MGM and Sony Near Deal to Acquire SOUTHPAW; Kurt Sutter Says the Boxing Tale Parallels Eminem’s Career

     October 19, 2011

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It’s time for a status check on Southpaw.  Last we heard, DreamWorks let the project go, and the filmmakers were shopping it elsewhere.  I have been rooting for Southpaw to find a home because of the intriguing collection of talent: Eminem starring, Antoine Fuqua (Brooklyn’s Finest) directing, a script by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy).  Southpaw won’t need to wander too much longer, because that project also enticed a number of studio suitors.  MGM is reportedly the frontrunner to acquire the film with a bid that places Sony in charge of distribution.

Sutter’s script follows a welterweight boxing champion (Eminem) whose life is upended when tragedy strikes.  Hit the jump for more on the story, including Sutter’s explanation of how it parallels Eminem’s career.

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Sutter told Deadline:

“In a way, this is a continuation of the 8 Mile story, but rather than a literal biography, we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life. He’ll play a world champion boxer who really hits a hard bottom, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter. At its core, this is a retelling of his struggles over the last five years of his life, using the boxing analogy. I love that the title refers to [Eminem] being a lefty, which is to boxing what a white rapper is to hip hop; dangerous, unwanted and completely unorthodox. It’s a much harder road for a southpaw than a right-handed boxer.”

I find Eminem to be one of our most fascinating entertainers, and a captivating screen presence in his one feature film role.  I was already on board when I thought it was your basic inspirational sports story; the real-life element adds a nice layer to the drama.

Do you think Eminem will ever act in a movie that is not based on his life?  Kinda solipsistic, but I don’t know that I need to see the rapperbranch out.  (Random Acts of Violence could be that project if it comes together.)

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