CATEGORIES Documentary, Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Sports, Deals, Paramount, Newsstand, Movie News, CinematicalFirst we have the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line. Then Ring of Fire, an apparently very bad Cash musical opens on Broadway. Plus, there's a documentary called Ring of Fire, but that's about a boxer named Emile Griffith, not Johnny Cash. And now Columbia and Paramount are making a fiction film called Ring of Fire - also about Griffith. Man, I'm already confused.
Emile Griffith's story is a tragic, fascinating one, about a man who moved from a career in fashion into the boxing ring, where he eventually killed a man. Griffith's alleged (please correct me in the comments if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that he's never actually called himself gay) homosexuality was a factor in that deadly fight, as it has been in his life from that moment on - he was beaten almost to the death in the 1990s in what appeared to be an incident of gay bashing - and, given both the riveting nature of his story and the growing acceptance of films with gay themes, it's certainly understandable that a studio would see this as a good time to tell his story.
Ring of Fire was a hit last year's Sundance, and a solid team has been assembled for the big studio, fictional treatment. The screenplay is being penned by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, and multiple Tony-winner George C. Wolfe (who also helmed HBO's highly-praised Lackawanna Blues) has been tapped to direct.