British actress Naomie Harris (Skyfall / Mandela) has joined Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain / Prisoners), Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland / Lee Daniels’ The Butler), and Rachel McAdams (The Notebook / A Most Wanted Man) in Antoine Fuqua‘s boxing drama film Southpaw.
Written by Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, the story follows Billy “The Great” Hope (like “Great White Hope”?), played by Gyllenhaal, a welterweight champ whose career soars as his personal life falls apart.
Film synopsis from Yahoo! Movies:
“Cocky, pugnacious, and unpredictable middleweight champ Billy Hope plans to ride out his boxing career with his massive winnings, adoring fans, beloved wife, and their 10 year old daughter. When Billy’s bad temper sparks a fight and the ensuing shootout leaves his wife dead, Billy’s life spins out of control. He turns to drinking and drugs, ignores his daughter, and neglects all responsibilities. When he loses his house, his money, and finally his daughter to a group foster home, Billy struggles to regain his footing and deal with his life, finding guidance from his new amateur trainer, Titus ‘Tick’ Willis.”
Harris will play Angela, a social worker who works with Gyllenhaal’s character and his daughter, while actor Beau Knapp (Super 8 / The Signal) has also just been added as Jon Jon, Billy Hope’s lifelong best friend who came up with him through foster care and is on the payroll.
Whitaker will co-star as Titus “Tick” Willis, a former fighter forced to retire after losing an eye, as reported by ShadowAndAct. However his plans to return to the sport, but as a trainer, are derailed after his son is killed. McAdams will play Maureen, Billy Hope’s love interest.
Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o has been rumored to be in talks to join the cast.
Fuqua also serves as a producer for the film along with Alan Riche, Peter Riche, Harvey Weinstein, Todd Black, Jason Blumenthal, and Steve Tisch.
Set to be released sometime in 2015, Southpaw is being executive produced by The Weinstein Company. You can follow the film on Facebook at facebook.com.