Jake Gyllenhaal Proved All Nay-Sayers Wrong in His One Movie That Wanted Eminem and Charlie Hunman Over Marvel Star

Jake Gyllenhaal prove the producers of Southpaw wrong, after he wasn’t there first choice and wanted Eminem instead.

Jake Gyllenhaal Proved All Nay-Sayers Wrong in His One Movie That Wanted Eminem and Charlie Hunman Over Marvel Star


  • One of Jake Gyllenhaal’s most well-known films is the 2015 movie Southpaw, which resulted in a lot of acclaim for the actor.
  • Interestingly enough, originally, popular rapper Eminem was supposed to star in the movie.
  • What's more, even when the producers were looking for a replacement for Eminem, Gyllenhaal wasn’t on top of their list
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If there is one thing that is undeniable, it is the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal is an exceptionally talented actor. He has a tendency to completely lose himself in his characters, providing an utterly immersive experience for the viewer. On top of this, his characters are some of the most versatile out there, having unique and distinct personalities. Gyllenhaal has starred in massive projects like Brokeback Mountain, Prisoners, and Nightcrawler, and has worked in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Mysterio. Outside of these, if there is one project that perfectly encompasses just how good of an actor Gyllenhaal is, it is his 2015 film, Southpaw.

Jake Gyllenhaal in Guy Ritchie's The Covenant
Jake Gyllenhaal in Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant

Here, the actor played the role of Billy Hope, a boxer who faces tragic loss and tries to get his life back on track. Interestingly enough, the Oscar-nominated actor wasn’t the first choice of the producers. The legendary rapper, Eminem, was originally supposed to play the role until he walked away. Gyllenhaal however, as not the first choice even after Eminem rejected the role.

Also Read: “The guy does everything”: Forget Chris Hemsworth, Jake Gyllenhaal is the ‘Perfect Specimen’ According to Celebrity Trainer Who Has Trained Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon


Eminem Was Supposed To Star In Southpaw

When producers, Alan and Peter Ritchie were coming up with Southpaw, their vision was clear. They wanted rapper Eminem to star in the role of Billy Hope, agreeing that he had a very distinct screen presence. They needed this quality of his as Hope’s relationship with his daughter is a big part of his character. They were confident that Eminem would be able to portray the role perfectly, having a daughter himself. So, hoping he would agree, the two reached out to him, asking him to be a part of the project.

Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw

The rapper loved the film so much, that he signed on within 24 hours and agreed to take on all that came with playing such a complex character. Antoine Fuqua joined the project to direct it and the two got along very well. After the project was greenlit, the rapper was supposed to start training extensively, like any boxer would. However, four weeks before he was scheduled to start, he backed out. The reason for this was that he wanted to focus more on his rapping career rather than his acting, wanting to devote himself to an upcoming album.

Also Read: Spider-Man: Far From Home Isn’t Jake Gyllenhaal’s Proudest Movie: It’s A Forgotten Thriller


Jake Gyllenhaal Wasn’t Even The First Choice After Eminem

While this news was devastating for producers, Alan and Peter Richie, they knew that they had to keep going with the project, regardless of whether or not Eminem was part of it. They reached out to several different actors who could play the role of Billy Hope as well as Eminem. These included Aaron Paul, who is best known for his work on Breaking Bad, Travis Fimmel, who was in Vikings, and Charlie Hunnam, who is known for Sons of Anarchy.

Jake Gyllenhaal FandomWire
Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw

The producers ultimately ended up settling on Jake Gyllenhaal, even though he wasn’t their first choice. This is quite surprising considering Gyllenhaal was at the height of his career at that time, having recently starred in Prisoners, and Nightcrawler, both of which received immense critical acclaim, specifically for his acting. The actor, however, managed to blow all of these expectations and predispositions, going above and beyond for this role, not only in his acting but in his training as a boxer as well.

As for Eminem, the rapper absolutely adored Gyllenhaal’s performance in this movie. While he wasn’t able to star in the main role, he did produce two songs specifically for the movie, releasing them under his record label.


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Written by Ananya Godboley

Articles Published: 1333

A poet and art enthusiast, Ananya Godboley is a striving academic who is pursuing a career in Criminal Psychology, currently doing an undergrad degree in Psychology. Passionate about History, Philosophy and Literature, she loves to learn about new and interesting subjects. A writer for FandomWire with over 1000 published articles, she adores all things superhero and Taylor Swift.