Locally made movie to feature ex-boxer Tommy Morrison

Monday, April 15th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

PARSONS, Kan. (AP) _ Former boxing champion Tommy Morrison, formerly of Jay, Okla., will return to movies this summer, but this isn't exactly Rocky V. Nor is his co-star Sylvester Stallone.

Instead, Morrison will play one of two policemen trying to thwart zombies that have invaded the world, in an independent film directed by Pittsburg State University graduate Chris Watson.

``Zombiegeddon'' will also feature Joe Estevez, veteran of more than 100 movies. It will be filmed mostly in Pittsburg and Lawrence this summer.

``The basic plot is that two policemen are called to a college and find that it has been overtaken by zombies,'' Watson said. ``It's science fiction/horror, and kind of campy.''

Morrison, who was in Parsons on Saturday for a read-through of the script, said it really wasn't such a stretch for him to move from boxing to acting.

``I never really had a passion for boxing _ I didn't love it,'' Morrison said. ``I was good at it and I made a lot of money at it, but what I really have a passion for is acting.''

Morrison compiled a 46-3-1 professional boxing record and beat George Foreman for the World Boxing Organization's heavyweight title before his career ended in 1996 after being diagnosed with the AIDS virus. Since then, he has served prison time for drug and weapons convictions and has faced other problems with police.

He said he is writing a book about his life.

``When you write a book, a healing process takes place,'' Morrison said. ``You think about all the times you might have been dead.''

Watson said he is still working on a distribution deal for his first movie, ``Mob Daze'' and hopes to have it finalized by August.

``Joe Estevez is working for free, for the first time in 40 years,'' Watson said. ``Several other actors are also working for free, including Tommy.''

He said that he has been continually impressed by the generosity and support he finds in Kansas.

``People keep asking me if I plan on moving to Los Angeles any time soon, and I continue to tell them no,'' Watson said. ``People are overly generous here and when you mention paying them for shooting at their location, they tell you that they don't care about the money. That's a far cry from what would happen in L.A. Kansas is a great place to make movies.''