Word began circulating last year that Jamie Foxx will portray boxer Mike Tyson in a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese. No release date has been announced, but earlier this month, Foxx described the epic opening scene on New York’s Hot 97 radio show Ebro in the Morning, complete with shadowy figures, time lapses and chorus-like voice-overs. We can already tell that the film will lean heavy on the dramatic, thus ignoring some honest, essential and less trophy-worthy moments from Tyson’s life. Here we attempt to fill in the gaps.
Watching The Notebook. Tyson has gone on record several times praising Nicholas Sparks’ 2004 masterpiece. “Every time I watch [it], I cry,” he told Us Weekly in May 2014. What we wouldn’t give to witness the tough guy’s salty tears glimmering against his tribal face tattoo. It’d be a thing of beauty.
A Double Date with Robin Givens, Madonna and Sean Penn. File under “you can’t write this stuff.” In 1988, the four unlikely friends took to the cinemas to see Big Top Pee-wee per Madge’s suggestion. Penn and Tyson had hit the bottle beforehand and fell asleep in their seats. (To be fair, who didn’t? Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is way better.) Tyson told Access Hollywood about the outing last month while promoting the documentary Champs and discussing his cameo on Madonna’s song “Iconic.” Also so weird, but so true.
The passing of “The Whizzer.” Among the many TMI moments in his 2013 memoir Undisputed Truth, Tyson confessed to cheating on pre-fight drug tests … by using a fake penis. “I had to use the whizzer,” he wrote. The phony phallus was filled with “clean” urine and carried to fights by an affiliate of his entourage. Chances are we won’t see anyone handling Tyson’s member on the big screen. Wait, that didn’t sound right.
Rehearsing for The Hangover. It takes time to perfect a theatrical air drum to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.” (That’s his favorite part.) And his singing—were voice lessons required? Did he already know the song by heart? We may never know. We’re pretty sure he needed no practice knocking out Zach Galifianakis, though.
Deciding to get the Face Tattoo. Tyson revealed to Rosie O’Donnell in 2012 that he initially planned “to get a bunch of hearts on [his] eyes … like a pirate patch.” (Yes, he was high). His tattoo artist convinced him to cover only half of his face, and to opt for a tribal pattern. Tyson’s friends all discouraged him from getting the ink. He says, “That’s why I said ‘yes.’” Now imagine Foxx as Tyson staring intently at his reflection and lisping, “Yeah, that’s gonna look real good … for the rest of my life.”