Eminem will put his highly anticipated boxing film, Southpaw, on hold for the near future while he works on new music.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the holdup comes after filmmakers withdrew an application with the Michigan Film Office that requested $8.9 million in incentives for the MGM film, which is expected to cost $30.7 million in in-state spending.
Antoine Fuqua, of Training Day fame, was set to direct the film about a struggling welterweight boxer, played by Em, who’s on the road to redemption. Em was supposed to star in the film, but is more focused on rapping.
“He’s focusing on his music right now,” Eminem spokesman Dennis Dennehy told The Detroit Free Press. “So while he’s doing that, while he’s in that space, he wanted to put this on hold for the time being.”
Slaughterhouse member and one of Em’s best friends, Royce da’ 5’9”, recently confirmed with XXL that Slim Shady is hard at work in the studio.
“Em’s always working,” Royce said. “He never stops working.”
Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager, and Stuart Parr, who co-produced the Em’s first feature film, 8 Mile, were listed on the application as co-producers of the film. The secrecy surrounding the film, which is set in Em’s hometown of Detroit, fueled interest in the movie, which was originally supposed to be made by Dreamworks.
Despite the setback, those close to the project are still optimistic about the possibility of getting it done. And the decision to pull the application with the Michigan Film Office doesn’t necessarily eliminate Detroit as a possible location. “What I’m told is when the film does get made, the plan is that the bulk of it will be shot in Michigan,” Dennehy added. “That was always the understanding.”—Calvin Stovall