drama
by Ethan Anderton
April 9, 2013
Over two years ago, Al Pacino and Gael Garcia Bernal were attached to a boxing drama called Hands of Stone, a film about five-time world boxing champ Roberto Durán. Bernal was playing Duran while Pacino was slated to be his trainer Ray Arcel. However, last spring, we missed a report about the cast switching up and Robert De Niro taking Pacino's role instead. Now Deadline reports De Niro is still attached (we're not sure if names like Usher, Ryan Kwanten and Michelle Rodriguez are still involved), but Duran will now be played by Edgar Ramirez (Zero Dark Thirty) when the film shoots in Panama this fall.
Panama-born Roberto Durán made his professional boxing debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying "no mas," and eventually quitting the sport entirely. It was a sad end to a career that saw him become one of the most respected international fighters in the ring. That pinnacle, career-ending fight will be the crux of the story as Venezuelan-born filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz, who also wrote the script, says,"The infamous 'no mas' fight is the biggest enigma in the history of boxing. This movie will answer that enigma."
De Niro is no stranger to the boxing ring after his iconic turn as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull, and he'll also be seen with the gloves back on facing Sylvester Stallone in the sports comedy Grudge Match from Tommy Boy director Peter Segal. But this will be the first time he's actually taking the trainer role as opposed to one of the fighters in the ring. We'll see who else ends up being finalized for the cast, but for now, the prospect of Ramirez and De Niro working together is interesting, and it's been a few years since we had a good boxing drama, so we're due for one. Cool?