Seven Years Later, ‘Foxcatcher’ Finally Makes it to the Big Screen

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Foxcatcher trailer
Channing Tatum and Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
Photo: Sony Classics

I’m ecstatic I’ll finally be seeing Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher at the Toronto Film Festival, beginning on September 4, which is to say in less than two weeks from now. Today a new poster for the film has premiered and along with that, over at Vulture they have profiled the upcoming release which stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, though that wasn’t always in intention.

The Vulture piece reveals Miller first started working on the script for Foxcatcher in 2007 with Dave Eggers and at the time was thnking of Ryan Gosling and Bill Nighy for the leads, and also spoke with Heath Ledger for a role. But things quickly changed after seeing the 2006 feature A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. E. Max Frye who was ultimately credited with the screenplay alongside Dan Futterman remembers Miller’s light bulb moment saying, “I remember Bennett saying, ‘This is the guy! He even has a mixed-martial-arts background! His name is Channing Tatum,’ and I said, ‘Who?'”

The project was coming together to the point Miller was hoping to begin shooting in July of 2007, and Tatum says, “I didn’t know what to think… I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know how to read scripts, I didn’t know anything about acting, and the way Bennett talked about this wildly dark character weirded me out a little bit, to be honest with you. I was super-young and I just didn’t get it. In a way, I think, thank God it didn’t come to fruition then, because I don’t know what it would have turned out to be.”

Now, here we are, seven years later and Tatum is far from an unknown quantity and also respected as more than just a meat head actor (I wasn’t the only one that thought that right?). Performances largely in Steven Soderbergh‘s Magic Mike and Side Effects as well as his comedic turn in 21 Jump Street have changed the perception of Tatum greatly.

As for the screenplay, the writers strike got in the way, then Miller needed to find something he was passionate about once he realized Foxcatcher wasn’t going to be his follow-up to Capote and that’s when Moneyball came into play. That, obviously, is the short of it as you should really read the entire Vulture piece if you’re interested in learning more.

For now, here’s a new poster for Foxcatcher as well as the trailer if you’ve somehow missed it until now.

Foxcatcher hits theaters on November 4.

foxcatcher-carell-poster

Foxcatcher tells the gripping, true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder.