Per a new press release, the Mike Tyson biopic starring Jamie Foxx will no longer be a film, and is now a limited series with Antoine Fuqua set to direct and Martin Scorsese serving as one of the executive producers.
Foxx has been attached to the project since 2015, and last year he shared some social media images of the physical transformation he was in the midst of undergoing to play the powerhouse pugilist, but now that it’s been refitted as an episodic effort with Scorsese and Fuqua attached, there’s no doubt going to be a bidding war ignited between all of the major TV networks and streaming services.
This isn’t the only adaptation of the Tyson story in the works, with Hulu also developing Iron Mike with Margot Robbie as one of the executive producers, which Tyson has blasted as a “tone-deaf cultural misappropriation” of his life story. Luckily, Foxx’s take has been given the blessing and complete backing of the former world champion fighter.
To celebrate the announcement, Tyson released a statement praising all of the main key creative forces, sharing his hopes that the series will do justice to accurately portraying a life and career that’s been full of adversity, tragedy and controversy.
“I have been looking to tell my story for quite some time. With the recent launch of Legends Only League and the excitement from fans following my return to the ring, now feels like the perfect moment. I look forward to collaborating with Martin, Antoine, Jamie and the entire creative team to bring audiences a series that not only captures my professional and personal journey but also inspires and entertains.”
One potential problem that always arises during authorized biopics is the danger they could descend into hagiography, especially in this case when Foxx and Tyson are known to be friends dating back a long time and the boxer has been to some pretty dark places in his personal life.
Then again, there’s more than enough talent attached to make it a hot ticket regardless of who ends up acquiring the rights. Foxx is an Academy Award-winning actor, after all, and the Tyson series will mark his first collaboration with Fuqua since 2000’s action-comedy Bait. Meanwhile, the filmmaker is no stranger to the boxing drama himself, having helmed Jake Gyllenhaal’s Southpaw, and Scorsese’s previous experience with the fight game as the director of Raging Bull should need no further introduction.
Now that the episodic adaptation of Tyson’s life story has firmed up its core creative team, it won’t be too long until it finds a home on either network TV or streaming, and it’s shaping up to be a high-priority project that’s sure to generate a whole lot of buzz.