Jack Huston’s directorial debut “Day of the Fight” will make its North American premiere as the opening film for the 46th Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 5. The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival, where Huston was honored with Variety’s Breakthrough Director Award.
“Day of the Fight” stars Michael Pitt, Ron Perlman, Joe Pesci and Nicolette Robinson. It follows Pitt as Mikey, a formerly renowned boxer who, after being released from prison, is gearing up for his first fight at none other than Madison Square Garden. The film tracks Mikey throughout the day leading up to this momentous comeback as he visits various influential people in his life, including his ex-wife (Robinson), trainer (Perlman), best friend (John Magaro) and his ailing father (Pesci).
“After a fight for the ages,” the film’s description reads, “A twist of events reveals that this day was never really about boxing for Mikey. This is an underdog story built on introspection, self-sacrifice, and forgiveness which asks the question: how far are we willing to go for the ones we love?”
In an interview ahead of the film’s Venice premiere, the first-time director told Variety that landing Pesci for “Day of the Fight” was “single-handedly the greatest accomplishment of my life.”
Huston also revealed that he penned the script with Pitt in mind for the lead role — because of his acting skills and boxing skills. Huston said of the star, “He’s wondrous. He is unpredictable. He melts your heart. He breaks your heart.”
Before adding directing to his resume, Huston was best known for his work acting on stage and screen, including a standout turn in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” Most recently, he starred in AMC’s series “Mayfair Witches,” Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” and is next set to star in Lulu Wang’s Prime Video series “Expats.” Huston also serves as co-producer for “Day of the Night.”