Hook and Jab, the children's book by former heavyweight champion John Ruiz and Jose-Gabriel Almeida, is heading for the big screen. Team Ruiz and Johnny Tsang, creative director of Edgewater Pictures, are in development to produce the animated feature film, which is loosely based on Ruiz's achievement as the first Latino heavyweight champion in boxing history.
Hook and Jab is the story of how the irresistible lure to become boxing champions, combined with the need of redemption from an previous failure, bring together two charismatic and lovable gloves and a young boxer named Dino Roman into the competitive prizefighting world. Their adventure echoes the universal theme of bravery, love and friendship in a timeless musical fantasy that will touch the hearts of millions throughout the world.
After Hook and Jab wish upon a star, a charismatic space mouse named Otis comes down from another Galaxy, beginning a fantastic odyssey that will test the gloves' as well as Dino's courage – the main virtue they will need to overcome their fear and triumph in the face of adversity.
Ruiz has lived by the credo, "Follow Your Dreams," fighting his way out of a housing project in Chelsea, Massachusetts to capture one of the most prestigious individual awards in sports.
"I wanted to give kids a sense that, if they believe in themselves, they can aim high and achieve their goals," Ruiz explained. "The book carries that message. And the movie will be the icing on the cake."
Johnny Tsang, creative director and producer of Edgewater Pictures, took interest in this project and has reason to believe Hook and Jab will stand the test of time.
"I see this movie as a great motivation to people out there, and that is what we need in this new renown world..." explained Tsang. "By creating personal connections to individuals, it would own its fate to the spellbinding story, charming music and endearing characters."
The script was developed by co-author Jose-Gabriel Almeida, who is also the author of several children's book, including The Heart of the Scarecrow and Lodiville Adventure Land.
"There are few achievements in life as compelling as becoming "first" in your game." said Almeida. "The first man on the moon, the first president of the America, the first man to climb Mount Everest and John's "first" stands right there with the others. I love boxing and working on this project is an honor and a privilege."
"Hook and Jab" is tentatively slated for a summer, 2013 release.