Edgar Ramirez’s latest film will get the Weinstein treatment…
The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for the U.S. distribution rights to Hands of Stone, the Jonathan Jakubowicz-directed drama that stars the 38-year-old Venezuelan actor as iconic fighter Robert Duran.
Robert De Niro portrays Duran’s mentor and trainer Ray Arcel, and Usher appears as his ring nemesis Sugar Ray Leonard. Ellen Barkin, Ruben Blades and Ana de Armas also star.
The deal includes a theatrical commitment of around 2000 screens that will make this a precedent-setting release for a Latino film, with a strong P&A commitment and backend deals.
The deal makes sense, as The Weinstein Company bought the foreign rights for Hands of Stone a few months ago and now the company will release it globally.
The film tells the rags-to-riches story of Duran, who is best remembered for his two ring matches with Leonard. The first, in 1980, featured two proud all-time greats fighting toe to toe, with Duran emerging victorious to win the WBC welterweight title. And then came the rematch that November, where Duran shocked the world. He was being outclassed and pummeled by Leonard when he said “no mas,” and turned his back on Leonard and quit in the ring.
Jakubowicz wrote the script, and the core of the story is the relationship between Duran and Arcel and how each man changed the other in boxing’s Golden Era, when Duran and Leonard battled among a group of brawlers that included Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho and Vinny Pazienza.
The title Hands Of Stone came from Duran’s nickname, because the Panamanian hit so hard, with those heavy fists powering him to 103 victories in 119 fights. The “no mas” incident was a terrible ending to a rivalry that was everything depicted by De Niro and Martin Scorsese in Raging Bull, when Jake LaMotta had those classic brawls with Sugar Ray Robinson.
The film will most likely open sometime next winter.