EXCLUSIVE: Rhode Island-based production company Verdi Productions has halted pre-production on the next feature film on the company’s slate, a biopic of Muhammad Ali Jr., due to the impending SAG strike.
According to producer Chad A. Verdi (Bleed For This), the indie movie was due to enter principal photography on September 1 in Rhode Island with cast attached, but will now be pushed to late 2024. Tom DeNucci directs.
The movie will chart the story of Ali Jr. who has struggled to live in his legendary father’s shadow, dealing with bullying, abandonment, drug addiction and family issues. More recently, Ali Jr. has found greater peace with himself, his former relationship, his father and his own children.
Verdi recently produced a documentary on the same subject.
Chad A. Verdi stated: “With the WGA already on strike and a possible SAG strike looming, pushing this film was the right thing to do. We 100% support SAG’s final decision, whatever that may be. We look forward to pursuing this special project when the dust has settled in 2024, and hopefully by then SAG and WGA have received a fair deal that both unions are satisfied with.”
Verdi Productions recently wrapped movie Chosen Family, starring Heather Graham, Julia Stiles and Thomas Lennon. Recent releases include Savage Salvation starring Robert DeNiro, John Malkovich and Jack Huston and Johnny & Clyde, starring Megan Fox, Tyson Ritter, Avan Jogia and Ajani Russell. Upcoming is Sean Penn-directed Ukraine documentary Superpower.