The Weinstein Company has unveiled the very first Southpaw image from director Antoine Fuqua’s long-in-the-works boxing drama, and it reveals a rather transformed Jake Gyllenhaal. The film has been in development for years, with Eminem previously attached to star. Written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, the story revolves around a left-handed boxer who wins a title but suffers various tragedies in his personal life, all while trying to win back the love of his daughter. Gyllenhaal gained 15 pounds of muscle for the role, and judging by this first image it’s a far cry from his gaunt physique in Nightcrawler.
Check out the first Southpaw image after the jump. The film also stars Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Victor Ortiz, and 50 Cent. Southpaw will be released in theaters sometime in 2015.
Fuqua first came to prominence with his edgy 2001 film Training Day and subsequently tackled more ambitious features like King Arthur and Tears of the Sun, but lately the filmmaker has been helming more commercially driven films like Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer. With a script by Sutter, a solid cast, and a fully committed lead in Gyllenhaal, I’m hopeful Southpaw acts as a sort of return to form for the director. The actor-director collaboration with Gyllenhaal on the film at least appears to have gone well, as the two have already set up another project together with the Medellin Cartel crime drama The Man Who Made It Snow.
Check out the first Southpaw image below via The Weinstein Company.