Social media star-turned-actor-turned-fighter Jake Paul has signed on to star in his first feature film, which will explore the world of combat sports.
The untitled film will be a co-production between Mandalay Pictures and Wonder Street, whose Craig Baumgarten will produce alongside Mandalay’s David Zelon. Jake Paul will executive produce alongside Nakisa Bidarian, though there’s no director attached, and it’s unclear who wrote — or will be writing — the script.
All that is known is that Paul will play a small-town fighter who rises to international fame through combat sports — something Paul is quite comfortable with as a pro boxer who founded his own boxing promotion company, Most Valuable Promotions.
Paul told Variety that the movie is “just the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my career,” and said he “can’t wait to bring this unique story and my brand to the big screen.” His executive producers practically gushed over him, with Zelon calling Paul “the blueprint of the new breed of entrepreneur,” while Bidarian called him “a trailblazer for a new generation.”
Paul has 70 million followers across all digital platforms, including 20 million subscribers on YouTube. He has leveraged that audience to become a major influencer, though not one averse to controversy, as he was arrested in 2020 in Arizona (the charges were dropped) and earlier this year, he was charged by the SEC with promoting crypto without disclosing he was being paid, a case that he ultimately settled.
I’ve long regarded Jake Paul –and his brother, Logan — as little more than internet personalities with mean uppercuts, but Hollywood is desperate for movie stars, and the Paul brothers certainly have the kind of charisma and chutzpah that speaks to the younger generation. This feels like a smart first film for the younger Paul, and a decent bet for Mandalay, which knows how to produce inspirational sports stories. Let’s see who they get to direct… and what exactly they mean by “combat sports.”