Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro have separately starred in two of the most iconic boxing movies of all time — “Rocky” and “Raging Bull,” for those of you just now learning what movies are — so, now that both are at a stage in their careers where they will do whatever they please, why not join forces on a boxing movie where they fight each other?
According to The Wrap, that’s just what Stallone and De Niro are in negotiations to do, though, for now, we’ll have to take their word for it as neither Stallone nor De Niro’s representatives will comment on the project. Nevertheless, the report claims that the project is a go for director Peter Segal (“Get Smart,” “Anger Management“) to direct next year. The film, which has been scripted by a variety of writers (most recently “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin), will see Stallone and De Niro play former boxers that decide to step into the ring one last time for a grudge match. Coincidentally, the film is titled “Grudge Match.” Mark Steven Johnson (“Daredevil,” “Ghost Rider“) will produce the project.
If this all sounds very familiar, that’s because it’s been brewing for a few years now, with Stallone, De Niro and Segal all linked back in 2010. And given the uptick in Old People Doing Things That Old People Normally Don’t Do movies, we suppose that’s why there’s still some energy behind the project.
Those unhappy with the seemingly scatter-shot nature of De Niro’s acting choices of late — “New Year’s Eve” and the ‘Fockers‘ movies, for example — hold onto your groan. While the project is reportedly set up at Warner Bros., there is no green-light for this yet, and will have to find a way to contend with De Niro’s incredibly busy schedule. Production on “Grudge Match” is planned for early next year, but De Niro has several projects already lined up. The actor certainly has a busy fall ahead of him, recently cast in “Last Vegas” opposite Michael Douglas, which starts shooting in September, around the time De Niro should be finishing work on the thriller “Malativa” with director Luc Besson. Stallone is pretty busy as well, with “Bullet to the Head” opening in February, and “The Tomb,” opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, likely following at some point next year.
Should “Grudge Match” move forward, we’re hoping it’ll at least keep De Niro away from appearing in the “Midnight Run” sequel that’s in development.