Raging Bull II

Looks like those rumblings we heard a few years back about a Raging Bull sequel making its way to the big screen had some truth to them after all as we just got word that Raging Bull II will begin production later this summer.

Simmer down all you anti-sequelers (this author included) who would be perfectly happy were another sequel to never be made again. Though Raging Bull II will reportedly play out as a companion-piece to the 1980 Martin Scorsese-directed biographical film that starred Robert DeNiro as boxing legend Jake LaMotta, the film comes from a book titled Raging Bull II: Continuing the Story of Jake La Motta that is actually a sequel. So, the cutting of a little slack is in order.

Casting is now underway as we speak with Martin Guigui directing from his own script he co-wrote with Rustam Branaman. Moviehole.com has some details on each of the characters the production team is scouting for. We do know that DeNiro will not reprise his LaMotta role and rumors have it that William Forsythe will strap on the gloves this time around.

Raging Bull II, the book, provided a bit more back-story to LaMotta's life with a unique combination prequel and sequel that explores "before the rage" and "after the rage" such as what kind of childhood he led before becoming a boxer, as well as addressing the state of his marriages, career, and fortunes after the events depicted in Scorsese's movie. The book's publishers have provided us with the following description, but no word on how accurately Guigui's story will remain to the book:

Raging Bull II is a continuation of the Jake La Motta story. When Robert De Niro won an Academy Award playing Jake in a film made from the book, La Motta’s life brightened as he shared the limelight with De Niro. Since then he has gone through fortunes, been wealthy and flat broke, and married again in addition to his first five marriages, which ended in divorces before, the film was produced. La Motta now lives with Theresa Miller, his sixth wife. In her he believes he has finally found a marital state that will endure for the balance of his life. All of the conflicts, the fights and the terrors, which have been part and parcel of La Motta’s life, are in these pages. The book takes a sharp look at the real Raging Bull, both as the controversial ring gladiator and as the older, wiser philosophically entertaining performer he has become. In the ex-fighter’s own words, "this time [he] has fought not to be a champion gladiator but to become a champion human being.

Production for Raging Bull II is scheduled to hit the ring this June/July.