‘Variety’ Magazine Announce ‘Hands of Stone’ Movie Release Date

This is the news we have been waiting for. Variety's Dave McNary writes:

The Weinstein Company has set an August 26 opening date for the U.S. release of “Hands of Stone,” starring Edgar Ramirez as boxer Roberto Duran and Robert De Niro as trainer Ray Arcel.

TWC picked up domestic rights in May at the Cannes Film Festival with the agreement to release the biopic on at least 2,000 screens.

Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz, the movie follows the life story of Duran, who rose from the slums of Panama to become one of the great fighters of his time. His rivalry with Sugar Ray Leonard (portrayed by Usher in the film) is considered one of the fiercest in boxing history.

Duran was nicknamed “hands of stone” because of his punching power. He won 103 of his 119 fights between 1968 and 2002, when he retired at the age of 50.

American journalist Christian Guidice has written the first – and definitive – story of Duran’s extraordinary life both in and out of the ring. He has interviewed the fighter himself, his family and closest friends and scores of his opponents to separate truth from myth and get to the heart of one of the most intriguing sports stars of modern times.

This is a short extract from the book Hands of Stone: The Life and Legend of Roberto Duran:

With a face that reminded some of Che Guevara, others of Charles Manson, Duran’s feral stare never left me. His look was compelling, his image enigmatic, his fighting skills unsurpassed. In the ring, Duran came forward and intimidated; he didn’t know any other way. Those who stood up to him paid the price in blood and hurt; those who ran were pursued and hunted down. Sportswriters devoured stories of his wild childhood, told of him swimming across bays with a bag of mangoes held in his mouth to feed his family. His eyes were “dark coals of fire” and anything that he sneered at “froze” in terror. But who was this man? Was he really pure evil lodged in the body of a 135-poundprince, or was it all an act?

“I am Duran,” the man used to say after fights, as if the statement spoke for itself. Pure and simple, nothing more or less, just the exclamation that there was not another human on this earth like him. In the ring, here wasn’t. With his blend of skill and ferocity, the greased back hair and sharp beard, the man they called Cholo (for his mixed Indian heritage) had the best boxers of his generation against the ropes. Duran in full flow was a curious but riveting combination of in-your-face chaos and relentless beauty. As a person he lived just as freely, without caution.