Peter Farrelly to direct a film about the making of Rocky

Rocky Balboa
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The director of Green Book, Peter Farrelly, is set to make a film based on the ultimate Hollywood underdog story: the making of 1976’s Rocky.

That old saying about art mirroring life? It’s never been as true (in Hollywood at least) as in the mid-1970s when a young Sylvester Stallone wrote a boxing underdog story that was pursued by a major movie studio. However, Stallone refused to sell unless he got to play the lead, despite suffering from a partially paralysed face and a speech impediment.

In the end, the underdog triumphed and that film, Rocky, became one of the most successful films of the year and an instant classic. Now it has been announced that Peter Farrelly will be turning the real-life drama of Stallone’s fight to get the film made – while also staying involved in the project – to the screen.

As well as being one half of The Farrelly Brothers, Peter Farrelly is also known for helming several solo projects such as Ricky Stanicky and Green Book. The latter memorably went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture back in 2018 and was backed by the recently-shuttered Participant Media.

While the new Rocky film’s announcement never directly names Stallone, we imagine that he’s given the project his blessing, though we’ll wait for that to be confirmed before making that assumption. We’re curious to see who would play a young Stallone and with casting said to be underway, we might not have to wait too long to find out. According to IndieWire, the project is slated to go to market at Cannes next week in order to find a purchaser.

Here’s the logline for the project: “The film follows a struggling actor with a partially paralysed face and a speech impediment who writes a script that a big movie studio wants to buy, but he refuses to sell it unless he gets to play the lead. Turning down an offer of life-changing money, he instead works for pennies to get the movie made with himself in the starring role.”

Although casting the Stallone character might further the project’s chances of snagging a handsome deal, we can’t see the team behind this one walking away empty-handed. We’ll let you know when the film gets snapped up. Watch this space.

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