In what’s undoubtedly the year’s most ill-advised casting news, an upcoming biopic of the late boxer Arturo Gatti is set to star… Jerry Ferrara, best known for playing hanger-on Turtle on HBO’s Entourage.
According to Variety Ferrara, who aside from a supporting role in last year’s “Think Like a Man” has shown little in his acting career other than the ability to play Turtle, will portray the late Italian-Canadian fighter and International Boxing Hall of Famer. Gatti is best known for his three fights against Micky Ward in the early 2000s, and for his death, under mysterious circumstances, in 2009.
Mark Wahlberg, who played Micky Ward in “The Fighter”- the 2010 movie that for some reason completely omitted the Gatti/Ward fights- is on board as a producer, as is NFL star-turned-talk-show host Michael Strahan. It’s unclear who if anyone will play Ward.
Ferrara, known for his husky physique during the early years of Entourage, appears to have lost a significant amount of weight in the time since. Gatti fought as a super featherweight, lightweight, light welterweight and welterweight throughout his career.
A movie about Arturo Gatti isn’t necessarily a bad idea- boxing movies are a great tradition, and I always thought Gatti’s story was more interesting and movie-worthy than that of his former ring opponent. But let’s just say Turtle wouldn’t have been my first choice.
That long-in-the-works Entourage movie, meanwhile, apparently remains in limbo.