The stars of the two greatest modern boxing movie epics could be getting in the ring for a cinematic heavyweight clash. Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro, the respective stars of the Oscar-winners Rocky and Raging Bull, are both in negotiations to star in Grudge Match for Warner Bros. This would mark the second time the two Italian-American film legends have appeared in a movie together, the first being the 1997 James Mangold-directed crime drama Cop Land (pictured above).
According to Lucas Shaw at The Wrap, Stallone and De Niro would play “two aging boxers who plan one final match against one another.”
Oh, and did I mention that Grudge Match is a comedy? The movie is being directed by Peter Segal from a script by Entourage creator Doug Ellin. Segal has actually made some funny movies in the past such as The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (yeah I think that movie is hilarious – so what of it?), Tommy Boy (ditto), and the 1996 Nutty Professor remake with Eddie Murphy. He has also directed two of Adam Sandler’s funnier movies of recent years – Anger Management and 50 First Dates.
While De Niro has a better-than-decent track record in comedy with box office smashes like Analyze This and Meet the Parents (as well as its two successful sequels), Stallone’s attempts at doing big screen comedy have often resulted in the least successful and most derided movies of his career – movies like Rhinestone, Oscar (which actually ain’t that bad), and Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Stallone can bring natural humor to his more serious parts and his career has been on a major upswing thanks to his long-awaited return to making the kind of red-blooded action movies that cemented his movie star status, so maybe working with a co-star, writer, and director who each know a thing or two about making funny business on screen will work in his favor.
Stallone is currently filming the prison break thriller The Tomb while De Niro is in the midst of shooting the Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone with three more projects on his plate afterwards and Segal is currently gearing up to direct Vin Diesel’s next action-comedy The Machine. If all the necessary contracts are signed soon, it’s highly likely that Grudge Match will shoot once the director and his two potential stars have finally cleared their schedules.
What say you, mighty and loyal Geeks Of Doom readers? Would you want to see Stallone and De Niro battling it out in the boxing ring – on screen that is?