'Southpaw' Trailer: Beastly Jake Gyllenhaal Fights to Redeem Himself in the Ring

Friday, 27 March 2015 09:10 Written by  iamrogue
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'Southpaw' Trailer: Beastly Jake Gyllenhaal Fights to Redeem Himself in the Ring

The first trailer for this summer's boxing drama Southpaw has entered the ring online, and even though it gives away too much of the story, it also showcases a Jake Gyllenhaal lead performance that appears to land like a devastating uppercut.

Gyllenhaal's been on a roll since about Source Code, consistently upping his game with outstanding, intense turns in End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy, and, most recently, Nightcrawler.

His character in Southpaw is sort of the opposite of gaunt Nightcrawler sociopath Louis Bloom, and we don't just mean because he's a tatted-up slab of muscle this time.  He plays a volatile but successful prizefighter who undergoes a major tragedy and must clobber way to redemption in the ring while also fighting for custody of his adorable, traumatized daughter.  It's not your standard boxing movie in that it's not a rags-to-riches story, but by the look of it, Southpaw still checks the necessary boxes for an emotional pugilism drama.  In fact, there's a heavy Warrior vibe, but this isn't MMA.

Since radical physical transformation is the hottest play in the awards season book and Gyllenhaal got hosed last year, we're thinking The Weinstein Company will be gunning for awards on Gyllenhaal's behalf next year.  He's joined in Southpaw by Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, Naomie Harris, Rita Ora, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Beau Knapp, and real-life pugilist Victor Ortiz.

This movie has been in the works for years. It originated with Sons of Anarchy mastermind Kurt Sutter.  Four years ago, when Eminem was attached to star, Sutter described Southpaw as a sort of spiritual sequel to 8 Mile.  Since then, the Sutter's script has been rewritten by Richard Wenk, who is best known for The Expendables 2 and The Equalizer.

Speaking of The Equalizer, Southpaw is directed by Antoine Fuqua, who oversaw that Denzel Washington vehicle, as well as Olympus Has Fallen, Shooter, Training Day, and, uhhh, Tears of the Sun.

Fuqua and Gyllenhaal so enjoyed their collaboration that they're set to reunite on the Medellin cocaine drama The Man Who Made it Snow after the director finishes up his Magnificent Seven remake.

“Jake is going to change how people see him. I had him training twice a day in the boxing ring, he did two-a-days seven days a week," Fuqua told Deadline not too long ago. "We literally turned him into a beast… Jake, my god, he’s a very electric, powerful fighter in this movie, and a guy who fights for his daughter. I’m confident that this will change how people see Jake, as a leading man."

"Working with him was a great experience because he’s so committed and gives his heart," the director continued. "You’re going to see in this movie, how far he has come. I asked this guy from day one, ‘I need you in the gym every day. I need you to train every day.’ And I said, ‘The word is sacrifice.’ Literally. I think he broke up with his girlfriend because he was just in the gym every day,” Fuqua said. “He was training like a fighter. I had him sparring, really getting hit. I put him in situations where I wanted to see what he was made of. No one but fighters understand the sacrifice it takes to be a fighter.”

Southpaw is set to open in theaters on July 31st, facing off against Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.

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