NEW YORK: Veteran actor Anthony Hopkins has been roped in to play boxing icon Mike Tyson’s legendary trainer Cus D’Amato in the upcoming film Cus And Mike.
According to Deadline, the film will focus on D’Amato and how he trained Tyson to become the youngest heavyweight title winner ever and one of the most ferocious boxers of his generation.
The Patriot Pictures film is based on the original screenplay by Desmond Nakano, and the book Mike Tyson: Money, Myth, and Betrayal by Montieth Illingworth.
Nick Cassavetes is directing the movie, which is being touted as a character study and a sports-biopic. “This is an absolute dream scenario for me. An opportunity to work with Sir Anthony in a movie about two of my all-time heroes, Cus D’Amato and Mike Tyson, the most ferocious (and my favorite) fighter who ever lived?
“In a story about father figures that disappear too soon? I’m in heaven. So happy that my first film with Mike Mendelsohn and Patriot Pictures is this one. It should be one for the ages” Cassavetes said in a statement.
Financier-producer Mendelsohn commented, “Sir Anthony Hopkins – consummate, other worldly professional…a gift. Nick Cassavetes a true boxing film visionary, talented writer/director, and a friend… a dream come true. Thank you, gentleman.”
D’Amato, who died in 1985, also trained Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres. He has long been the source of film interest while the search for the young Tyson is underway. Five-time Oscar nominee Hopkins is coming off raved-about performances in The Two Popes and The Father.