An exclusive report from Moviehole shares news about the upcoming Raging Bull sequel/prequel. Casting is already underway for the story centering on middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta (originally played by Robert De Niro). The film will be directed by Beneath the Darkness filmmaker Martin Guigui, who is already looking to fill in his lead players.
Raging Bull II
is based on the Chris Anderson, Sharon McGehee, and Jake LaMotta's novel
that continues LaMotta's troubled saga in print. The film is being described as a companion piece and "unique combination prequel and sequel that explores 'before the rage' and 'after the rage,'" according to IMDb
. Fans of the original film will remember that boxing hopeful LaMotta sunk into a downward spiral of girls, booze, and prison after losing his championship title.
Last we heard, William Forsythe was rumored to be in the ring as La Motta. Moviehole points out that the decision is kind of interesting since the star played opposite De Niro in Once Upon a Time in America and stepped into De Niro's role for a TV spin-off of The Untouchables.
The new film provides more background information into the fighter's psyche by way of these newly discovered casting bios (see below). We find out LaMotta has an encounter with a molesting priest during reform school. Jake apparently punches him in the crotch for the sexual advance. (We can't recall if the priest part is true, but we know the real-life Jake was enrolled in reform school.) We also learn that a young Jake spent time fighting in back alleys for money as a teenager. In real-life, those fights were arranged by his father to help pay the rent. In the upcoming movie, they are arranged by a 14-year-old friend Guigui is looking to cast.
We're still not sure how Raging Bull II will pan out. These are big shoes … er, gloves to fill. We also feel part of the magic of Raging Bull was inspired by a dark time for director Martin Scorsese, making it a very personal tale. He made the epic 1980 film at one of the lowest points in his life after a near-fatal drug overdose. The project became his lifeline — encouraged by star De Niro. We doubt Guigui can match the lyricism of the first film, but we're willing to bite our tongues until we see more. Tell us where you stand — and cast these spots for the director — below. Production on the Raging Bull II starts in June in Los Angeles.
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
30-40, Jake’s girlfriend and later his wife and Lisa’s mother. After years of dealing with Jake’s drinking and womanizing, she finds Jesus and takes Lisa with her to Florida, leaving Jake alone in New York. STAR NAME ONLY
60s, Head Master of the reform school, he tries to force young Jake to fellate him and gets punched in the crotch by Jake. Recognizable names: Great Cameo Role
RICARDO “RICKY” ROSSELLI
14, Jake’s best friend, arranges more back alley fights and splits the take with Jake. Please submit over 18 to play younger OR emancipated
30-40, aging, yet still sexy, Hollywood movie starlet. From Vienna, she still speaks with a slight accent. She’s furious when Jake won’t sleep with her. Recognizable names: Great Cameo Role