After a string of forgettable performances over the past few years, Jake Gyllenhaal has experienced something of a renaissance lately. I heard he was good in End of Watch (2012’s police drama, which I still haven’t seen), and I know he was terrific in Prisoners earlier this year as an intense and intelligent detective. He has an intriguing new project called Enemy coming up in which he plays two different characters, and with each interesting role like that, he puts the dreadful Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time further in his rearview mirror.
The actor’s quest to take on fascinating projects continues, as The Wrap reports Gyllenhaal is in talks to replace Eminem in a boxing movie called Southpaw. If the deal goes through, Jake will play a left-handed boxer on a run for the title; when the character encounters a tragedy, he has to put his life together and win back the affection of his daughter.
Sounds pretty standard, but then again, so did Warrior, the MMA drama with Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy, and that turned out to be fantastic. Plus, the script is written by Kurt Sutter, who you may know as the showrunner of “Sons of Anarchy.” Sutter cut his teeth writing episodes of “The Shield,” so it’s safe to say he has a good handle on how to portray the gritty side of guys who have a job to do and will do anything necessary to get it done.
Antoine Fuqua is directing, and while that would normally be cause for alarm – the guy has directed some truly awful films, like Shooter, King Arthur, etc. – I’m not worried because his most recent directorial effort was the delightfully enjoyable Olympus Has Fallen. He won’t return for that sequel (presumably because he’s busy getting this movie off the ground), but I’m hoping Olympus injected the director with some energy that will hopefully translate over into his next work. And let’s face it – despite your feelings on Gyllenhaal (I happen to like the guy, but there are the obvious haters out there), you must admit he’s a step up from Eminem.
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