Jamie Foxx Is Set To Play Mike Tyson In An Upcoming Biopic

23 June 2020
Film, Jamie Foxx, Mike Tyson, Boxing
Image: Getty
Delving deep into the soaring highs, and crashing lows, of iron Mike's career

Ask anyone who was of the age to appreciate it at the time, and they'll tell you that you can't really overstate how famous Mike Tyson was at the peak of his powers. In an era where the first true megastars across sports and entertainment were beginning to flourish, Tyson accomplished as a boxer what only a precious couple of fighters before him could. He was truly one of the most famous men on the planet, both feared and revered at the same time.

Tyson's ferocity in the ring was matched only by his instability outside of it, his erratic, controversial story eventually coming to a head in a 1992 rape case that saw him jailed for three years.

Since then, he's gone on to become one of the most enigmatic figures in modern sporting history, both somewhat admired for his apparent complete U-turn in personality and reviled by some for his checkered past. What will remain a constant is that wherever Mike Tyson goes, and whatever he may do, his legacy both as a ferocious fighter and a frequent courtier of controversy means that he'll probably make headlines doing so. Now at the age of 53, he even has a potential in-ring comeback on the cards.

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Now, the unenviable task of telling Tyson's complex story in film form has been taken up, with Jamie Foxx revealing in an Instagram Live session last week that he was set to pull on the gloves and assume the role of Iron Mike in the definitive movie biopic telling the story of the once-undisputed heavyweight champion. A movie surrounding Tyson has apparently been in the works for years now, however in an interview with producer Mark Birnbaum, he revealed that the project had finally been given the green light.

"It's a definitive yes," he told Birnbaum. "Doing biographies is a tough thing. Sometimes it takes 20 years to get it done but we officially got the real ball rolling," he said. "I can't wait to show people what it is."

From the way Foxx speaks, it seems as if the film won't shy away from the deeper, darker moments that have come to define Tyson's legacy in recent years. Aside from the rape conviction, Tyson was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2003, and pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and driving under the influence in 2007. 

"I saw him at the height of his career, and then when things got bad and bumpy I also saw him as well. So what I'm excited about the movie is to show those moments," he added.

"I think everyone, young and old, will be able to understand this man's journey."

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Foxx, who is just a year younger than Tyson himself, has said that he's keen to portray as faithful a rendition of the boxer as possible, and has bulked up massively to take on Tyson's physique, detailing that he's been doing "60 pull-ups, 60 dips, and 100 push-ups every other day" to pack on muscle.

"The technology of how I'm going to look, I guarantee you people will run up on me in the street and ask for autographs, and think that I'm Mike," Foxx said. He further detailed that he would eventually work his way up to a weight of 230lbs to realistically portray Tyson in his later fighting years.

Via GQ Australia