Liev Schreiber to Become the Real Rocky

February 26, 2010

Liev Schreiber is one of those actors who can do everything: serious drama, comic book movies, and everything in between. So what does he have planned out next? Apparently he's going to be the next Rocky. No, not Rocky Balboa -- the real life boxer who inspired Stallone to create Rocky. This smacks of awesomeness.

The boxer that Stallone based Rocky on is named Chuck Wepner, also known as "The Bayonne Bleeder." Catchy. He fought lots of world-class opponents, including Sonny Liston, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali. It was his fight with Ali that Stallone watched at home and was inspired by as Wepner went fifteen rounds with the champ, even taking Ali down in the ninth.

Wepner challenged Ali for the Heavyweight title in 1975. He spent eight weeks training in the Catskills -- montage! -- to prepare for the March 24 fight, which took place in Cleveland. He ultimately lost to the champ of course, but he managed to send Ali to the mat in the ninth round before receiving a broken nose and more than a few facial lacerations. When asked beforehand if he thought he could make it through the fight alive, Wepner reportedly said, "I've been a survivor my whole life... if I survived the Marines, I can survive Ali."

This is the stuff movies are made of.

Sure, it's already been made into several movies, but there's something exciting about the thought of Schreiber playing a less slicked-up boxer than Stallone did. To actually see the guy Stallone based Rocky on and all the great fighters Wepner fought. It's probably safe to say a lot of people would want to see this movie.

So who would play Ali? Probably not Will Smith again, although that could be pretty cool. And how about George Foreman? Hell, maybe George Foreman could play George Foreman!

One way or another this is a project to keep tabs on. Let's hope it doesn't get pushed to the backburner; we'd all rather see this than X-Men Origins: Wolverine II. Right?

Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images