Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way Productions has teamed with Singapore’s Golden Ratio Films and Canada’s Blisspoint Entertainment to shoot “Pep,” a biopic of legendary mid-20th century featherweight boxer Willie Pep.
The film is poised to begin production in Hartford, Connecticut, Pep’s home-state, with Robert Kolodny directing from a screenplay by Steve Loff.
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Pep, born Guglielmo Papaleo, had an extraordinarily long career spanning 26 years and nearly 2,000 rounds as a professional. Set in 1965, the film charts one of Pep’s comebacks, as he finds himself riddled with debt while supporting a wife half his age and a drug addict son in a single-family home.
“Band of Brothers” actor James Madio stars in the title role as Pep, alongside co-stars Keir Gilchrist (“Atypical”) who will play the role of Pep’s son, Billy Jr., and Ron Livingston (“Office Space”) as Pep’s business manager, Bob Kaplan. No female leads have yet been confirmed.
Robert Greene will serve as the film’s editor, with Steve James as the executive producer.
Blisspoint, which developed the project, is a film and content creation company founded two years ago by Bollywood actor and producer Abhay Deo (“Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara”) and producer Ratan Ginwalla. With Golden Ratio, it previously produced horror film “Son.”
Golden Ratio (“The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir”) is wholly owned by content, media and entertainment investment holding company Vistas Media Capital. Appian Way has credits including The Revenant,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and TV’s “Live by Night.”
“We are pleased to partner with Appian Way to tell the story of the late Willie Pep – an iconic fighter who has inspired many with his emotional comeback to the ring,” said Abhayanand Singh, CEO and co-founder of Vistas Media Capital. “We are committed to expanding our content production and distribution capabilities across regions, and are always on the lookout for thought-provoking stories that capture the resilience of the human spirit.”
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