Liev Schreiber and his wife Naomi Watts are set to play heavyweight boxer Chuck Wepner and Chuck’s wife Linda respectively in “The Bleeder” for Mandalay Sports Media and Campbell Grobman Films.
The story follows the New Jersey liquor salesman and boxer who at age 35 got a shot to fight Muhammad Ali right after the infamous ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ bout. The 40-1 underdog Wepner surprised everybody when he became only the third man to knock Ali to the canvas.
Ali got up and pummeled Wepne until the fight ended, but Wepner became a folk hero and an inspiration for Sly Stallone’s “Rocky” script. The film will also deal with Wepner’s sudden fame and hard partying lifestyle.
Philippe Falardeau (“The Good Lie,” “Monsieur Lazhar”) helms from a script by Jeff Feuerzeig & Jerry Stahl and Michael Cristofer. Schreiber, Mike Tollin, Carl Hampe, Christa Campbell and Lati Grobman are producing and shooting kicks off later this month in New York City.