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Trailer: 'Big George Foreman' film highlights boxer's 'miraculous' journey to the ministry

Courtesy of Affirm Films/Sony Pictures
Courtesy of Affirm Films/Sony Pictures

The trailer for the upcoming movie "Big George Foreman" has launched, highlighting the famed boxer’s journey from heavyweight champion to pastor and then heavyweight champion again.

Releasing April 28, "Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World" stars Forest Whitaker, Khris Davis and Sullivan Jones. It's directed by George Tillman Jr. from a story by Dan Gordon, Frank Baldwin and Tillman Jr., with a screenplay by Baldwin Tillman Jr. 

The film is based on the remarkable true story of one of the “greatest comebacks of all time and the transformational power of second chances,” according to the film synopsis.

“Fueled by an impoverished childhood, Foreman channeled his anger into becoming an Olympic Gold medalist and World Heavyweight Champion, followed by a near-death experience that took him from the boxing ring to the pulpit,” it continues. “But when he sees his community struggling spiritually and financially, Foreman returns to the ring and makes history by reclaiming his title, becoming the oldest and most improbable World Heavyweight Boxing Champion ever.”

According to Variety, the forthcoming film will follow Foreman’s boxing career highlights, including when he obtained Olympic Gold at the 1968 Mexico City Games and his world heavyweight champion run. But it will also cover Foreman finding his faith, retiring and becoming a preacher.

Foreman was ordained a minister in 1978 and founded The Church of The Lord Jesus Christ in Houston, Texas, in 1980. In the trailer, he reflects on how sometimes, preaching is “just as hard” as getting “punched in the face.”

The biopic also documents Foreman’s triumphant return to the ring at the age of 45, when his family and church faced financial hardship. He went on to claim the heavyweight champion title, becoming the oldest in boxing history to do so. 

The athlete famously won two heavyweight titles in 1973 and then in 1994, nearly a decade later. His “Rumble in the Jungle” fight with Muhammad Ali, who is played by Jones in the film, is one of the most famous boxing events in sports history. Foreman retired with a career record of 76-5 (68 by knockout).

Foreman reflected on his shift from boxing to the ministry in his 2007 memoir, God in My Corner. 

"(In the late 1970s) I had been preaching occasionally in the church, and I loved to preach, so I bought thirty minutes of radio time on a Houston station and continued preaching. On my show, I talked a little about boxing and a lot about the good Lord. I was living in Humble, a suburb of Houston, so when I went into the city to do my radio show, it wasn't unusual for several friends from my former church to ask me to lead a Bible study or to pray with them. Three or four of us met in various homes; soon there were six or eight, then ten people attending,” he wrote.

“I didn't really intend to start a new church, but eventually we found it beneficial to organize."

"Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World" also stars Jasmine Mathews, Sullivan Jones, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., John Magaro and Sonja Sohn.

Watch the trailer below.

Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: leah.klett@christianpost.com

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