Eminem’s ‘Southpaw’ Boxing Movie Back On Track

Sony Pictures picks up film, pegged to start production early next year.

Talk about an epic battle. href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/eminem/artist.jhtml">Eminem has been circling the gritty boxing drama “Southpaw” for more than a year now. But it seemed like the rapper’s second feature film was down for the count when its original distributor, DreamWorks, shelved it in August.

According to the target="_blank">Hollywood Reporter, the scrappy tale of a welterweight boxer who becomes a champ despite being a lefty has gotten off the mat and is back in contention.

Sony Pictures Entertainment has picked up the flick, which would be Marshall Mathers’ first major movie role since his acclaimed debut in the semi-autobiographical 2002 drama href="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/213724/moviemain.jhtml">“8 Mile.” The movie is expected to start production early next year and will be directed by Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day”), from a script written by Em and “Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter.

Like “8 Mile,” Eminem says the tale is a parallel to his own life: the story of a boxer who rises to the top only to see tragedy strike, forcing him to mount a personal and professional comeback. Em famously reached the pinnacle of rap fame in the early 2000s, only to fall into a nearly fatal spiral of drug addiction, which he later snapped, getting clean and releasing a triumphant comeback album, Recovery, in 2010.

Eminem has done a few cameos since “8 Mile,” including the Adam Sandler movie “Funny People” and HBO’s “Entourage,” but has not headlined a movie since his screen debut.

He was recently named a “God of Rock’ by GQ magazine, which put him on the cover alongside Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and Lil Wayne.

“I’ve realized that the way I am helps with the music,” he said about the natural personality quirks that fuel his music. “Sporadic thoughts will pop into my head, and I’ll have to go write something down, and the next thing you know, I’ve written a whole song in an hour. But sometimes it sucks, and I wish I was wired like a regular person and could go have a f—in’ drink. But that’s the biggest thing about
addiction: When you realize that you cannot — for f—’s sake, you cannot — f— around with nothing ever again.”

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