EXCLUSIVE: Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) has chosen his next film. He will direct Southpaw, the drama written by Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter set in the boxing world. Jake Gyllenhaal is now set to star as a welterweight champion who rises in his profession while his personal life falls apart. The picture, financed by The Weinstein Company, will start before the cameras this summer. Fuqua was looking at a number of projects to helm but decided on Southpaw, and his deal closed last night. Still to cast is the other lead, Titus ‘Tick’ Willis, a former fighter who was forced to retire after losing an eye and was on his way to becoming a pro trainer but retreated after his son was killed. This is a movie that could include some breakthrough performances as the script plays to cultural diversity.
The project is being produced by Fuqua, Alan Riche and Peter Riche. Gyllenhaal is currently in production on Everest alongside Josh Brolin, Emily Watson and newcomer Clive Standen (Vikings) for Emmett/Furla and Universal. He last starred in the critically-acclaimed Prisoners and in Enemy which opens later this month in limited release via A24. The actor also stars in Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler which does not yet have a distributor. Fuqua is repped by CAA, Gyllenhaal is repped by WME.