So, Eminem. He got a pretty good reception all around to his 8 Mile endeavor with Curtis Hanson, and since then kept his appearances limited to much more calculated entries into the cinematic world than some of his colleagues. Then you’ve got Antoine Fuqua who kicked a lot of ass with Training Day just a short year before that, but hasn’t kicked anything that hard since. Well, if the deals get signed, the two will be joining up to try and pull some second-round greatness with Southpaw- another look at Eminem’s life, through the lens of a boxer.
The trajectory of this project is interesting as it appears to be pushing aside a long-gestating Tupac film that Fugua was developing, and has recently made serious headway with. But now the Eminem-parallel boxing concept by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy) has become Fuqua’s focus, and it may get in front of cameras this year.
Southpaw certainly sounds like another go at the 8 Mile story, as it is about “a lefty welterweight whose life is buffeted by tragedy even as he’s fought his way to a title.” Supposedly based on Eminem’s experiences (perhaps not as directly as 8 Mile) it sounds like it may be a rumination on the difficulties of his more recent years. The artist has done a fantastic job of pulling back when he felt it necessary and not miring himself in stupid controversy for the sake of it, and has made pretty calculated re-entries into the game. I can’t help but feel his style has gone a little flat, but it’s no doubt he retains the lyrical skill and fury that’s always kept him relevant. I can imagine it’s been a difficult ship to keep steady –his career and his family and himself as he gets older– so it’s not hard to imagine that informing a film. I hope so at least, because another by-the-books inspirational boxing film sounds like the most boring shit ever. The Fighter managed to catch on because of it’s excellent structure and crackling character dynamics- a tough thing to pull off.
We’ll see if this takes off and what it means for the Tupac film, but either way it’s interesting to know that Eminem is angling for a silver screen comeback.
SOURCE | LA Times Blog
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