Brace yourself for yet another boxing flick. This one, though, should prove interesting. In fact, in the words of Nick Cassavetes, the director and writer of “Cus And Mike,” a bio of the legendary trainer and the legendary youngest ever world heavyweight king, the film “should be one for the ages.”
As per a news story from Deadline, Oscar-winning actor Sir Anthony Hopkins will play the part of the cerebral Cus D’Amato, with shooting of the film to begin around May or June of this year. The search is still on for the as yet unknown actor who will play the part of the young Tyson. The film will be based on the book: ‘Mike Tyson: Money, Myth and Betrayal’ by Montieth Illingworth.
So can Hopkins – who has delivered superb performances as everyone from Hannibal Lector, to Richard Nixon, to Alfred Hitchcock – capture the essence of D’Amato; to some one of the finest, most unique and complicated boxing brains and personalities to have ever orbited the boxing world? Hopkins, now aged 82 (five years older than D’Amato was when he passed away in 1985) has never done a boxing movie before and the chance to do so no doubt presented the Welshman with yet another challenge.
To hardcore boxing/Tyson fans, the whole D’Amato/tearaway Tyson story is well known: how the eccentric, all but forgotten trainer of greats Floyd Patterson and Jose Torres spotted the sheer talent and promise in the teenage Tyson and with this the chance for himself to guide one more fighter to the world title before passing away. D’Amato sadly died before Tyson made good of his goal of becoming heavyweight champion, yet his work had been done, D’Amato’s genius saving yet another lost and troubled soul.
Hopkins, if he can get his significant acting chops around this project, might just turn in a performance to top those of fellow Hollywood greats such as Robert De Niro, Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, and others who have stepped into the movie ring over the years. Hopkins, though, has some superb performances to follow.