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'Boiler Room' Director Ben Younger Returns To Helm Boxing Biopic 'Paz'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist January 19, 2012 at 1:45PM

Whatever happened to Ben Younger? The former political aide, the youngest ever campaign manager in New York, made a promising film debut with "Boiler Room," a well-liked financial drama that starred Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck, before segueing, several years later, into "Prime," an odd romantic comedy with Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman, which was flawed, but not without its charms. But since that film, which came out in 2005? Nothing. Not a peep.
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Ben Younger Paz

Whatever happened to Ben Younger? The former political aide, the youngest ever campaign manager in New York, made a promising film debut with "Boiler Room," a well-liked financial drama that starred Giovanni Ribisi, Vin Diesel and Ben Affleck, before segueing, several years later, into "Prime," an odd romantic comedy with Meryl Streep and Uma Thurman, which was flawed, but not without its charms. But since that film, which came out in 2005? Nothing. Not a peep.

But it looks like a comeback might be on the way. Variety report that Younger has signed on to direct the independent boxing drama "Paz," which tells the story of Rhode Island boxer Vinny Pazienza (also known as Vinny Paz, and The Pazmanian Devil), a middleweight boxer whose world-title-chasing career was seemingly over when he broke his neck in a car accident, only for him to stage a remarkable, against-the-odds comeback.

Chad A. Verdi, a childhood friend of Pazienza, and Noah Kraft (Peter Facinelli's "Loosies," which opened last week) are producing, while Angelo Pizzo, a man who knows a thing or two about inspirational sporting stories thanks to his work on "Hoosiers" and "Rudy," penned the initial script, although Younger is expected to rework it. It's the kind of film that could be predictable and familiar, but we're certainly interested to see if Younger can bring something interesting to the table. Filming is planned to get underway in September.

This article is related to: Ben Younger, Paz


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