The all-singing, all-dancing stage musical adaptation of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky may have shut down, but fans of Italian boxers bearing that name won’t have to wait long for another fix. The life of heavyweight boxer Rocky Marciano will soon be memorialized in a biopic. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Marciano distinguished himself by becoming the only World Heavyweight Champion to retire undefeated and untied, winning all 49 of his bouts, many of them by knockout. Perhaps unable to decide which lifetime touchstone would best grab the attention of audiences, the filmmakers have gone for broke and called the film 49-0/The Brockton Blockbuster.
While it’s easy to assume that Rocky Marciano provided the real-life inspiration for Stallone’s Rocky Balboa—if you didn’t notice, they share the same first name—Rocky was more likely based off small-time fighter Chuck Wepner, a contention that has caused Stallone no small amount of legal trouble. Still, the similarity certainly can’t hurt 49-0/The Brockton Blockbuster’s chances at the box office.
There have been a couple of TV movies made about Marciano before—one in 1979, and one starring Jon Favreau in 1999—neither of which were to the Marciano’s family’s liking. But Marciano’s estate has already signed off on this project, and will be working with director Dustin Marcellino to make sure it tells “the real Rocky story.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marcellino is a fan of Marciano, and the movie will be written “by the Marcellino family,” implying they will all gather around the keyboard to pitch lines and correct each other’s grammar.