Boxing legend Mike Tyson to make Bollywood debut in action film Liger

A video showing Mike Tyson facing off with Indian actor Vijay Deverakonda (left) was tweeted by one of the film's producers.
A video showing Mike Tyson facing off with Indian actor Vijay Deverakonda (left) was tweeted by one of the film's producers.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM KARAN JOHAR/TWITTER

MUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) - Legendary boxer Mike Tyson is making his debut in Bollywood, featuring in an upcoming Indian sports action film Liger.

The participation of the former professional boxer, known as "the baddest man on the planet", was announced in a tweet on Monday (Sept 27) by Karan Johar, one of the film's producers.

It also stars Indian actor Vijay Deverakonda, who plays a kickboxer with a stutter, local media has reported.

"For the first time ever, the king of the ring will be seen on the big screens of Indian cinema," Johar said in the tweet. "Welcoming Mike Tyson to the Liger team!"

The tweet is accompanied by a video showing Tyson, 55, facing off with Deverakonda, 32.

Tyson has previously appeared in Hollywood films such as playing a fictional version of himself in The Hangover (2009) and its sequel The Hangover Part II (2011).

He also played a rogue property developer in Hong Kong martial arts film Ip Man 3 (2015).

Liger was originally due to be released on Sept 9 but was delayed as cinemas in Maharashtra, home to India's financial capital and Bollywood, stayed shut following a devastating wave of the coronavirus.

The announcement of Tyson's inclusion follows an announcement of the reopening of theatres after Oct 22, in time for Deepavali, one of India's largest festivals.

The news boosted shares of top cinema operators on Monday by the most since March 2020 - when India first went on lockdown - as the industry counts on the state for roughly 30 per cent to 50 per cent of a mainstream Hindi film's theatrical earnings.