Dreamworks has pulled the plug on the $30 million dollar boxing drama Southpaw starring Eminem in his first film role since the huge box office hit 8 Mile, which was to be directed by Antoine Fuqua. The film was scheduled to start shooting in January for release late in 2012.
No real explaintion was given for the sudden move though some believe it was possibly because the studio felt the market was crowded with all the recent boxing films such as The Fighter and the upcoming Lionsgate film Warrior.
That however doesn’t make a whole lot of sense since the market is already flooded with comic book super hero movies, R rated gross out comedies, and romantic comedies, so one more boxing film wouldn’t have hurt.
Another possible explanation is that Dreamworks is being super cautious about greenlighting any projects since Cowboys and Aliens was a big very expensive bust and their upcoming “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em” robots movie Real Steel looks iffy at best. However, once again, that doesn’t exactly makes sense either since Southpaw’s budget was less than a third of what it cost to make C & A, and sure to make it’s money back, and a lot more on top of that.
Whatever the reason, the film, about a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to a tragedy, and which is already pre-packaged and ready to go with a tight lean budget, is almost certainly expected to be picked up by another studio or independent financier quickly.