Liev Shcreiber Wants to Portray the Original Rocky - NBC Chicago
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Liev Shcreiber Wants to Portray the Original Rocky



    Liev Schreiber has set his sights on the story of the man who inspired Sylvester Stallone to write his Oscar-winning screenplay.

    "There’s a guy named Chuck Wepner, the Bayonne Bleeder. He’s the guy that 'Rocky' was based on," Schreiber told MTV. "He went 15 rounds with [Muhammad] Ali in 1974 and it's this wonderful story of what happened to that guy as a result of his rise to fame."

    Considering he already got jacked up for the role of Sabretooth in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," getting ready to play Wepner shouldn't be too tough.

    Wepner, who started fighting as a Marine, finished his boxing career with a record of 35-14-2, including 17 knockouts and more than 300 stitches.

    "Rocky" left Wepner feeling a little shortchanged, as he never saw a penny of the millions that the franchise earned for Stallone and others. In 2003, Wepner filed a $15 million lawsuit.

    "It's been 28 years of slaps on the back, hugs, kisses and broken promises," Wepner said at the time during a news conference at Mickey Mantle's restaurant. "I'm not mad at Sly, but I am fed up. I've talked to him 8 or 10 times but after 28 years, it's time he came to the table. I'd love to have him sit down with me."

    They settled for an undisclosed amount three years later.

    Wepner may have been the inspiration for "Rocky III," as well, which saw Balboa fight pro wrestler Hulk Hogan. In 1976, a year after losing to Ali, Wepner squared off against Andre the Giant.

    "That's the next thing I'd like to do," added Schreiber. "It’s just a remarkable, hilarious film and I hope we get to make it."

    Let's hope Schreiber does right by the Bayonne Bleeder.