Mike Tyson is ready to bring his life both inside and outside the ring to the big screen after it was announced Jamie Foxx will play the boxing legend in a biographical limited series. The award-winning actor had earlier revealed he was getting in shape to take up the lead role in a biopic about Tyson. It, however, appears the project has been broken down into a series.
According to Variety, the upcoming project, which is titled Tyson, will be directed and produced by Antoine Fuqua. Besides starring, Foxx will also work from behind the scenes as an executive producer, and he’ll be sharing that role with Tyson, Martin Scorsese, and a host of others.
“I have been looking to tell my story for quite some time,” Tyson said. “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.”
Shedding some light on the highly expected project in an interview with Hollywood producer Mark Birnbaum last year, Foxx confirmed they were good to go after casting was first announced in 2014, CNN reported. “It’s a definitive yes,” the Ray actor said at the time. “Doing biographies is a tough thing. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get it done but we officially got the real ball rolling.”
Somewhere in the interview, Foxx also spoke about his relationship with the legendary boxer and what the upcoming project – which he said was a biopic at the time – was going to entail.
“I saw him at the height of his career, and then when things got bad and bumpy I also saw him as well. So what I’m excited about the movie is to show those moments,” he said. “I think everyone, young and old, will be able to understand this man’s journey.”
The recent announcement comes after Tyson took to Instagram in February to accuse Hulu of trying to do an “unauthorized” project about his life without his involvement or any compensation. Tyson’s outburst was in response to the streaming platform announcing they had ordered an eight-episode miniseries focusing on his life and career.
“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising,” the retired boxer wrote. “This announcement on the heels of social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this tone-deaf cultural misappropriation of the Tyson life story.”
He added: “To make this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respect for black story rights. Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to black experiences especially after all that has transpired in 2020.”
Tyson made history in 1986 when he became the youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 20. The 54-year-old, who is regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time, went ahead to have a very stellar career but it was also marred with controversies both inside and outside the ring.