The most astounding aspect of boxer Vinny Pazienza’s life story is that it took so long to be adapted for the big screen. Its bullet points are practically a checklist of things that Hollywood loves. It’s the true comeback story of a boxer who gets laid low by debilitating health issues, but defies authority, risks his life, and beat the odds to become a title-holding champion (check, check, and check).
In 1991, the 29-year-old junior middleweight champ was involved in a car accident that left his broken and threatened to leave him paralyzed. After three months with a Halo medical device screwed into his skull—during which time he defied doctors’ orders against exercise—he began training to get back in the ring. And despite the fact that this was real life and not (yet) a movie, he did it.
Miles Teller stars as Pazienza, with Katey Sagal, Aaron Eckhart, and Amanda Clayton (John Carter) filling out the supporting cast of people supporting the down-on-his-luck fighter. This is writer-director Ben Younger’s third film, after 2000’s Boiler Room and 2005’s Prime.
Bleed For This arrives in theaters on November 4.