Trevante Rhodes is ready to duke it out as boxer Mike Tyson in the first footage of a new and unauthorized series about the heavyweight champion’s life.
Hulu on Wednesday gave fans a first look at the “Moonlight” actor in fighting form with the release of a teaser for “Mike,” due out Aug. 25. The eight-episode series is billed as a “no-holds-barred look” at Tyson, both in and out of the ring, and promises to be “one wild ride.”
According to press notes, “Mike” also “examines class in America, race in America, fame and the power of media, misogyny, the wealth divide, the promise of the American Dream and ultimately our own role in shaping [Tyson’s] story.”
Catch the teaser for “Mike” below.
By all accounts, Tyson is a divisive figure in pop culture at large. In 1992, the New York native was convicted of rape and sentenced to six years in prison, serving three. His boxing license was briefly revoked in 1997 after he bit off a part of opponent Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match.
From the looks of the clip, “Mike” won’t shy away from any of those controversies. And series screenwriter Steven Rogers is known for capturing the nuances of complicated athletes. His screenplay for 2017’s “I, Tonya,” about disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, received numerous accolades and a BAFTA Award nomination.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Rogers said he wanted to present Tyson as a “compelling, contradictory, and complex” figure, not a heroic one.
“I think the thing people responded to in ‘I, Tonya’ was, we took a story everyone thought they knew and we tried to show there’s much more to it than just the sound bites the media gives us,” he said. “In some ways, [Tyson’s life is] a cautionary tale of the American Dream.”
“You can find the roots of a lot of issues we’re grappling with today like #MeToo, Black Lives Matter, prison reform, mental health issues in it,” he added. “It seemed like a good time to tell it.”