Bruce Willis has signed on to play legendary trainer Cus D’Amato in the upcoming film Cornerman, written and to be directed by Rupert Friend and produced by Friend, Aimée Mullins for Circus Florist Films and Marc Butan and Ara Keshishian of MadRiver Pictures. A worldwide search is currently underway to find a 13-year-old actor to play a young Mike Tyson.
Cornerman is set in the Catskills region of New York during the early 1980s, when D’Amato is introduced to a young Mike Tyson, a kid with raw talent waiting to be trained. According to the official description:
“Constantine ‘Cus’ D’Amato (Willis) is a reluctantly retired boxing coach who in his heyday discovered and trained some of the greatest heavyweight world champions. Now, along with his long-time partner Camille, he runs a small gym where he and his trainers, including lithe former street-brawler Teddy Atlas, coach young contenders. But the backer of the gym is pressuring him to find a real competitor and secure Cus’ professional legacy. So, when a friend drops by with 13-year-old Mike Tyson, Cus is intrigued. Mike gets into trouble with his fists, displaying his raw but incredibly powerful talent. Seeing the kid’s extraordinary potential, Cus enrolls him in his gym and welcomes him in his home, determined to turn the mercurial hothead into the youngest-ever heavyweight world champion.”
“Ultimately, this is a story about a deep love between two ferocious talents, each brave enough to admit their fears to the other, and so spur one another to greatness,” said Friend. “It is a story about fighting for what you believe in, and a film that will make you question what strength really is.”
The film will be introduced to foreign buyers in Cannes.