After a dramatic all-night bidding war, Tom Ortenberg confirms, Open Road sealed the deal for writer/director Ben Younger’s market title “Bleed for This,” starring Miles Teller as world champion fighter Vinny Pazienza and Aaron Eckhart’s trainer who brought him back to the ring after a nearly fatal car wreck.
Cannes buyers were shown a 12-minute promo reel for the film, now in post-production, before Open Road threw down a reported $4 million. The distributor scooped “Nightcrawler” out of the market last year and successfully netted a writing Oscar nomination.
Pazienza suffered a broken neck shortly after winning the 1991 Jr Middleweight World title and resumed training soon after, despite doctors’ orders. This could be a “Rocky” style comeback story and a juicy follow-up for “Whiplash” star Teller, who had to get in fighting shape. Kate Sagal will play his mother. Ciaran Hinds co-stars. “Bleed for This” is produced by Bruce Cohen (“American Beauty,” “Silver Linings Playbook”), Emma Tillinger Koskoff (“Wolf of Wall Street”), Noah Kraft and Chad A. Verdi. Martin Scorsese is among the film’s many executive producers. Magna Entertainment’s Joshua Sason is also an executive producer.
There’s a rash of fighting stories coming up. Jake Gyllenhaal is also showing off his fighting form in Antoine Fuqua’s “Southpaw,” which Harvey Weinstein will screen for buyers and press at the market Tuesday night. At their presentation last week Weinstein promised that Gyllenhaal will win the Oscar he should have gotten for “Nightcrawler.”
Weinstein also has a Robert De Niro boxing movie “Hands of Stone” in which the “Raging Bull” star plays a coach to Roberto Duran (Venezuelan Edgar Ramirez). Weinstein is holding it back to spring 2016 so as not to compete with “Southpaw.”