EXCLUSIVE: Producers Steve Lee Jones and Andy and Michael Weiss are producing, Kimbo, the story about legendary backyard brawler Kimbo Slice who rose to mixed martial arts fame after his brutal backyard fights drew a huge YouTube audience.
Born Kevin Ferguson, the Bahamian-born American pugilist emerged from homelessness to an impressive 11-0 boxing record. Kimbo Slice died suddenly last year at the age of 42 from heart failure and a liver mass. Though he battled high blood pressure for years and took medication, Kimbo Slice insisted on boxing months before his death, winning a three-round heavyweight match against Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris at Bellator 149 in Houston. Before dying Kimbo Slice was scheduled to fight James Thompson in the main event Bellator 158 despite his family’s mixed emotions. They knew his health was ailing given his lack of energy in the Dada 5000 fight.
Jones and the Weiss brothers will produce respectively through their respective shingles ’ Bee Holder Productions and WeBros Entertainment. Simon Brand (Default, Paraiso Travel) is set to direct the script by Andy Weiss who co-wrote George Gallo’s 2009 film Middle Men and upcoming Bigger which Jones is producing, as well as Sony’s White Boy Rick, which is due out on Jan. 26. Bigger is currently shooting in Alabama.
“Those who only knew Kimbo by viewing his brawls saw him as fierce and frightening beast of a man, but those close to him experienced his heart of gold, and that he used his fists and instruments to raise his family out of poverty, he was a loyal friend and devoted father”, says Brand, “Kimbo’s story transcends the ring, it is a story about the power of the internet, the lengths one will go to break out of desperation and it is a success story shared with his longtime friend turned manager and adult entertainment magnate Michael Imber as they both emerge from the slums of Miami.”
Camila Castro of Bee Holder, Michael Imber, Eric Weider, Scott Barlow and Rick Dukhovny will serve as EPs. Andy Weiss is repped by Matt Luber at Luber Roklin. Brand is repped by Stuart Manashil of NOVO. Jeff Rotondi and Shannon Hensley of AGMB Law represents Bee Holder and will serve as production counsel.