Pugilist or pugilist-related movies are kind of having a moment right now. “The Fighter” fought its way to a strong box office haul and awards season recognition, and advance word on the MMA drama “Warrior” with Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton is very good. Down the line, MMA fighter Gina Carano toplines Steven Soderbergh‘s “Haywire” that will definitely cater to an audience that doesn’t get served very often, which makes it all the more odd that DreamWorks has decided “Southpaw” isn’t for them.
Deadline reports that the project, first announced last year, is still full packaged with director Antoine Fuqua and star Eminem with a script by “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter, which should still make it tantalizing pick up, but no official word on why studio honchos are no longer interested. But there are more than a few reasons.
Firstly, Fuqua is attached to a ridiculous list of projects — the cops and robbers pic “Storming Las Vegas,” a sci-fi flick with Gerard Butler titled “Afterburn,” a Chinese-language historical drama and “The Tomb” which Arnold Schwarzenegger was looking at earlier this year, not to mention the “Tupac” biopic — so maybe the studio didn’t feel like sitting around waiting to see when he could fit this in. It could also be that DreamWorks realizes no one really cares to see an “8 Mile” redux, with the rags-to-riches boxing story said to contain elements of Marshall Mathers’ life in the screenplay. But most likely, the studio already has a boxing movie coming out this fall — “Real Steel.” And with a sequel already in the works, they probably don’t see the need to get another fighter movie off the ground.
So it looks like the big screen comeback of Marshall Mathers will have to wait, and at least one Fuqua project is off the table. For now.