Hulu’s Mike Tyson biopic series has found its leading man. According to Deadline, Trevante Rhodes (The Predator, The United States v. Billie Holiday) has been selected to portray the former heavyweight boxing champion in an eight-part miniseries for the streaming service. Production on the series will begin later this year.
The miniseries produced by 20th Television will explore the ebb and flow of Tyson’s complicated life, according to Deadline. Apart from being an unstoppable force in the boxing ring, Tyson outside the sports arena faced much adversity from substance misuse, allegations of domestic abuse, and an eventual prison stint for rape.
According to Deadline, Tyson took offense when the project was first announced in February. Citing he was not involved with the series, he accused the Disney-owned platform of “cultural misappropriation” and calling them “tone-deaf.”
“Biographical pictures are a fan favorite and a staple of the movie and television business and frequently the subjects are not involved,” Craig Erwich, President of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Original said via Deadline. “We have a strategy of taking a modern lens and applying it to stories and figures of popular culture of the past. We’ve had a lot of success doing that and I think it reveals interesting things, not just about where we’ve been but where we are so we’re looking forward to continuing the creative conversations behind Iron Mike,” Erwich stated to Deadline.
Deadline reports Tyson may have found fault with the project as he is involved with another high-profile series about his life. Martin Scorsese (Gangs of New York, The Irishman) and Antione Fuqua (Infinite, Training Day) are attached to Tyson, the long-gestating film-turned-limited series starring Jamie Foxx (Project Power, Any Given Sunday). This project is still being shopped for networks.
According to Deadline, Karin Gist (Our Kind of People, Mixed-ish) will serve as showrunner and executive producer through her The Gist of It Productions. She is joined by Claire Brown (Being Mary Jane, Girlfriends). The series’ screenwriter Steven Rogers (I, Tonya, Hope Floats) and director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl, The Finest Hours) will also executive produce along with actress Margot Robbie (The Suicide Squad, Bombshell). They all are joined by executive producers Bryan Unkeless (The Hunger Games, Dollface) and Scott Morgan (Project Power, Kate) from Clubhouse Pictures; Tom Ackerley (Terminal, Dreamland) with LuckyChap; and, Entertainment 360’s Darin Friedman (Paper Man, The Final Cut).
This week, ABC aired a four-hour documentary special about Tyson entitled Mike Tyson: The Knockout.