News: Eminem's "Southpaw" Hollywood Comeback Role In Jeopardy, Blockbuster Stars Wants In

Monday, Nov 4, 2013 9:45AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Fans hoping to see Eminem make his long-awaited return to the big screen in boxing flick Southpaw may have to settle for the likes of Hollywood actor Jake Gyllenhaal based on new reports.

Despite early talks for Southpaw to star Slim Shady, Gyllenhaal is now expected to take on the role previously reserved for Em.

Eminem was once attached to star in the movie, which serves as proof that Hollywood can't keep a good project down. A fighter of a film, "Southpaw" was originally sold as a pitch to DreamWorks. The studio hired "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter to write the script. When DreamWorks tapped out, MGM swooped in planning to distribute through Sony, though the film was eventually put into turnaround, which is where the Weinstein Company rescued it. If the deal gets signed, Gyllenhaal will play a left-handed prizefighter who wins a title but suffers a tragedy soon after and must put his life back together to earn the respect of his young daughter. (TheWrap)

Earlier this year, reports about the boxing flick going back into production surfaced.

While there's nothing set in stone, the next project for director Antoine Fuqua is "Southpaw," the boxing drama that's bounced around the development timeline for quite awhile now, and once had Eminem linked to the lead role. Fuqua explains, "'Southpaw' was with DreamWorks, that's when I got the job. Then Em had to go do his music, so we paused it for awhile." Without confirming whether Eminem is still involved, he says, "I have a great passion for that project, and I met with [Steven] Spielberg about it, and I loved it. The timing of that didn't work up. And I spoke with Harvey Weinstein, and he loved it from the beginning. So I said, let's do it. So he went over and talked to them, and Harvey has it now. We're looking at different casts and I'm looking to be doing that at the end of the summer." (The Playlist)

A few months ago, buzz about Em and South African rapper Ninja being top prospects for last summer's Elysium flick emerged.

Turns out Matt Damon was the third choice for the starring role in Elysium: director Neil Blomkamp had first sought South African rapper Ninja, from the group Die Antwoord, and then Eminem for the lead in his futuristic sci-fi thriller, The Guardian reports. The South African director first approached Ninja, a countryman who is a fan of Blomkamp's last film, District 9, but the rapper declined. "It was a f*cked up, difficult decision," he said. Ultimately, Ninja wanted his breakout role as an actor to be something other than the role of an American character in a big-budget film. (Rolling Stone)

Slim Shady reportedly also said no after the film did not cave in to his personal demand.

Blomkamp next approached Eminem, who said he would do it only if the film were shot in Detroit, his hometown. In the end the role went to Damon who stars as a reformed car thief travelling to a utopian space station suspended in orbit above a ruined planet. Elysium, which also stars Jodi Foster, hits theaters on August 9th. (Rolling Stone)

According to recent reports, Shady and manager Paul Rosenberg have launched their own film company.

Eminem and Paul Rosenberg, co-founders of Shady Records, have announced they will be expanding their brand with Shady Films. The deal is a joint venture with Ben Silverman's LOUD channel, in partnership with Electus. Shady Films will continue to run their web series Detroit Rubber, which is about to begin its second season, as well as Elliott Wilson's CRWN interview series. They will also expand their content development and production by featuring new programming with signed artists like Slaughterhouse. (Complex)

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