Movies are a funny thing, sometimes developing through some oddball incarnations before finally firming up into something realistic. And so it goes for “Hands Of Stone,” a boxing biopic that in 2010 had Gael Garcia Bernal and Al Pacino attached with Venezuelan helmer Jonathan Jakubowicz set to direct. That didn’t happen, then last spring the movie cropped up again, only this time with the random assortment of R&B star Usher, “True Blood” dude Ryan Kwanten and Michelle Rodriguez, with Robert De Niro replacing Pacino. Well, part of that is still right.
Deadline reveals that De Niro is still involved, only this time it’s Edgar Ramirez who will be taking the co-starring role. Penned by Jakubowicz, who has weathered the storm and will still direct, the movie tells the story of legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, considered one of the best of all time. One of Duran’s most famous fights against the undefeated Sugar Ray Leonard ended with Duran crying in the ring, saying “No mas” and ultimately calling it quits on the sport. Ramirez will play Duran, with De Niro as his trainer Ray Arcel.
Provided this version of the movie stays together, production will begin in September. And between this and “Grudge Match,” it seems you can’t keep De Niro out of the ring.