Jamie Foxx has signed on for a project he’s been hinting at for some time now, portraying boxing legend Mike Tyson in a new biographical limited series, according to Variety. The series, simply titled Tyson, does not yet have a home network or streaming service, but we can only imagine that there will be several in contention considering the creative names involved. Tyson would be directed and executive produced by none other than Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua, while also being executive produced by Martin Scorsese via Sikelia Productions. The series would reportedly feature Tyson all throughout his life, which makes it unclear whether multiple actors would portray the boxer, or whether Foxx would be undergoing a lot of de-aging for the screen.
This project makes sense of Tyson’s angry reaction to last month’s announcement of a Mike Tyson biographical series at Hulu. That streamer’s eight-episode series is titled Iron Mike, but Tyson railed on social media against the announcement, saying that he had not been involved or compensated, and that Hulu was “stealing a black athlete’s story.” As Tyson posted on Instagram at the time: “This announcement on the heels of social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this tone-deaf cultural misappropriation of the Tyson life story. To make this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respect for black story rights.”
Unsurprisingly, Tyson’s statement about this newly announced Tyson series is much more glowing: “I have been looking to tell my story for quite some time. With the recent launch of Legends Only League and the excitement from fans following my return to the ring, now feels like the perfect moment. I look forward to collaborating with Martin, Antoine, Jamie, and the entire creative team to bring audiences a series that not only captures my professional and personal journey but also inspires and entertains.”
Tyson is written by Colin Preston, and will have Mike Tyson himself on as an executive producer. Foxx has reportedly been training his boxing since last year in preparation, although he’ll clearly have his work cut out for him in emulating one of the most feared boxers in the history of the sport. Mike Tyson became a major figure in pop culture when he became the youngest ever heavyweight boxing world champion in 1986 at only 20 years old, and his career that followed was marked by huge fights and courtroom drama outside the ring. He was convicted of rape in 1992 and spent almost three years in prison—all of which we can presume will be covered in any full-life biopic.
We’ll bring you more updates on the development of Tyson, and its sparring partner Iron Mike, as they approach.