IMR International announced today that Golden Globe® and Emmy® Winner Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction, Looper,M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming Glass) has signed on to star as the legendary trainer Cus D’Amato in Cornerman, written and to be directed byEmmy® Nominee Rupert Friend (“Homeland”, The Death of Stalin). The film will be produced by Rupert Friend and Aimée Mullins for Circus Florist Films, and Marc Butan and Ara Keshishian of MadRiver Pictures. Production on the film is slated to begin this fall. CAA is handling U.S. rights for the film, and IMR International will begin foreign sales in Cannes this week.
Cornerman takes place in the Catskills region of New York during the early 1980’s. Constantine ‘Cus’ D’Amato (Willis) is a reluctantly retired boxing coach who in his heyday discovered and trained some of the greatest heavyweight world champions. Now, along his long-time partner Camille, he runs a small gym where he and his trainers, including lithe former street-brawler Teddy Atlas, coach young contenders. But the backer of the gym is pressuring him to find a real competitor and secure Cus’ professional legacy. So, when a friend drops by with 13-year-old MIKE TYSON, Cus is intrigued. Mike gets into trouble with his fists, displaying his raw but incredibly powerful talent. Seeing the kid’s extraordinary potential, Cus enrolls him in his gym and welcomes him in his home, determined to turn the mercurial hothead into the youngest-ever heavyweight world champion. Producers will begin a worldwide search for the actor who will portray Mike Tyson.
Writer/Director Rupert Friend said “Ultimately, this is a story about a deep love between two ferocious talents, each brave enough to admit their fears to the other, and so spur one another to greatness. It is a story about fighting for what you believe in, and a film that will make you question what strength really is.”