The Weinstein Company Acquires U.S. Distribution Rights to Ramirez’s “Hands of Stone”

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.

Edgar Ramirez

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.




Ramírez to Star as Roberto Durán in “Hands of Stone”

He’s played the god of war and a legendary Latino political leader… And, now Édgar Ramírez is set to portray a boxing champ.

The 36-year-old Venezuelan actor has signed on to star opposite Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone.

Edgar Ramirez

The drama, written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, centers on the life of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán, who was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” during his career.

Ramírez will portray Durán, while De Niro will play his trainer Ray Arcel in a drama that focuses on how each man changed the life of the other.

Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

The film is set during boxing’s Golden Era, when Durán was among top notch fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, Hector Camacho and Vinny Pazienza.

The film’s focus will be on Durán’s incredible bouts with Leonard, culminating in an inexplicable ending of the famous fight where Durán quit in the ring and cried “No mas,” on a night when Leonard was having his way.

Hands of Stone will begin production in Panama this September.

“The story of Roberto Durán and Ray Arcel is not only a homage to the golden days of boxing; it is most importantly the story of a fatherless man who teaches every single one of us the true meaning of never giving up,” said the film’s producers.

Ramírez recently appeared in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty and next stars in Libertador.