Fresh from Ben Affleck’s latest, Argo, Alan Arkin has signed on to star in Grudge Match. The film will be directed by Peter Segal (Get Smart and Anger Management) and will star Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone and Kim Basinger.
Production is due to start early next year on the film that will centre on two aging boxing stars (Stallone and De Niro) as they come out of retirement for one last match. Stallone and De Niro are accustomed to the boxing world, with the latter winning an Oscar for his portrayal of Jake LaMotta in Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, so it could prove worth watching out for.
Stallone will play Henry “Razor” Sharp and De Niro his old foe, Billy “The Kid” McGuigan. Arkin will join the cast as Razor’s trainer who has to be rescued from a nursing home in order to help Razor get back in the ring. Basinger will star as the love interest of Arkin’s “Lighting” Louis Epstein.
Stallone is still in good shape to realistically get back into the ring though I’m not sure the same can be said for De Niro. Despite his method efforts, this is a demanding role for a man of his age. Still, whatever the outcome, there seems to be a new audience for these types of films. The geriatric comedy is a popular sub-genre, with Hope Springs and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel faring well at the box office and Quartet, Stand Up Guys and Last Vegas all forthcoming.
Grudge Match has a good enough cast of Oscar nominees and winners – it’s up to them to outdo what imaginably will be some poor direction from Segal.