Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, who is best known for films Frank and Room, is set to make a film about bisexual boxer Emile Griffith, who killed his opponent after he made a homophobic remark.
According to Deadline, Lenny will be teaming up with Film4 to make the 60’s set biopic.
When speaking to Deadline, Lenny had this to say: “It is so rich that it’s hard to know where to start. As a character study, Griffith is incredibly compelling. There was a gentleness and innocence about him, and he never seemed conflicted about his sexuality; indeed he found joy in it. He inhabited two worlds – the underground gay scene in New York in the 60s and the macho world of boxing. The societal stigma at that time was dreadful and created a crushing pressure on him.”
This film will be based on a book by Donald McRae, entitled A Man’s World: the Double Life of Emile Griffith.
For a little taste of what to expect, here’s a teaser from Donald’s book: “Griffith was about to step off the scales when he heard his trainer Gil Clancy shout: ‘Hey, watch it!’ He wheeled round. A smirking Paret feigned intercourse with him as his trainers whooped hysterically. He waggled a finger at Griffith. ‘Hey maricón,’ Paret said in a cooing lisp, ‘I’m gonna get you and your husband.’”
That was the night Emile beat his opponent to death in front of millions who were watching live on TV. This event actually caused live boxing broadcasts to be pulled from ABC, and they didn’t return until the 1970’s. Apparently, Emile felt terrible guilt for what he did, suffering from nightmares about it for 40 years.
Emile once said: “They forgave me for killing a man, but they couldn’t forgive me for loving a man.”