You read that headline correctly: Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta – or, rather, the now-sexugenarians who brought them to life onscreen – may face off in a boxing comedy titled Grudge Match.
Speculation that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro could co-headline Grudge Match has been ongoing ever since Peter Segal (Anger Management, Get Smart) closed a deal to direct the film, back in October 2010. Back then, the Grumpy Old Men-style laughfest was based on a script draft penned solely by onetime Arsenio Hall Show staff writer Tim Kelleher.
Jump ahead to the present-day and The Wrap is reporting that Stallone and De Niro have begun talks to work together on Grudge Match. Moreover, the script has now been retooled by a handful of writers – including (most recently) Entourage creator Doug Ellin.
Stallone and De Niro previously shared the screen in the 1997 crime drama Cop Land. Recently, Stallone has been enjoying a trip down memory lane, with his roles in such macho movie throwbacks as The Expendables (and this summer’s sequel), next year’s buddy flick Bullet to the Head, and the currently-shooting prison escape thriller The Tomb. De Niro, meanwhile, has spent the last few years appearing in a variety of action and comedy vehicles alike; that trend will continue in the future, as the acting legend has parts in upcoming titles like Last Vegas (a.k.a. The Hangover with old guys) and Luc Besson’s latest action-comedy production, Malavita, among others.
The respective differences in Stallone and De Niro’s current physique (see above) would, in theory, only heighten the comedy factor in Grudge Match – which will see the pair play former boxing rivals, who return to the ring for one final battle of fists. Segal has a long history of churning out competent (if only occasionally “good”) high-concept comedies as a director; similarly, Grudge Match recalls the setup for Segal’s so-so 1996 comedy My Fellow Americans, which also revolved around a pair of aging rivals (there, ex-presidents).
In short: Grudge Match doesn’t exactly sound like a brilliant variation on previous films about cranky old guys who head out for one last hurrah (Space Cowboys, The Bucket List, etc.), but it could have some entertainment value.
Grudge Match has technically not been greenlit yet, but it’s expected to begin production by early 2013. As always, we will keep you posted.
Source: The Wrap