Eminem (aka Marshall Mathers) will star in the boxing drama, Southpaw, for DreamWorks. Mathers will play “a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to tragedy.” DreamWorks bought the film from a pitch by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, who aims to have a screenplay draft ready by February, before he has to start preparing the fourth season of Sons of Anarchy.
Southpaw marks Mathers’ return to acting after earning a lot of critical praise for his debut performance in 2002’s 8 Mile. Hit the jump to read about why Mathers chose Southpaw to be his return to acting, and what will make the film a semi-continuation of 8 Mile.
According to Sutter, Mathers and he have been trying to do something together for the past 7 years. Sutter told Deadline:
“I know he’s very selective and doesn’t do a lot. But he shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest album, one that I connected with on a lot of levels. He is very interested in the boxing genre, and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl.”
Sutter then spoke about how the film will be a semi-continuation of 8 Mile in the sense that the film will be a “metaphorical narrative” of Mathers’ life since the film’s story will relate to Mathers’ own struggles:
“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 Marshall 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 was one of the many people who was blown away by Mathers’ performance in 8 Mile and I’ve always been hoping that he would return to acting someday. Hopefully, the wait has been worth it and Mathers sees something truly great in Southpaw. I’m definitely curious and I’m very interested in seeing which director signs on to the project in the future.