Hulu has found its Mike Tyson. Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes will play the controversial world champion boxer in eight-part series Iron Mike.
He will pull the gloves on and get in the ring later this year when production starts. Rhodes, who played adult Chiron in the Academy Award-winning feature film, has also starred in Netflix’s Birdbox and Hulu’s The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.
The series is set to explore the wild, tragic and controversial life and career of heavyweight champion Tyson – one of the most polarizing figures in sports culture.
The streamer ordered the series from I, Tonya screenwriter Steven Rogers and director Craig Gillespie with Margot Robbie exec producing and Mixed-ish’s Karin Gist set as showrunner and exec producer.
It comes from 20th Television with Rogers, Gist, Rhodes, Gillespie and Robbie exec producing alongside The Gist Of It’s Claire Brown, Clubhouse Pictures’ Bryan Unkeless and Scott Morgan, LuckyChap’s Tom Ackerley and Entertainment 360’s Darin Friedman.
Hulu is pulling no punches with the series and refuses to be knocked out even though the boxer accused the Disney-owned network of “cultural misappropriation” and said it was “tone-deaf” to announce particularly during Black History Month.
It turned out that one of Tyson’s issues might have been a rival project that was also in the works, one that he had signed up to be involved in, revealing in March that Jamie Foxx would star in a limited series from Antoine Fuqua and Martin Scorsese. That project didn’t have a broadcaster or streamer attached.
Craig Erwich, President of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals, told Deadline, “Biographical pictures are a fan favorite and a staple of the movie and television business and frequently the subjects are not involved. We have a strategy of taking a modern lens and applying it to stories and figures of popular culture of the past,” he told Deadline. “We’ve had a lot of success doing that and I think it reveals interesting things, not just about where we’ve been but where we are so we’re looking forward to continuing the creative conversations behind Iron Mike.”
Rhodes is represented by attorneys Peter Sample and Marcy Morris at Jackoway Austen.
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