In a case of art imitating art imitating life, IFC Films has released a lively first trailer for its biopic about the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky,” starring Liev Schreiber as Chuck Wepner. The movie also stars Naomi Watts and Elizabeth Moss as Wepner’s two love interests, along with comedian Jim Gaffigan and Ron Perlman.
Known as the Bayonne Bleeder, Wepner was a 1970’s-era heavyweight boxer who went 15 rounds in the rings with Muhammad Ali and once fought an actual live bear. The true pride of his life was being the real “Rocky,” however, and his newfound fame led him to a life of drinking, drugs, and infidelity. As Chuck struggles to hang onto the people that matter, including his no-nonsense wife (Moss) and a straight-talking local bartender (Watts), the film offers an honest look at a larger-than-life figure navigating the highs and lows of sudden fame.
French-Canadian director Philippe Falardeau is best known for his 2011 film, “Monsieur Lazhar,” a heartbreaking and carefully-crafted drama about a refugee in Montreal who steps in at an elementary school after a teacher commits suicide. The film received an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film that year. Falardeau takes on lighter fare with this step into the big leagues, but hopefully his sensitive touch will guide “Chuck” to the final round.
Check out the trailer: