Sony has offered up the first wave of marketing for their upcoming George Foreman biopic, namely a trailer, a poster and a release date.
“Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World” will debut theatrically on April 28, 2023, occupying the pre-summer slot that in previous years was home to “He Got Game,” “Obsessed” and “Keanu.” In 2023, that any studio is slotting anything resembling a big movie is a sign of a return to sanity within the theatrical ecosystem.
Directed by George Tillman Jr. (“The Hate U Give,” “Soul Food” and “Barbershop: The Next Cut” among others) and starring Khris Davis as Foreman, “Big George Foreman” stems from a story by Dan Gordon and Frank Baldwin and Goerge Tillman Jr. And a screenplay from Baldwin and Tillman.
The trailer, which you can watch at the top of this file, features the rags-to-riches true-life story of a young man who channeled his anger into Olympic glory and eventual professional glory in the boxing ring. The second act of the trailer focuses on his attempts to walk away from boxing to be a preacher, with the third act focusing on his comeback, which saw him becoming the oldest-ever heavyweight champion in professional boxing history.
The final button offers a whimsical acknowledgment of Foreman’s other legacy, his game-changing, electric grills which made “Foreman Grill” synonymous with convenient indoor meat preparation.
“Big George Foreman: also co-stars Forest Whitaker as trainer and mentor Doc Broadus, less than two years after the prolific actor played Aretha Franklin’s father in MGM’s “Respect.” Sony is hoping for better results than that film’s $32 million global gross.
Likewise, Sony’s own recent Whitney Houston biopic, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” earned just $56 million worldwide over the past six weeks. The question of what real-life figures qualify as “butts-in-seats” marquee characters is one constantly being debated within the industry, as every musical biopic is chasing glory on par with “Elvis” or “Rocketman” let alone the $905 million success of “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Sports biopics are less prevalent and frankly less surefire, as we are 10 years out from Chadwick Boseman’s Jackie Robinson biopic “42” earning $98 million in April 2013. That was a happy surprise a decade ago, but now it would look and feel like a miraculous result.
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