Living legend George Foreman will get the silver screen treatment later this year (it’s about time), as Sony Pictures’ AFFIRM will make the biopic, with shooting to begin in October, in New Orleans. Director George Tillman Jr has got actors to play the lead roles – Khris Davis will play Foreman, while Sullivan Jones will play the part of Muhammad Ali.
However, The Houston Chronicle reports how Tillman Jr is still in need of people to play four key roles in the film/Foreman’s life story. So far, there is no one down to play: Joe Frazier, Jimmy Young, Michael Moorer, and Ionas Chepulis.
Chepulis was the man a 19-year-old Foreman battered to defeat to take the gold medal at the 1968 Mexico Olympics, while you know the pivotal roles, Frazier, Young and Moorer played in the incredible life of “Big George.” So, who might play these four heavyweights? Moorer could in theory play himself, as the first southpaw heavyweight champ in history, who was sensationally knocked out by a 45-year-old Foreman in their 1994 fight, doesn’t look too much older these days compared to that unlucky night for him. Then again, maybe Moorer wants to forget all about that tenth-round KO defeat, and the notion of playing it all over out again on the big screen will be abhorrent to him.
The casting of the seriously underrated Young will prove especially interesting. It was of course Philadelphia’s Jimmy and his bag of tricks that cut down Foreman in sweltering Puerto Rico in 1977; the points defeat Foreman suffered leading the way to his famous and well-documented religious experience in the dressing room soon after the fight (seeing this ultra-important episode in Foreman’s life recreated in the movie will also be a quite fascinating thing).
Reportedly, the Foreman movie will chronicle his life from the 1968 Olympics triumph to his first reign as heavyweight king, to his ten-year layoff and his becoming a preacher, to his historic title-regaining win against Moorer. It really does promise to be a boxing movie well worth watching. Let’s see if “Big George” himself appears in the film, in a cameo role.