A Ripped Jake Gyllenhaal Stars In This Movie Dominating On Netflix

By Matthew Creith | Published

Jake Gyllenhaal
The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

With his latest animated movie for Disney essentially becoming a box office flop this past Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Strange World star Jake Gyllenhaal might be in a bit of a funk in his voice acting career. However, audiences seem to still be flocking to many of his other movies, even if they were released years ago. According to FlixPatrol, Southpaw starring Jake Gyllenhaal is currently number five on Netflix’s of top 10 movies watched in the United States, so we thought it might be fun to highlight some interesting facts about the 2015 sports film.

Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Billy “The Great” Hope, a boxer who lost his wife to an accident and attempts to get his act together after his daughter is taken by child protective services. The film was directed by Antoine Fuqua, a frequent collaborator with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, and who would go on to direct a remake of The Magnificent Seven after completing Southpaw. Joining Gyllenhaal in the movie is an ensemble group of actors that includes Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Naomie Harris, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Rita Ora, and Oona Laurence.

For his role as a left-handed boxer down on his luck, Jake Gyllenhaal replaced Eminem for the lead role, as the 8 Mile rapper chose to focus on his music. To play a boxer onscreen, Gyllenhaal trained for five months and did research on orphaned boxers and the history of foster care in the United States in order to understand what Billy “The Great” Hope’s life would be like in the movie. Southpaw was filmed in Pittsburgh and its suburbs, although the movie itself is supposed to be set in and around New York City.

jake gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw (2015)

Southpaw was a modest financial success for Jake Gyllenhaal when it premiered in theaters on July 24, 2015 after a screening a month prior at the Shanghai International Film Festival. The movie went on to gross around $94 million at the box office against a budget of $30 million, although critics and audiences were somewhat split in their reviews of the boxing flick. Rotten Tomatoes currently ranks Southpaw with a 60% on its Tomatometer based on 243 critics’ reviews, as well as an Audience Score of 75% from over 25,000 ratings of verified users to the site.

While Southpaw didn’t earn any praise from Academy voters after its run in 2015, the film is notable for its soundtrack and score by legendary composer James Horner. Horner passed away in June of the same year as the film’s release, and the movie is dedicated to the Academy Award winner as it was one of the last projects he worked on before his death at the age of 61 from an aircraft crash. The soundtrack for Southpaw was produced by Eminem even after he chose not to star in the movie, and his single “Phenomenal” comes from the same album, which peaked at number 4 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs chart during that time.