Additionally, Al Pacino is circling the role of boxing trainer Ray Arcel, Silverman said.
Entitled "Hands of Stone," the biopic will focus on the boxing champion and will tell the inside story of the "No Mas" fight. Jonathan Jakubowicz, will write, direct and produce.
¨Roberto Duran is not only the best lightweight of all time, he's also an inspiration for oppressed people around the world, and a legendary hero for those who believe a culture's honor can be fought in the ring," Jakubowicz told TheWrap.
Jakubowicz is a relative newcomer. He is best known for directing 2005's "Secuestro Express," about the abduction of a young couple in Venezuela.
The film is not fully greenlit. Silverman told TheWrap that releasing a film about a Latin American sports icon was an effort to appeal to the Hispanic market.
"This is a big opportunity. The Latin American population over-indexes in terms of sports and boxing. There's a lot of momentum around the script that Jonathan wrote," Silverman told TheWrap.
Duran and Leonard squared off on three separate occasions — the most infamous being the so-called "No Mas" fight. That 1980 match in Louisiana Superdome saw Leonard best Duran in eight rounds. In the closing seconds of the last round, Duran turned his back to Leonard and quit, saying "No Mas" ("no more" in Spanish).
Duran beat Leonard in an earlier welterweight championship bout. They would meet again in a 1989 middleweight championship fight in Las Vegas. Leonard won that fight in 12 rounds.
In addition to Silverman, Jay Weisleder ("Cantinflas") will produce. Paul Webster ("Atonement"/"Eastern Promises") will executive produce.
Duran's son, Robin Duran, will serve as associate producer.