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Tyson: Jamie Foxx's Relationship With Mike Tyson Began With A Hysterical Comedy Club Incident

There's a long list of Hollywood projects that'll never see the light of day, despite getting a ton of publicity around the time of their announcements. One of the most infamous "What ifs" is a Mike Tyson biopic (that might've ended up being a miniseries) that was supposed to star Jamie Foxx and be directed by Martin Scorsese. On the surface, Foxx feels like a natural fit to portray the boxer, having won an Academy Award for playing Ray Charles, and he's done his fair share of action projects to build up his physique. But more than any of that, the two seemed destined to work together due to a chance encounter back in the day.

In 2020, Foxx related a story to ESPN about how he met Tyson a while ago when he was still doing the stand-up comedy circuit in Los Angeles. As he told it, "I was doing stand-up comedy, and one night I was in the club, and I went to my Mike Tyson joke and nobody laughed. You know why? Cause Mike is in the audience. And this was back in the day when Mike was knocking people out for just smiling wrong." Foxx was encouraged to proceed with the joke, provided it was funny. It must've amused Tyson because the two hung out after the show. They clearly built a repertoire together, even if the Tyson movie never came to fruition. 

Jamie Foxx got to know Mike Tyson extremely well

Making jokes about celebrities in Los Angeles is always a dicey situation because you never know who might be in attendance. However, despite his reputation, Mike Tyson seemed like he was a good sport when first meeting Jamie Foxx. And that relationship served as the basis for Foxx prospectively portraying Tyson in the project, as Foxx went on to tell ESPN, "Being able to hang out with him and watch the rise, watch the fall and all those things, it just helps when we are now putting together this incredible story for him."

It even sounded as though there would've been a redemptive arc to the project, exploring a side of Tyson the public generally didn't see. Foxx continued, "That's the Mike that we need to show. We need to show that vulnerability. We need to show that redemptive Mike Tyson that we now know and love." Unfortunately, the Tyson project appears to have fizzled out at the moment. A 2022 article from Daily Star notes how there was trepidation about Jamie Foxx being in his 50s portraying the boxer throughout his life, starting from his 20s. 

It's unclear if the project will ever get off the ground, especially seeing how Hulu came out with its own Tyson series, which was made without the boxer's blessing. Even if a movie never comes to pass, at least the two got a friendship from a chance encounter in a random L.A. comedy club.