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Tennis Powerhouse Serena Williams To Play Iron Mike In New Biopic That Slams Gender Stereotypes

 

 By BRADFORD MIEHL

HOLLYWOOD, CA – Just because sports fans have seen plenty of Mike Tyson on stage in his one man show – “Mike Tyson: The Undisputed Truth” – doesn’t mean Hollywood will stop from making a brand new biopic based on the controversial power puncher this fall. 

What is new, on the other hand, about this Tyson bio is the gender of the actor slated to play Iron Mike.  Yes, it’s a chick.  First Word Hollywood reports that none other than tennis superstar Serena Williams has agreed to jump from the tennis court and onto the silver screen in her very first film role.

Producer George Rickelmann said that Serena is the perfect choice.  “Serena has the fire that Mike had during his reign of terror in the boxing ranks,” he said.  Rickelmann also believes Serena will break the gender barrier. 

“In Roman times, men played both men and women so we know that gender does not need to be a limitation to what actors do,” said Ricklemann.  He also believes that a woman can more easily duplicate Tyon's natural falsetto voice.

Williams does appear to have the powerful and compact physique of Tyson during his prime.  “Williams is a vision of raw, unadulterated, savage strength,” said tennis commentator and gender rights advocate Mary Carillo.  “Who better than Serena to capture Tyson's out of control power?”

A spokesperson for Williams said that she is excited to play the role of the pugilist: “Serena has admired Mike Tyson’s passion her entire life and cannot wait to begin transforming herself into her idol.”

Apparently, Rickelmann has been pursuing Williams to play Tyson for a long while.  For two years, Williams refused to take on the role, saying she did not believe she was up to the job of playing the man she calls “the greatest sports redemption story of the last 100 years.”

“Forget gender and focus on the dramatic impact of the character.”

Film critic and Santa Marino College film criticism professor Arnold Katz said that Williams’ gender could be a strong selling point that drives the film’s success.  “This takes the cross-gender acting in ‘Tootsie’ and ‘Big Mamma’ to the next level,” he said.  “[By choosing Williams] [t]hey are saying: ‘Forget gender and focus on the dramatic impact of the character.’”

No one has been attached to direct, but whoever does will face one gender related challenge: how to handle Williams’ bosom during boxing scenes.  CGI can work wonders but might diminish the returns of a woman taking on the role.  “I think she should do what every man does, and box without a top,” said Katz.  “If we can’t handle that in 2013, then something is very wrong.”

Whether Williams boxes with a top or au naturel, she will make waves.  If her acting is half as intense as her backhand, the film will be like a vintage Tyson uppercut.