Streaming platform Hulu has dropped a new trailer for its upcoming series on Mike Tyson and much like the man, it pulls no punches. Mike charts the iconic rise and fall of the contentious former heavyweight boxing champion, from his early days fighting out of Catskill to his short prison sentence and eventual retribution. Straps yourselves in, when it finally releases on August 25, this show will hit hard.
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In the new Mike trailer, we got the first glimpse at Trevante Rhodes in the titular role, and while he doesn’t exactly look the spitting image of Iron Mike, the actor has managed to nail his trademark intensity. In the opening few scenes, we see a young Tyson, chased by bullies and terrorised by self-doubt.
With nowhere left to turn, he finds solace in boxing trainer Cus D’Amato, played expertly by Tarantino favourite Harvey Keitel. Taking the raw and ready Tyson under his wing, D’Amato moulds his pupil into a ferocious weapon, letting him loose on a series of unsuspecting opponents.
Importantly, Hulu’s Mike doesn’t shy away from the boxer’s contentious lifestyle. The new series is set to chart Tyson’s stunning fall from grace, following addiction issues and a rape conviction that led to a short prison stint. That might explain why the real-life Mike Tyson isn’t stoked on the series.
In February last year, when the project was first announced, Tyson, 56, confirmed he was in no way involved with the series, instead describing it as a venture in “corporate greed”.
“Hulu’s announcement to do an unauthorized mini-series of the Tyson story without compensation, although unfortunate, isn’t surprising,” Tyson wrote. “This announcement on the heels of social disparities in our country is a prime example of how Hulu’s corporate greed led to this tone-deaf cultural misappropriation of the Tyson life story. To make this announcement during Black History Month only confirms Hulu’s concern for dollars over respect for black story rights. Hollywood needs to be more sensitive to black experiences especially after all that has transpired in 2020.”
Nevertheless, Hulu and filmmaker Steve Rogers, best known for penning the acclaimed Tonya Harding biopic I, Tonya have pressed on with the project. While that might seem strange, Craig Erwich, President of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals previously said that it wasn’t unusual for the subjects of biopics to be far from the production.
“Biographical pictures are a fan favourite and a staple of the movie and television business and frequently the subjects are not involved,” Erwich told Deadline last year. “We have a strategy of taking a modern lens and applying it to stories and figures of popular culture of the past. We’ve had a lot of success doing that and I think it reveals interesting things, not just about where we’ve been but where we are so we’re looking forward to continuing the creative conversations behind Iron Mike.”
The new series stars Rhodes, and Keitel, alongside Olunike Adeliyi, Russell Hornsby, Li Eubanks, B.J. Minor and Laura Harrier. Mike will premiere on Hulu on August 25. You can check out the new trailer above.