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Jake Gyllenhaal Now Taking Roles Eminem Turned Down, Will Star in Boxing Drama ‘Southpaw’

Jake Gyllenhaal Southpaw
Walt Disney Pictures

Jake Gyllenhaal is coming off his most acclaimed performances in years in ‘Prisoners‘ and ‘Enemy‘ and his set up his next starring role: the boxing drama ‘Southpaw,’ a project originally written for rapper Eminem.

Gyllenhaal is in talks to star in ‘Southpaw’ for director Antoine Fuqua (‘Training Day’) and based on a script by Kurt Sutter (‘Sons of Anarchy‘). ‘Southpaw’ was originally developed as the follow-up movie for Eminem, who has yet to star in a film since ’8 Mile,’ but after a few years of false starts, the actor walked from the project last year to focus on his new album (“Marshall Mathers LP2″ currently streaming online).

According to The Wrap, Gyllenhaal would star as a left-handed prizefighter who wins a title but suffers a tragedy soon after and must put his life back together to earn the respect of his young daughter.

While we tease The Gyllenhaal, this project looks to be part of a concerted effort to focus on more dramatic roles like ‘Prisoners’ and ‘End of Watch’ and less on ‘Prince of Persia,’ a disappointing action film that may have ended the actor’s bid to become an A-list action star. And that’s OK. We like the current groove Gyllenhaal has found himself in, one that could wind up with an Oscar nomination this year.

Filming on ‘Southpaw’ is scheduled to begin early next year for The Weinstein Co.

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