Sony Pictures and its faith-based label, Affirm Films have just cast several new actors in their untitled biopic about legendary boxer George Foreman, including Jasmine Mathews (The Tomorrow War, The Rookie), Sonja Sohn (Star Trek: Discovery, The Wire), John Magaro (Call Jane, The Many Saints of Newark) and Shein Mompremier (Black Lightning). They will star alongside such previously announced cast members as Khris Davis, who was cast as the boxer last spring, as well as Sullivan Jones and Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker, Deadline is reporting.
The film, which will be directed by The Hate U Give and Notorious helmer George Tillman Jr., will follow the life of Foreman, a two-time world heavyweight champion. The movie will also chronicle how the boxer, who’s also a Olympic Gold medalist, found his faith and became a preacher after his retirement from the sport that made him famous.
When financial hardship later hit his family and church, he returned to the ring and regained the championship at age 45. During that fight, he became the oldest heavyweight champion in boxing history.
Tillman Jr. and Frank Baldwin wrote the screenplay for the biopic, which is based on an original draft by Dan Gordon. Peter Guber and David Zelon are producing the film for Mandalay Pictures. Details about which roles the newest additions to the cast will play have not yet been disclosed.
The movie is scheduled to be distributed in theaters on April 7, 2023. Sony and AFFIRM Films recently pushed back the feature’s release date was by two weeks, from March 24, 2023, Deadline also reported.
The biopic was previously set to open against Sony Pictures Entertainment’s sports drama Heart of a Lion, Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 and an unnamed movie from Universal Pictures. The biopic’s only current competition on its new date is an untitled project from DreamWorks Animation.
The film’s latest casting announcement also comes after the late Michael K. Williams was cast as Foreman’s trainer and mentor, Doc Broadus, last summer. Deadline also announced that the five-time Emmy Award nominated actor was cast as Broadus just a week before his unexpected death.
Broadus was one of the key personnel at the Job Corps when Foreman arrived there. He ran a boxing program and immediately saw how much potential Foreman had as a boxer. Within one year of training with Broadus, Foreman won the Gold Medal in the 1968 Olympics in the heavyweight division.
Broadus continued to work with Foreman throughout his entire career, both as a mentor and coach. The trainer was in attendance at all of the boxer’s professional fights working the corner, and they remained friends for life.