Mike Tyson has had a life of extreme ups and downs. In good times, he’s been the heavyweight champion of the world and appeared in The Hangover. At the opposite end of the spectrum, he also spent three years in prison for rape, and appeared in The Hangover Part II. It’s enough triumph and tragedy for several movies, and there’s already been a good documentary on his life, Tyson by James Toback. More recently, Spike Lee directed Tyson in a one-man show, Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, which later aired on HBO. On the fiction side of things, though, Tyson’s story has been limited to a mediocre telefilm from 1995, starring a young Michael Jai White as the champ. Tyson himself says that will soon change, though, with a new film about his life story.
Tyson told the Daily Mirror that a biopic is in the offing (one with the backing of Martin Scorsese), and that it’s coming sooner rather than later. The way Tyson describes it doesn’t make it sound final or certain by any stretch of the imagination, but he also revealed his choice to play him: Jamie Foxx, who won an Oscar in earlier biopic, Ray. More from Tyson:
“Me and Jamie Foxx are in discussion, and we gonna do it. Within a year to 18 months, we’re going to do the Mike Tyson story and he’s going to portray me, and now they have this new animation; because you know Jamie’s pretty much my age so he can't portray me but they have this new system.”
Tyson’s a busy guy right now; he’s also got a fun-looking cartoon series, Mike Tyson Mysteries, coming to Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. And a Tyson biopic in the right hands could make for a fascinating film. The casting will be key; locking in Foxx (and making sure this “new animation” doesn’t look like something from the uncanny valley) and then finding out who will play Tyson’s greatest opponent in history, Little Mac. Michael Imperioli would be perfect, but he’s too old now. Maybe they can use some of the “new animation” on him too.