The Humor Mill

Wanda Sykes Lands First Dramatic Film Role In Boxing Drama ‘Undercard’

Posted Feb 14, 2024

Catalyst Studios is producing and launching world sales on boxing drama Undercard, written and to be directed by Tamika Miller (Honor Student) and set to star Emmy winner Wanda Sykes in her first dramatic film role.

The movie will chart the story of a female boxing trainer (Sykes), who after abandoning her son, rises from the ashes to coach him in the biggest fight of his career.

The film is currently in pre-production, with Catalyst introducing the film to buyers at this week’s European Film Market.

Pic is co-written by Anita M. Cal and is produced by Anne Clements, Catalyst Studios’ Paul Kampf, and Mark Pennell, with Catalyst Chairperson Holly Levow executive-producing.

Comedian and actress Sykes is best known for roles in History Of The World: Part IIThe UpshawsMonster In Law and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Her latest comedy special I’m An Entertainer was nominated for a Golden Globe, a Grammy, three Emmys, a Critics Choice Award as well as a NAACP Image Award.

Miller is known for her previous feature film, Honor Student, and her TV episodic work, which includes The Equalizer, Quantum Leap and Station 19.  

Director Tamika Miller said: “Wanda is a tremendous talent and an absolutely force. When I thought of who to play the role of a former boxer turned boxing trainer, I thought of Wanda. Wanda is a woman in the male-dominated field of comedy and has been slaying it for over 20 years. And, it’s her fearlessness, determination and vulnerability that I see in this role as a trainer in the male-dominated sport of boxing attempting to do what no other woman has ever done – train her son to a world championship title. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Wanda onboard Undercard. And, bravo to Catalyst Studios for championing my vision!”

“I have been talking with Tamika about Undercard for the longest, I’m thrilled it’s finally happening. I am excited about entering this boxing world and looking forward to the challenge,” added Sykes.

Undercard is the sixth film in our slate of original content we will complete this year,” said Holly Levow, Catalyst Chairperson. “We are incredibly proud of the quality of films we have produced while maintaining our company mission of creating opportunity for women and non-binary filmmakers to deliver a high quality, commercial slate of stories through their unique lens.”

Catalyst Studios’ EFM slate also includes Follow Me starring Connie Nielsen, psychological thriller Broken Bird starring Rebecca Calder, and the Spanish magical realism drama Alix starring Cristal Aparicio.

Sykes is repped by CAA and attorney Roger A. Pliakas.

Source: Deadline

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