Ang Lee‘s long-in-development 3D boxing movie is off the ropes again with a new home at Studio 8. Lee was set to direct the film for Universal as his follow up to Life of Pi, but per The Wrap, Lee opted to make the Iraq satire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for TriStar while “he waited for technology to catch up with his ambitious vision.” It seems that time has arrived as Lee has partnered with Jeff Robinov‘s Studio 8 to bring the project back together.
Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, Rush) penned the script when the project was still at Universal, though it is unknown if a new screenwriter will be brought on board now that the film has changed studios. Lee’s long time collaborator James Shamus remains on board as producer. While the details are scarce regarding the plot that would tie together the segments of 3D brawling, the untitled film is based on the iconic “Thrilla in Manilla” boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.
The report also states that while no offers are on the table yet, Lee still has his eye on David Oyelowo (Selma) and Ray Fisher (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) for the roles of Frazier and Ali, respectively. Deadline reports that Lee has already started scouting for the film and would like it to be the next picture he directs.
Lee is known for pioneering cinematic techniques with is cutting-edge approach to filmmaking in films like Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Lee demonstrated a visionary mastery of 3D filmmaking with Life of Pi and most recently he applied a whole new set of groundbreaking techniques to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which he shot in 120 frames per second 3D. Through the use of 3D technology, Lee hopes to take viewers inside of the ring with his Ali-Frazier film, immersing them in the brutal action of one of the greatest boxing matches of all time.