For a while there, Eminem was going to be one of those hyphenates that threatened for EGOT status. “8 Mile” was not only a box office success but earned the multi-platinum rapper an Academy Award and critical hosannas. Bizarrely, he followed this turn with only a cameo in “Funny People,” a role not even credited on IMDb. To hear the rapper tell it during his press tours promoting the recent album “Recovery,” he spent a lot of time lost in a haze of substance abuse and family troubles. Out of this turmoil emerges his next starring vehicle, “Southpaw.”
“Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter will pen the script of the onetime Marshall Mathers as a welterweight boxer who tries to pull his career out of a tailspin after early successes lead to personal tragedy. Sounds like someone just saw “The Fighter.” DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider, who was head of Universal when “8 Mile” came to fruition, must have a thing for the popular rhyme-spitter, as she is spearheading this latest effort.
Sutter says, “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… At its core, this is a retelling of his struggles over the last five years of his life, using the boxing analogy.” It’s unclear right now, but this sounds an awful lot like a biopic that doesn’t want to call itself a biopic. But recontextualizing what we’ve already seen in person over the last few years is a great idea. It’s like if “The French Connection III” followed disgraced ice skating champ Pops Doyle, trying to uncover a score-fixing plot by the Russians, or if the new Justin Bieber biopic was about a young white gaijin who revealed his karate skills via YouTube.
A complete Sutter draft of the script will be ready by February before planning sessions occur for season four of “Sons of Anarchy.” We do hope Sutter’s involvement means a few “SOA” alumni come aboard the film, if only because the idea of Henry Rollins or Ron Perlman punching out Eminem makes us smile.