Actor Jeremy Renner will appear as Rocky Marciano. The actor will portray the only heavyweight champion to retire undefeated.
Jeremy Renner, best known for playing Hawkeye in the Avenger series as well as other high-profile supporting roles in movies such as the Mission: Impossible series, has agreed to don boxing gloves to play Rocky Marciano, who was the legend behind the iconic film franchise Rocky, which has been immortalized by Sylvester Stallone. It is pretty clear that Jeremy Renner has some big gloves to fill as he prepares to play the boxing legend. The biopic, titled Undefeated: The Rocky Marciano Story, will be the first authorized biopic on Marciano’s life, reported Variety.
Rocky Marciano’s younger brother, Lou Marciano, had sold rights to the film to a production company owned by producer Morris S. Levy way back in 2007. However, the film didn’t hit the production floor for quite some time. Now that Jeremy Renner is associated with Undefeated, the producers can start looking for a suitable director to help Renner portray Marciano. Writing pair Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, who recently won a place on this year’s Black List, an annual rundown of film executives’ favorite unproduced scripts, are working on a screenplay, reported Yahoo.
The Massachusetts-born boxing legend is the only heavyweight boxer to retire from his professional career undefeated at 49-0. Of the 49 wins, 43 were won by knockouts. The film promises to be one of the most apt depictions which are historically accurate. Incidentally, this was one of the primary expectations of the Marciano family. Members of the family and close friends and relatives are hoping that the soon-to-be-produced biopic will set the record straight on the life of the boxer.
Rocky Marciano’s story had previously been told in two documentaries, but both have been unauthorized by the Marciano family. The 1979 ABC TV movie Marciano starred Tony Lo Bianco, while the Showtime movie made in 1999, simply titled Rocky Marciano, featured Jon Favreau. Though the studios did attempt to put for the story of the boxing legend, they couldn’t capture the core nature of the man, who was said to be always on the edge but quite focused, said Lou Marciano.
“They didn’t have any similarities to my brother. He was a very restless, impatient man – very curious and bright, not your typical fighter from the streets.”
Boxing fans and history buffs can expect the film to depict Marciano from diapers to the ring, following the boxer “from his blue-collar upbringing in Brockton to his 1969 death in a plane crash,” reported Boston. The publication added that Lou Marciano gave Levy “never-before-revealed details about the boxer’s life, including his relationship with his wife and father” for the film. The film will follow Marciano’s life from childhood until his death in a plane crash in 1969, reported Hollywood Reporter.
It is not clear what Jeremy Renner will have to do to prepare for the role. Though Rocky Marciano was one of the most effective boxers of his time, he wasn’t buffed-up. Interestingly, despite being a heavyweight boxer, Rocky weighed just 190 pounds, a fact that routinely amazed fans of the sport. He was famous for his relentless style and incredible stamina. He was often reported to have an “iron chin.” His ferocious punching style earned him an impressive knockout percentage of 87.75, which, needless to say, is one of the highest in heavyweight history.
Jeremy Renner joins the increasing number of actors who have starred in boxing-related films. Some of the notable mentions include Jake Gyllenhaal (Southpaw), Miles Teller (2016’s Bleed for This), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), and Edgar Ramirez (2016’s Hands of Stone).
Jeremy Renner will be seen in the upcoming Marvel film Captain America: Civil War.
[Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images]