In February, the streamer revealed it had ordered eight-episode series Tyson from I, Tonya screenwriter Steven Rogers and director Craig Gillespie with Margot Robbie exec producing and Mixed-ish’s Karin Gist set as showrunner and exec producer.
The series is set to explore the wild, tragic and controversial life and career of boxing legend Iron Mike – one of the most polarizing figures in sports culture.
However, a few hours after the announcement, Mike accused the Disney-owned network of “cultural misappropriation” and said it was “tone-deaf” to announce particularly during Black History Month.
It turned out that one of Mike’s issues might have been a rival project that was also in the works, one that he had signed up to be involved in, revealing in March that Jamie Foxx would star in a limited series from Antoine Fuqua and Martin Scorsese. That project didn’t have a broadcaster or streamer attached.
Craig Erwich, who is now President of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals after the December shake-up at the company, told Deadline that it is currently in process on the Iron Mike series.
“Biographical pictures are a fan favorite and a staple of the movie and television business and frequently the subjects are not involved. We have a strategy of taking a modern lens and applying it to stories and figures of popular culture of the past,” he told Deadline. “We’ve had a lot of success doing that and I think it reveals interesting things, not just about where we’ve been but where we are so we’re looking forward to continuing the creative conversations behind Iron Mike.”