Robert De Niro hasn’t set foot in the ring in more than a decade. That much he says in the new Hands of Stone trailer, and if we disregard his stint in Grudge Match with Sylvester Stallone, it’s also true of his career — De Niro starred in the boxing movie of all boxing movies, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, in 1980.
What brings him back as trainer Ray Arcel this time is Edgar Ramirez, playing promising Panamanian fighter Roberto Duran. He needs to be whipped into shape for a match against Sugar Ray Leonard (by way of Usher). Hands of Stone is the story of how this athlete entered the sport at the age of 16, battled Leonard in 1980 to become the WBC welterweight, and their rematch.
Watch the trailer below.
The film is written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, whose last feature film was 2005’s Secuestro express, a Venezuelan crime-drama. John Turturro, Ana de Armas, and Ellen Barkin also feature among the cast.
We’ve seen a solid amount of boxing movies in recent years, including Southpaw. Although the Jake Gyllenhaal vehicle was once dubbed as an early awards contender, the critical reception was lackluster and stopped its Oscar prospects in its tracks. Then Creed came along. In addition to a Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination for Stallone, the Ryan Coogler film was universally hailed as one of the best nostalgic sequels (or whatever you want to call the trend).
It’s here, in the post-Creed era, where he find Hands of Stone. Much like the character at the center of the story, the film itself has a high bar to reach.
Hands of Stone will hit theaters on August 26. Here’s the official synopsis:
HANDS OF STONE follows the life of Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez), the Panamanian fighter who made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16 year-old and retired in 2002 at the age of 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond) to capture the WBC welterweight title, but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in their November rematch, famously saying the words “no mas” (no more).