Director Spike Lee announced that he has chosen Michael Cera for the lead role in his Mike Tyson biopic. Lee released a blog post detailing the reasons for his choice.
“I’ve been searching for such a long time, I’ve been working very closely with Mike Tyson on this film to make sure everything is just perfect because of how important it is for the both of us. Whenever I found someone I thought might work for the role, I would call up Mike and we would talk it out and every single time we always felt that the actor was missing something vital for the role. Some guys didn’t have that raw life experience, others were lacking that primal fury that Tyson has, then when we took a look at Cera we realized what a machine he was. I mean, if you’ve ever been in his presence you already know what an intimidating force he is, the second we realized that was what was needed for this movie we offered the part up to him, and thankfully he accepted.”
Michael Cera spoke with reporters about the events leading to his eventual casting.
“Yeah, so I was at home one night enjoying a warm glass of milk and reading Infinite Jest when suddenly my phone rang. I answered it and it was Spike Lee on the other line and he asked me what I thought about being in the Mike Tyson movie. At first, I thought I was gonna play someone on Tyson’s boxing team but he told me he wanted me as the lead role. I didn’t really understand why, like at all, and initially I declined until I realized that Mike Tyson had been standing in my kitchen the entire time and he looked like he was going to hurt me unless I accepted the part. I thought I was going to have to hit the gym to transform my body but Spike Lee insisted that I deliver a ‘raw’ performance. So here we are, I have no idea what I’m doing but I don’t have much of a choice.”
Spike Lee’s film titled ‘I Am Mike Tyson And Nobody Else’ is expected to be released sometime early next year.