“Thrilla in Manila” Film Moving Forward
The third fight in the epic trilogy between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier presented one of the most legendary nights in boxing history. "The Thrilla in Manila", as the fight was dubbed in 1975, may be heading to the big screen in the near-future.
Per BoxingScene, renowned director Ang Lee has been working on a dramatic interpretation of the 1975 heavyweight title fight, but the process has seen some hiccups over the past couple years.
Now, the film appears to be moving forward and may head into production soon. Boasted by a script from esteemed screenwriter Peter Morgan, Lee plans to film the feature in 3D as he did with his last movie The Life of Pi.
"I want to treat Thrilla in Manila as I always do," Lee said back in October, "which is an R-rated drama. Because it’s drama and it’s more expensive than it ought to be, I am still struggling to find financing."
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier produced what is the greatest rivalry in boxing history and one of the biggest sports rivalries of all time. It was a rubber match between the two, and the buildup to the fight was rife with controversy as Ali verbally abused Frazier, giving the match his name with one of his mean-spirited rhymes: "It will be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the gorilla in Manila."
Ray Fisher, who portrayed a young Ali in the play Fetch Clay, Make Man, has been rumored to play Ali in Lee’s big-screen blockbuster. David Oyelowo is reportedly being considered to play Frazier, though the film remains in early stages and no roles have been officially cast.