Pencil in David Oyelowo’s name for a 2014 Best Actor nomination.

(Via MovieWeb) David Oyelowo is set to play boxer Sugar Ray Robinson in the biopic Sweet Thunder, based on Wil Haygood’s biography Sweet Thunder: The Life And Times Of Sugar Ray Robinson.

Wil Haygood wrote the first draft of the screenplay, with producer and writer Danny Strong looking to possibly do a second draft, depending on who the director is. Moneyball’s Rachael Horovitz is also producing.

Sweet Thunder will follow Sugar Ray Robinson’s exploits throughout his early career, and his refusal to get into the ring with organized crime, which cost him quite a few title bouts. The film will look at how the boxer helped expose the seedy underbelly of the organization, making it a more legitimate sport.

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  • unlikely hood

    Has anyone ever starred as a real-life boxer in a major-budget Hollywood film and *failed* to get an Oscar nomination? I mean I know the list of nominees is long…Paul Newman, Robert DeNiro, Denzel Washington, Will Smith…just not sure if it’s exclusive.

  • steve50

    ^ Yup – Russell Crowe missed out for Cinderella Man, based on heavyweight (?) Braddock.

  • unlikely hood

    Ah, good point Steve.

  • steve50

    It was a near-miss, I think, because everybody was pissed at Crowe, but you’re right – it’s almost a sure thing to be nominated for paying a boxer (real or not).

  • harry

    Why are we assuming this isn’t a straight to HBO movie?

  • Jp

    Daniel Day Lewis also wasn’t nominated for Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer (1997) although he still got a Golden Globe nomination.

  • Oyelowo was great in the flawed, but watchacle The paperboy. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

  • LucyB

    Love this actor. But it distresses me that so few American actors seem to be chosen to play American Icons.

    Also, seriously, his head isn’t the right shape. Don Cheadle is a better fit physically, but he’s too old.

  • SFMike

    @unlikely hood… Mark Wahlberg.

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