Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard will star opposite Channing Tatum in Dito Montiel's action drama Fighting, which begins production on location in New York City next week for Rogue Pictures. Kevin Misher is producing Fighting through his Misher Films. Rogue co-presidents Andrew Karpen and Andrew Rona made the announcement today.
Fighting is a rough-hewn heroic tale about realizing dreams of glory, putting audiences ringside at high-stakes underground street fights. Mr. Tatum stars as Sean Arthur, a young man who scrapes up a living hustling counterfeit merchandise in NYC. With family tragedy in his past and his father keeping him at a distance, this outsider has little to motivate him. A chance encounter with veteran street-fighting coach Harvey Boarden (Mr. Howard) leads to a whole new career for Sean. The ensuing bouts get tough, especially with the criminal element horning in, so Sean gets tougher. He will fight to win, not only the prize money but also the unexpected new relationships that are strengthening him.
Also newly cast are Zulay Henao (currently on-screen in Illegal Tender) as single mother Zulay Velez, whom Sean tries to integrate into his new life; Luis Guzman (Traffic) as Martinez, a fight promoter; and world-renowned professional fighter Cung Le as Sean's fearsome Korean foe in the ring. Mr. Montiel's crew on Fighting includes cinematographer Stefan Czapsky (Blades of Glory), production designer Therese DePrez (Rogue's The Return), and the costume design team of Kurt and Bart (Shortbus). Mr. Montiel's crew on Fighting includes cinematographer Stefan Czapsky (Blades of Glory), production designer Therese DePrez (Rogue's The Return), and the costume design team of Kurt and Bart (Shortbus).
Mr. Montiel has written the latest draft of the screenplay. Lisa Bruce is co-producer on Fighting. Senior vice president of production Adrienne Biddle is overseeing the picture for Rogue, which holds worldwide rights to the film.
Mr. Misher is currently in post-production on Christian Alvart's Case 39, starring Renee Zellweger and Jodelle Ferland, for release this winter. His earlier producing credits include The Interpreter and The Rundown.
Last year's A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, starring Mr. Tatum, was Mr. Montiel's first feature and was based on his own autobiography. He won the directing award in the dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, where the ensemble cast was voted a Special Jury Prize. The film, in which Shia LaBeouf and Robert Downey Jr. portrayed Mr. Montiel at different stages of his life, also was honored at the Venice International Film Festival with two awards for the writer/director. Mr. Montiel and Mr. Tatum each received an Independent Spirit Award nomination, while Mr. Tatum was additionally nominated for a Gotham Award in the Breakthrough category.