‘Chuck’ director urges Sylvester Stallone to watch Wepner biopic

Millenium Films

Director Phillipe Falardeau has urged ‘Rocky’ counterpart Sylvester Stallone to view his own portrayal of the man the 1976 Oscar-winning smash hit was based.

Falardeau has brought ‘The Real Rocky’ Chuck Wepner’s life to the big screen for the movie previously entitled ‘The Bleeder’ but now called plain ‘Chuck’ and out in cinemas worldwide this year.

Wepner fought the great Muhammad Ali in 1975, losing via stoppage in the final round of fifteen with just 19 seconds remaining of the contest.

‘The Bayonne Bleeder’ took a real beating that night at the Richfield Coliseum in Ohio as a certain young aspiring actor and director sat ringside watching in awe.

Stallone would use Wepner as his inspiration for ‘Rocky’ which was released soon after and has since spawned several sequels on its way to becoming a massive franchise earning hundreds of millions of dollars.

As ‘Chuck’ moves into Middle Eastern territory following release in the United States on May 5th, Falardeau hopes Stallone enjoys Wepner’s story starring Liev Schreiber as the title character.

“I’m afraid of that – not in the way he’s being portrayed, because I think he’s going to like that actually. But the fact that Chuck Wepner keeps saying ‘I’m in the real Rocky’, I’m sure he’s not going to like that,” Falardeau told thenational.ae’s Rob Garratt.

“But I think he needs to see it, and he needs to see that he’s being portrayed in the film in a very generous fashion.

“We have a souvenir, a memory of Rocky in our minds… you look at the fight today and it’s unbelievable – you don’t even think they’re fighting – it’s fake punches.

“Today in any boxing film we’ve achieved a level of sophistication which is closer to reality,” he added.

The film also stars Elisabeth Moss, Naomi Watts, Ron Perlman, Catherine Corcoran and Michael Rapaport alongside Schreiber and is now available in selected cinemas worldwide.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay