May 25, 2024

Naseem Hamed Movie To Begin Shooting This Month; Pierce Brosnan Set To Star

Reports from publications such as Variety have informed us how another boxing movie is soon to be in the works, this one to give former featherweight banger “Prince” Naseem Hamed the biopic treatment. And yes, it’s not a typo, former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, is set to star in the movie. No, not as Hamed, but as his great trainer, Brendan Ingle; which may seem to you like one big dose of crazy casting (it sure does to me).

While Brosnan will be the biggest star to appear in the film, it’s been reported how Amir El-Masry will take on the role of the love-him-or-hate-him Hamed. Also, Sylvester Stallone will come on board as one of the executive producers of the film that will be directed by Rowan Athale (“The Rise”).

More details will be forthcoming, the film to begin shooting this month. If it’s done right, and is an accurate telling of the Hamed story, “Giant” could be one to watch. We have seen too many boxing biopics fall flat (the recent “Big George Foreman” film, for example, coming as a real disappointment to some), but when they are done right (“The Fighter” and it’s telling of the Micky Ward story a shining example) boxing bio flicks can be great stuff.

Hamed, a truly polarising figure, really did light up the featherweight division back in the 1990s and early 2000s. The British-Yemeni fighter attracted huge audiences, at first in the UK and then in America, with his flamboyant approach combined with his chilling punching power making him Box-Office material. If this film proves to be a warts and all affair, and not a mere vanity project, it could prove to be a compelling piece of work.

One could say Hamed himself was a compelling piece of work. Hamed was far from everyone’s taste, in and out of the ring, and there have been some darker events in his life (he was jailed for dangerous driving in 2006, the by now retired fighter stripped of his MBE as a result). We will have to see how the film treats its subject along with the good, honest truth.

Hamed, now 50 years of age, won the WBO and IBF featherweight titles and he fought in some 16 world title fights. Hamed lost just once, to Marco Antonio Barrera (it really will be interesting to see how the film makers cover this fight!) and he retired shortly thereafter, with a 36-1(31) record. A film about “The Prince” has been in the works for some time and one is now finally heading into production.

Again, though, I just cannot get my head around Brosnan as Ingle! Hopefully the 70 year old Irishman can somehow pull it off.