Big George Foreman: Every Filming Location Explored

Based on the true story of George Foreman, ‘Big George Foreman’ is a biographical sports drama movie that chronicles the life story of the world heavyweight boxing champion George Foreman, who, upon overcoming a troubled childhood, goes on to become one of the most talented boxers in the world. However, when he suffers a near-death experience in the boxing ring, he decides to retire and never fight again, becoming a Baptist minister and preacher. Years later, when his gym is on the verge of bankruptcy, he contacts his former trainer and returns to the ring.

Foreman regains the title sooner rather than later and becomes the oldest and most improbable World Heavyweight Boxing Champion ever. Alternately titled ‘Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World,’ the George Tillman Jr. directorial mostly takes place in the boxing ring and Houston, Texas, as the protagonist competes against the best in the business and runs his own gym. So, if you have been wondering where the filming of ‘Big George Foreman’ was carried out, we have got you covered!

Big George Foreman Filming Locations

‘Big George Foreman’ was filmed in Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico, specifically in New Orleans, Houston, and Mexico City. Production was initially set to kick off in late 2021, but the plan was halted due to the combination of the landfall of Hurricane Ida, the COVID-19 cases, and the death of Michael K. Williams, who was cast as Foreman’s trainer Doc Broadus.

Finally, principal photography reportedly commenced in February 2022 under the working title ‘Heart of a Lion’ and seemingly ended in about four months, in June of the same year. Interestingly, the shooting was paused for eight weeks to allow Khris Davis to gain 45 pounds and shave his head to depict Foreman’s comeback to boxing at 38. Now, without further ado, let’s traverse through all the specific locations while navigating the career of the titular character in the boxing-based movie!

New Orleans, Louisiana

A significant portion of ‘Big George Foreman’ was lensed in New Orleans, which lies along the Mississippi River in the southeastern region of Louisiana. The production team set up camp at various streets, neighborhoods, and establishments as they recorded different important scenes against suitable backdrops. For the boxing sequences set in the ring, they either utilized an actual boxing arena or constructed a set on a sound stage of one of the film studios in and around New Orleans.

About the boxing scenes, the director George Tillman Jr. was asked about the process of shooting them during a late April 2023 interview with Screen Rant. Having spent all of 2019 analyzing every fight and round of George Foreman, he decided he wanted the punches to be real. He explained, “…(The goal was to) let the audience feel like what (it’s) like to be there; what it’s like to be in those fights. It seemed like in those 70s fights, everybody was smoking. There’s haze, there’s flares, it’s dirty. It’s just being there. These guys were gladiators; I just wanted to capture that. That’s the one thing I had to make things feel original in our film because there’s a lot of boxing films, but that’s one thing I felt we had that no other film could have.”

Houston, Texas

Due to the insistence of the real Goerge Foreman, who grew up in Houston, Texas, some pivotal sequences of his biopic were taped on location in the Space City itself. Situated in the Southern United States, Houston is home to several important landmarks, including the Sam Houston Monument, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Johnson Space Center, some of which you might spot in the backdrop of a few scenes.

Mexico City, Mexico

For shooting purposes, the production team of ‘Big George Foreman’ also reportedly traveled to Mexico City, the capital city of Mexico and one of the world’s alpha cities. During an April 2023 conversation with Movie Web, Khris Davis, who portrays the legendary titular boxer, was asked about his best and worst day on set. He replied, “The best day was the last day (laughs). Every single day we worked required the same amount of focus, commitment, and sacrifice. I would also say there were no worst days. We just had to show up. We had to do the work. Everybody believed in that. It felt good to be part of a team willing to lift each other up during the process.”

Read More: Is Big George Foreman Based on a True Story?