Former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson is coming to a screen near you. Yesterday (May 16), The Hollywood Reporter announced that the athlete is taking on the lead role in an upcoming thriller titled Black Flies.
The film is set in New York City and takes viewers into the world of paramedics and the deeply draining effects the career can have on their lives. The story will focus on three main characters. Tye Sheridan (X-Men: Apocalypse) will be the newbie ambulance driver in the gritty city streets. Seasoned actor Sean Penn (Carlito’s Way) will play the veteran assigned to Sheridan.
Tyson joins the cast as the men’s superior officer. The film has already begun shooting.
Black Flies was originally a book by Shannon Burke and has been adapted for film by Ryan King and Ben Mac Brown.
This won’t be the champ’s first time on the big screen. Who could ever forget his role in the 2009 movie The Hangover? In the film, the boxer played himself as a group of dim-witted friends drunkenly stole Tyson’s pet tiger from his mansion during a bachelor trip to Las Vegas.
Tyson has also appeared in the animated comedy series “Family Guy” and the 2013 horror-comedy spoof, Scary Movie V. Black Flies will give viewers a chance to see Tyson in a more serious role.
The pro-athlete has found himself making headlines this year. In March, Tyson saved the day when he disarmed a fan at a comedy show. Tyson had been enjoying the evening at a Hollywood comedy club when a heckler disturbed the show and pulled a gun. The champ showed the man empathy by hugging him and removing the weapon from his grasp. No injuries were reported.
A month later in April, a fan wasn’t so lucky when he received a thorough beatdown from the former heavyweight champ after repeatedly disturbing him on a flight. Reports stated that the fan was drunk and possibly through a water bottle at Tyson, which provoked the assault. After a court saw video of the incident, no charges were filed.
In addition to Tyson’s successful sports and acting career, he also does podcasting and owns a cannabis company, Tyson 2.0.