How many great fighters have been handed the silver screen treatment, either posthumously or while still living? Plenty, that’s for sure. And while some of these films/movies/biopics have been nothing short of great: see ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘The Fighter,’ ‘The Joe Louis Story,’ and maybe one or two other boxing flicks, there have also been too many turkeys, KO losses to forget: see ‘Ali,’ ‘The Hurricane,’ and the recent and wholly disappointing Big George Foreman movie.

But the boxing movie that has just been announced as being in the works, to pay tribute to middleweight great Marvelous Marvin Hagler, absolutely has to deliver. Why? Because Hagler was great, and his story was long and hard forged, that’s why. Also, the folks who are behind the in-the-works project profess to be massive Hagler fans.

As per a story from The Hollywood Reporter, actor Sam Rockwell and producer Mark Berger have won the battle over the rights to the upcoming book on Hagler, ‘Blood & Hate: The Untold Story of Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s Battle for Glory,’ written by Dave Wedge. And now, ahead of the book’s scheduled 2025 release, plans are afoot for the movie.

Reportedly, Rockwell will play one of the two Petronelli brothers, who of course looked after Marvin as he set about ruling the middleweight landscape, while Rockwell and Berger will serve as co-producers.

Rockwell is a huge Hagler fan:

“I remember watching Marvin Hagler’s fights in the 1980s and was always astonished by his talent and grit. He was an extraordinary southpaw. Now to be able to tell his underdog story, especially as a lifelong boxing fan, is a dream come true,” the actor said in a statement.

No word yet on who will portray Hagler. But, as is always the case when news breaks regarding an upcoming boxing movie that will, hopefully, shine nothing but the truth on one of our heroes, we all hope the REAL story will be told. Too many times we’ve been, without lack of exaggeration, offended by the so-called ‘artistic licence’ that belongs to film makers. Real facts changed to make a more dramatic storyline, even made-up characters put into the story in an effort at making the movie more interesting, or to make the audience more sympathetic towards the star. We don’t need it.

Again, hopefully the Hagler story will suffer no such embellishments or flat-out changing of history. Hagler as we know, came up the hard way, his skills, his toughness, his desire forged as he battled through wars in Philly, as he suffered bad decisions against him – as he fought killer after killer.

The forthcoming movie, in an ideal world, will sign in at around the three-hour mark, maybe even longer. If not, how can the Hagler story possibly be fully, accurately and passionately told? And for us fight fans/Hagler fans, it will be fascinating to see who plays Hagler foes such as Vito Antuofermo, Alan Minter, John Mugabi, Thomas Hearns………and Sugar Ray Leonard.

It’s a shame Hagler is not still living, seeing how he is now getting both the statue and the movie treatment he so richly deserves.

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