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Eminem Was Supposed To Be The Lead In 'Southpaw,' But Instead Jake Gyllenhaal Got It

Gettyimages | Jamie McCarthy
By Clark Sparky

Kurt Sutter has been answer tons of fan questions throughout the coronavirus quarantine, most of which have been about "Sons of Anarchy," the series he created for FX. But recently, a fan asked him about another one of his projects -- the 2015 film Southpaw.

He revealed that while Jake Gyllenhaal ended up playing the lead role, Sutter actually wrote the part for Marshall Mathers aka Eminem.

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"Yes. I wrote it for Marshall," Sutter replied. "His team came to me wanting to do a boxing movie. They were originally going to remake The Champ. I pitched the idea of telling the second half of his story, post-Eight Mile, though the analogy of boxing. They dug it."

Dreamworks ended up buying the project, but Mathers had to be replaced with Gyllenhaal when he decided he wasn't in a place to do the film.

"Marshall decided to focus on music and his sobriety. Which I totally understood and respected," Sutter said.

He said that put the project in limbo for a year, and then The Weinstein Company took it over and addedJake Gyllenhaal as the new Billy. "We adjusted it creatively and Jake made it his own," Sutter added. He said he was "very happy with his interpretation of Billy."

The film earned mixed reviews and currently has a 60 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Sutter has also answered tons of pressing "SoA" questions. He was asked by a fan what went into Jax Teller's decision at the end of the series to take his own life.

"I think so many things factored into that fateful decision," Sutter replied. "Tara, Gemma, his father, the club... but mostly it was about ending the lineage of Tellers being associated with the outlaw life. The mayhem had to end with him. He did not want his sons to follow in his path. It's why he told Wendy to tell his boys that he was a monster. A murderer. He never wanted them to romanticize the life the way he did. He wanted his Abel and Thomas to create a new branch in the Teller family tree. An honest, peaceful branch."

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Previously, Sutter was asked about working with Charlie Hunnam, who played Jax, in another show someday.

"Are you planning on working with Charlie Hunnam again?" a fan asked Sutter. "In a heartbeat," he replied on April 28. "I'd love to find the right project. Something that would stretch the both of us. And that's not too reminiscent of SOA."

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