Eminem hasn’t appeared in a film since his well-reviewed performance as an Eminem-type figure in 2002′s 8 Mile (unless you count a hilarious cameo as himself in Judd Apatow’s Funny People), but now that he’s made his triumphant return on the charts and everybody’s best-of lists, Em is attempting to reignite his acting career. The rapper will reportedly star in a movie called Southpaw, about “a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to tragedy. The movie is about his fight to reclaim past glory.” Sounds familiar.
There have been various reports over the years of Marshall Mathers starring in a number of projects, from the life story of Mark Zupan (as seen in the 2005 documentary Murderball), to a film called 360 with Anthony Hopkins (which was shot down). But Southpaw, to be written by Sons of Anarchy creator/executive producer Kurt Sutter, is the first to be officially in pre-production with the rapper attached.
“I took meetings with Marshall’s producing partners over the past 7 years, looking for something to do together,” Sutter tells Deadline. “He is very interested in the boxing genre, and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl… we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life.”
“I love that the title refers to Marshall being a lefty, which is to boxing what a white rapper is to hip hop; dangerous, unwanted and completely unorthodox. It’s a much harder road for a southpaw than a right handed boxer.”
Eminem certainly surprised us all with a nuanced performance in 8 Mile, and can you imagine how beefed up he’s going to get training to be a believeable boxer? We’ll be there opening night. And though Em only seems to be challenged enough to want to play versions of his own persona, hey, give him some credit — it’s harder than it looks.