EXCLUSIVE:Amy Schumer, whose highly anticipated comedy I Feel Pretty opens this weekend wide from STX, is now circling another Voltage Pictures project. Written by Katherine Fugate (Valentines Day), Christy Martin is a true story about the world champion boxer of the same name who had to fight through a mans world to gain success and later personally found herself fighting for her life. This would be a decided turn for Schumer as it is a gritty drama — but what a great story — about a woman who never gives up and who keeps going despite every odd against her.
Christy Martin came from little, rose up the ranks of her sport, found success but not true love until later in life. Once she realized who she was personally, she was then brutalized and left for dead by the man she trusted.
The project will be produced by Alix Madigan, Nicolas Chartier and Alissa Phillips. Jonathan Deckter will serve as exec producer.
The story is based on the life of Martin (now going by Christy Salters) who grew up in West Virginia earning the nickname in the boxing world of The Coalminers Daughter after she won a boxing competition. By 1990, she was in the boxing ring pushing the glass ceiling for women to be allowed to box.
When she walked into the gym to train, a trainer named Jim Martin made sure her ribs were broken to try to get rid of her, but Salters healed and came back in. Eventually, she would go on to marry Martin.
She was the first woman to sign with Don King, the famed boxing promoter, who then started signing her into several pay-per-view fights. She started knocking out her opponents one by one and kept rising up the rungs of the ladder until she reached the top. She maintained that until 2003 when Laila Ali came into the ring with her.
Behind the scenes in Orlando, her life was no picnic with the controlling and violent Martin. Christy Martin, who had been involved with women earlier in her life, fell in love with another woman and decided to leave her husband for her lover.
That pushed Jim Martin to the edge and one night, the anger and violence in him snapped completely. He brutalized her, stabbed and then shot her as his wife fled the house trying to save her own life. She ended up in the hospital (as did he from self-inflicted stab wounds) and then he ended up in prison.
Christy Martin, who eventually changed her name back to her maiden name of Salters, refused to back down and would stand before Jim Martin once again — to testify to put him behind bars.
Schumer is repped by UTA and Maverick Management.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.