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Pierce Brosnan, Amir El-Masry Join Boxing Drama "Giant," Sylvester Stallone to Executive Produce

Mon 15 Apr 2024 | 04:22 PM
Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan
Amir El-Masry, Pierce Brosnan
Yara Sameh

Egyptian-British actor Amir El-Masry is set to star alongside Pierce Brosnan in the sports drama “Giant,” based on the true-life story of British-Yemeni boxer Prince Naseem “Naz” Hamed and his rags-to-riches ascent to a world championship under the tutelage of his Irish-born boxing trainer Brendan Ingle.

El-Masry will play Naz and Brosnan is set to portray Ingle. 

The pic will be written and directed by Rowan Athale (“The Rise,” “Gangs of London,” “Strange But True”), and produced by Mark Lane of Tea Shop Productions and Kevin Sampson of White Star Productions. AGC chairman and CEO Stuart Ford will also produce.

AGC Studios and BondIt Media Capital are financing the pic.

On board to executive produce are Sylvester Stallone and Braden Aftergood of Balboa Productions, AGC Studios’ Miguel Palos, Zach Garrett and Anant Tamirisa, BondIt’s Matthew Helderman, Luke Taylor and Tyler Gould, Michael Ewing and True Brit’s Zygi Kamasa.

Kamasa’s True Brit Entertainment has taken U.K. distribution rights with AGC International handling international sales on the title. 

The movie is set to begin shooting in Leeds, England in late April. Originally scheduled to shoot all of its interiors in Malta, AGC decided to move the entirety of production back to the UK, and as such “Giant” is one of the first productions to directly relocate as a result of the recently enacted Independent Film Tax Credit announced by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

“Giant” is the true story of Hamed’s humble beginnings on the tough working-class streets of Sheffield and his discovery by Ingle, himself a steel industry worker turned boxing trainer. Their unlikely partnership along with Naz’s unorthodox style, cocky persona, and sheer dominance in the ring, propelled them to the top of boxing’s elite and global stardom, all in the face of the rampant Islamophobia and racism of 80s and 90s Britain.

U.K. Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer expressed her support for the project, noting: “Our new tax breaks for independent film announced in the budget are already having a clear impact, attracting a production that would otherwise lose out on everything our creative industries have to offer,".

"We introduced more generous tax reliefs to create the right environment for indies to thrive. We are delivering on our plan to generate more opportunities for our skilled creatives, and making Britain one of the best places in the world to make films,” she added.

El-Masry is known for his roles in Jon Stewart’s directorial debut “Rosewater,” the series “The Night Manager” and the BAFTA-nominated “The State.” 

He has been seen on-screen recently in Kenneth Branaugh’s “A Haunting in Venice” as well as in “Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker” and as young Mohamed Al Fayed in “The Crown” Season 5.

El-Masry also performed in Woody Harrelson’s “Lost in London,” the first movie to ever be shot and screened live in cinemas across the US and UK. He can also be seen in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” Netflix series “The One,” and “Industry” for HBO, executive produced and directed by Lena Dunham.

El-Masry plays the lead in the refugee drama “Limbo” for which he won best actor at the BAFTA Scotland Awards. 

He can be seen most recently in “In Camera,” starring opposite Nabhaan Rizwan, directed by Naqqash Khalid. “In Camera” premiered at the London Film Festival in 2023 and El-Masry was nominated for best supporting actor for his performance at the 2023 BIFAs.