Back in 2006 we started to hear rumors that the book Raging Bull II, by Chris Anderson, Sharon McGehee and Jake LaMotta, would be adapted to film, in order to provide a “companion piece” to Martin Scorsese‘s original Raging Bull. And, in all likelihood, to attempt to cash in on the recognizable name.
Now that plan is going forward; director Martin Guigui has a script he co-wrote with Rustam Branaman, and is casting the film now to begin production in June.
Moviehole has a casting breakdown of the movie, which reveals that, as we’d heard years ago, Raging Bull II plans to chart the early days of Jake LaMotta’s life, and then pick up again in the days after the end of Scorsese’s film.
Robert De Niro will not reprise the role of LaMotta; William Forsythe will play the older incarnation of the boxer. This would be the second time Forsythe took on a De Niro role, as he also played Al Capone in the TV follow-up to Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, in which De Niro played Capone.
Here’s part of the publisher’s description of the book:
Raging Bull II is a continuation of the Jake La Motta story. When Robert De Niro won an Academy Award playing Jake in a film made from the book, La Motta’s life brightened as he shared the limelight with De Niro. Since then he has gone through fortunes, been wealthy and flat broke, and married again in addition to his first five marriages, which ended in divorces before, the film was produced. La Motta now lives with Theresa Miller, his sixth wife. In her he believes he has finally found a marital state that will endure for the balance of his life. All of the conflicts, the fights and the terrors, which have been part and parcel of La Motta’s life, are in these pages. The book takes a sharp look at the real Raging Bull, both as the controversial ring gladiator and as the older, wiser philosophically entertaining performer he has become. In the ex-fighter’s own words, “this time [he] has fought not to be a champion gladiator but to become a champion human being.
You’ll get a lot more out of the casting breakdown, which offers more specific info. It also has some optimistic comedy, as certain roles are earmarked for stars only. Good luck with that.
YOUNG JAKE LAMOTTA
To play 14-20 years old, and already a tough bare knuckles fighter. He takes his father’s frequent beatings without a sound and makes money fighting much bigger opponents in back alley fights set up by his drunken, abusive father. Please submit over 18 to play younger OR emancipated
Portrays 40s-70s, Jake’s father, a tough-looking Italian man, he’s a mean drunk who handcuffs and beats his son. He sets up the back alley fights with Jake and much older, stronger opponents. Later he refuses to help the grown-up Jake when he asks for money. Late in life, a frail old man, he reconciles with Jake just before his death. STAR NAME ONLY
40s-50s, Jake’s childhood friend “Ricky”, now a tall, glib and charming wise guy type, wearing a very expensive suit. He’s done very well running the factory Jake gave him the money to start when he was champ. Later he produces and directs porn while trying to break into legit movie-making. He’s always got his eye on Jake and manages to find him work, first as a stand-up in seedy clubs, then as a bouncer in a mob-owned strip joint, finally putting him to work with other ex-champs in his legitimate movies. STAR NAME ONLY