American actor Rami Malek has shut down speculation that he will play famed Filipino boxer and senator Manny Pacquaio in a biopic.
Malek’s name was floated in Philippines’ media in connection with a Pacquiao biopic since December 2020, when Pacquiao claimed that a film about him would be streamed on Netflix. Reports also claimed that Leonardo DiCaprio would play the role of Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer.
Malek told Rappler on January 13, “I can absolutely deny that. That’s fascinating. No, I will definitely not be playing Manny Pacquaio.”
The Oscar-winning actor said that it was the first time he heard about the rumour, adding that “for someone of Filipino origin, it would be nice to see that person being played by somebody from that country”.
Malek did tell Rappler that one historical figure he’d love to play is the legendary comic actor Buster Keaton. “I hope that one day, it comes to fruition. I think it will,” he said.
Pacquiao is regarded as one of the greatest boxers in history, with major world titles under his belt. He entered politics as an elected Senator of the Philippines in 2016 and is serving a six-year term.
Pacquiao appeared in the documentary film Manny (2014), directed by Leon Gast and Ryan Moore. It featured the narration of actor Liam Neeson and appearances by Oscar De La Hoya, Jimmy Kimmel and Mark Wahlberg.
Malek, on the other hand, is due to appear in the James Bond movie No Time To Die, which will be Daniel Craig’s last outing as 007. It will arrive in movie theatres starting April 2. Initially set to hit the big screen in April 2020, MGM and Universal Pictures confirmed in October 2020 that the movie was delayed until April “in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience”.
Reports say that the delays plaguing No Time To Die are costing MGM Studios around $1million per month in interest on the money it borrowed to make the film.
“MGM is suffering. Every major distributor at this point has a pile of unreleased expensive movies. The pile grows larger by the day,” Hal Vogel, CEO of Vogel Capital Research told The Hollywood Reporter.
Malek will also star opposite Denzel Washington and Jared Leto in The Little Things, which will be released in the US this month.