Actor Jerry Ferrara of “Entourage” fame will play boxer Arturo Gatti in a biopic film, Variety reports.
According to Variety, the film will be produced by Michael Strahan. Mark Wahlberg, who played Gatti’s adversary Micky Ward in “The Fighter,” will be an executive producer.
Gatti is remembered for being one of the most entertaining and exciting boxers in recent memory. He went 40-9 with 31 knockouts in his career and was part of Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year on four occasions. His epic trilogy with Ward were among the best fights in history and showcased both fighters’ toughness and determination.
Gatti’s death in 2009 was the subject of controversy. The beloved Italian-Canadian fighter was found dead in his hotel room in Brazil, where he was on vacation with his wife and baby son. Gatti’s wife was initially charged with murder, and the belief was that she strangled her drunk/passed out husband with her purse strap. She was later released after they ruled it was a homicide.
The Gatti family was dissatisfied with what the Brazilian police and hired their own investigation, which concluded that Gatti’s death was a homicide.
Ferrara is a huge sports fan and says Gatti is his favorite fighter of all time.
“One of the proudest moments of my life, is to have this chance to play my favorite fighter of all time. #thunder,” Ferrara wrote on Instagram.
He also hinted at the role with this tweet, which he sent prior to Variety’s report.
“I hear the cheers when I need to hear them. It feels good to know my fans are still behind me.” Arturo Gatti THUNDER
— Jerry Ferrara (@jerrycferrara) October 1, 2013
Being such a huge fan of Gatti is great, because that means Ferrara will put a lot of passion into the project. But I do have to say it will be hard for me to envision the guy who played Turtle also playing such a ferocious fighter. However, I felt the same way about Jonah Hill playing a character based on stat nerd Paul DePodesta, and he killed that role. Hopefully Ferrara will do the same.
Photo: Twitter/Jerry Ferrara