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Gael Garcia Bernal to play boxing champ Roberto Duran in Hands of Stone, possibly with Al Pacino?

11.23.2010

Variety is reporting that a biopic on five-time boxing champion Roberto Durán is in the works called HANDS OF STONE (referring to Durán's Spanish nickname 'Manos de Piedra'). The excellent Gael García Bernal (CASA DE MI PADRE, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) is set to play Durán, a man many consider to be one of the greatest lightweight fighters of all time.

Al Pacino is said be circling the part of trainer Ray Arcel, a man who brought up eighteen world champions throughout his career. Spanish actor Óscar Jaenada (THE LOSERS) is attached to play an apparently key role as well. The $15 million biopic will be directed by Venezuelan-born filmmaker Jonathan Jakubowicz (SECUESTRO EXPRESS) based off his own screenplay. Here's Variety with the story details:

"Roberto Duran made his professional debut in 1968 as a 16-year-old and retired in 2002 at age 50. In June 1980, he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard to capture the WBC welterweight title -- but shocked the boxing world by returning to his corner in the November rematch, saying 'no mas' (no more)."

Director Jakubowicz adds, "The infamous 'no mas' fight is the biggest enigma in the history of boxing. This movie will answer that enigma."

HANDS OF STONE, to be shot primarily in English, will be filmed in Durán's native Panama and New York starting next Spring.
Extra Tidbit: Durán appeared with Sylvester Stallone in ROCKY II.
Source: Variety

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