We’ve seen Robert De Niro in a boxing film before, right? Yeah, it was just a little movie called Raging Bull, so there’s no way his return to the cinematic ring will overshadow what Hands of Stone is actually about.

Okay, so everyone’s focusing on De Niro’s return as legendary trainer Ray Arcel, but the film is really about Edgar Ramírez’s Roberto Duran, a Panamanian boxer who was part of the dominant Fabulous Four during the 1980s.

Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler, and Sugar Ray Leonard exchanged blows and titles throughout the decade, and while there’s numerous stories to pull from this group’s history, the bouts between Duran and Sugar Ray were particularly memorable.

That’s probably why the film focuses on their fights, and getting a big name like Usher (billed as Usher Raymond IV) to fill Sugar Ray’s shoes should help draw in the crowds.

source: The Weinstein Company

This is Duran’s story, though, and that lends an anti-American sentiment (his country was pushing for control of the Panama Canal at the time) and class issues to frame all the fighting around. Those hands of stone need something to bash against, and the glass ceiling that Latinos encounter in American culture should serve as a nice target. It’d be a shame (and a clear indication that the fight hasn’t been won) if all of this was overshadowed by De Niro’s presence.

Hands of Stone is directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz and stars Edgar Ramírez, Robert De Niro, and Ana de Armas. It will be released in the U.S. on August 26th, 2016. For international release dates, click here.

Do you think Hands of Stone is better off with or without De Niro? Let us know in the comments!

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