BREAKING: Warner Bros has set Kevin Hart to play the fight promoter who gets two retired brawlers back in the ring in Grudge Match. Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone are now set to play the fighters who square off in the ring, and the studio has greenlighted the film that will be directed by Peter Segal. Tim Kelleher wrote the script and the most recent draft is by Entourage architect Doug Ellin, with Billy Gerber and Mark Steven Johnson producing with Michael Ewing.
Hart is hot stuff after Think Like A Man, but the draw here will be to see Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta from Raging Bull go at it in a grudge match. When I moderated a Tribeca Film Festival panel for Universal’s 100th birthday with De Niro and Judd Apatow, De Niro said he didn’t really see himself recapturing the killer shape he got into when he starred in Raging Bull and in Cape Fear. Now, he’s playing a retired fighter, but I’ll bet De Niro puts back on the six-pack, knowing that at 66, Stallone is always jacked.