Though it would have seemed unfathomable just a few years ago, former heavyweight champion/Holyfield ear-biter/convicted rapist Mike Tyson has been experiencing something of a career renaissance as of late, with well-received appearances in both “Hangover” films, on “Entourage”, and even in a pigeon-racing reality series on Animal Planet entitled “Taking on Tyson” (seriously).
Now HBO is testing the limits of his appeal with their pilot order of “Da Brick”, a new TV project based on Tyson’s early life as a boxer in Newark, N.J. Not that their faith in the potential series is based on Tyson alone; executive-producing alongside him are heavy-hitters Spike Lee (who will direct the pilot), “Entourage” creator Doug Ellin (with producing partner Justin Lefkowitz), and screenwriter John Ridley.
There’s something oddly inspiring about Tyson’s recent turnaround, particularly as it comes on the heels of that spectacular slow-motion public meltdown earlier in his career. However you feel about him, there’s no doubt his fascinating life story makes a good jumping-off point for a potential series, and the creative team that’s been assembled is undeniably impressive. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out going forward.