EXCLUSIVE: LD Entertainment and Entertainment 360 have acquired screen rights to the Stayton Bonner non-fiction book Bare Knuckle and will develop a feature about its subject, underground bare-knuckle boxer Bobby Gunn. Tony Tost will write the screenplay. LD’s Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon, and Jennifer Monroe are producing with 360’s Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner. 360 brought Tost on to adapt the book and then set it at LD Entertainment, which is fully financing.
Gunn might be the toughest guy you’ve never heard of. He is the current undefeated bare-knuckle boxing world champion, and a former IBA world champ in the cruiserweight class. The movie will follow a range of other brawlers and promoters as they fight to take the outlawed sport from the criminal underbelly to the mainstream. It also delves into the mysterious fighting culture of Gunn’s people, the Travelers, and the surprising physics behind glove-less combat. The book will be published by Hachette in spring 2018. Its author is a former senior editor at Rolling Stone who has written for GQ, Men’s Journal and Outside before making this his first book.
“When 360 brought us this true-life sports story about fighting for the American dream, it hit me on a visceral level that reminded me of the adrenaline-filled cinematic worlds of The Fast And The Furious and Fight Club,” Liddell said.
Bonner and Gunn are repped by ICM Partners. Tost wrote the David Mackenzie-directed pilot Damnation at USA Network and made the Black List for his script The Olympian. He’s repped by WME and Management 360.