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Thornton to star in boxing drama

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Billy Bob Thornton attends the premiere of "Manure" at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 20, 2009. The festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/8010fa907997fbb2e4d8d9456485b4f8/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Billy Bob Thornton attends the premiere of "Manure" at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah on January 20, 2009. The festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey) | License Photo

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. actor and filmmaker Billy Bob Thornton will star in "Pound for Pound," a big-screen adaptation of the late F.X. Toole's boxing-themed novel.

Toole also wrote "Rope Burns," the book that was the basis for the best picture Oscar-winner "Million Dollar Baby."

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The Hollywood Reporter said Ron Shelton is writing and will direct the independent movie in early 2010.

"Pound" is about how the lives of a depressed, retired boxer and a disadvantaged, but talented teenage fighter unexpectedly intersect, the entertainment industry trade newspaper said.

Shelton has previously worked on the sports films "The Best of Times," "Bull Durham," "White Men Can't Jump," "Cobb" and "Tin Cup."

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