Peter Farrelly to Direct Sylvester Stallone Biopic Charting His ‘Rocky’ Years

The “Green Book” Oscar winner will produce the behind-the-Hollywood-story feature with former studio chief Toby Emmerich

Peter Farrelly and Sylvester Stallone Rocky
Peter Farrelly to direct Sylvester Stallone biopic charting "Rocky" breakout (Credit: Getty Images/United Artists)

“Green Book” director Peter Farrelly has come aboard to direct “I Play Rocky,” the true story of how Sylvester Stallone bet on himself to play the role of a lifetime in the iconic film “Rocky,” according to an insider with knowledge of the project.

The script was written by Peter Gamble. Farrelly is producing with former Warner Bros. studio chief Toby Emmerich and Christian Baha. The production companies are Baha Productions, Fireside Films and Eden Rock Media.

Casting is currently underway. The official logline for “I Play Rocky” reads: “A struggling actor with a partially paralyzed face and a speech impediment writes a script that a big movie studio wants to buy, but he refuses to sell it unless he gets to play the lead. Turning down an offer of life-changing money, he instead works for pennies to get the movie made with himself in the starring role. The movie becomes the biggest box office hit of 1976, garnering 10 Academy Award nominations and winning Best Picture.”

CAA Media Finance is repping U.S. sales and will introduce the project at Cannes next week. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

“I’ve been a fan of Peter Farrelly as both a filmmaker and a person since getting to work with him on the music for ‘Dumb and Dumber,’” Emmerich said in a statement. “But it was ‘Green Book’ that made me think of Pete for this inspiring screenplay. Christian Baha and I feel blessed to have Pete at the helm for this movie. And like the unknown Stallone starring in ‘Rocky,’ Pete will be conducting a worldwide search to discover another actor who just needs one shot — in ‘I Play Rocky’ — to show the world what he can do.”

Baha added: “When I first read Peter Gamble’s energetic and poignant script, I knew it captured something very special. The story of ‘I Play Rocky’ is as unique as Sylvester Stallone himself, a seeming Everyman with an undeniable gift who needs to share it with the world and refuses to take ‘No’ for an answer. And like the hero of our film, Baha Productions needed grit and determination as we fought for years to make this project into a reality. We are so fortunate to have teamed up with Toby Emmerich and Peter Farrelly, two legendary talents who not only share but enhance our vision of the film.”

Farrelly is repped by CAA. Gamble is repped by CAA and Bellevue and Hansen Jacobsen Teller.

Variety first reported the news.


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