Pow! Thwack! Sigh. Bare-Knuckled Terrence Howard Bares Soul on Fighting

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An umbrella-armed escort accompanied actor Terrence Howard into the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 amid a torrential downpour on Monday, April 20, for the premiere of his new movie Fighting, which is, essentially, a movie about fighting.

“At first, I thought it was going to be a basketball movie,” said Mr. Howard, dressed casually in a T-shirt, jeans, leather jacket and paperboy cap.

Talk about a slam dunk! “You’ll see a lot of my trademark moves out there,” said world champion kick boxer Cung Le, who plays a villain in the film. “So, watch out for the scissor kick!”

Brawling, it turns out, was the theme of the day. Just a few blocks up Broadway, at the AMC Loews 19th Street Cinemas, director James Toback was simultaneously premiering his documentary about the boxer Mike Tyson, simply titled Tyson.

“I think it’s appropriate,” Mr. Howard said of his own film’s clashing title. “This isn’t necessarily about fisticuffs, it’s about emotional battles that everyone goes through. … Fighting, you know, is more of a synonym for the human condition.”

Symbolic or not, Mr. Howard and co-star Channing Tatum still mock-boxed for the cameras.

Mr. Tatum, who brought along fiancée (and Step Up co-star) Jenna Dewan, seemed less enthused about the film’s combative moniker. “Trust me,” he told the Transom, “I gave them a thousand different other options for it.”

Like what? “God, eh, ‘Last Chance,’ eh, ‘Scared’. … It’s about relationships,” he added. “The whole movie is about relationships.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media, which helped produce the film, struck a defensive pose along the red carpet when asked about the company’s hotly rumored three-year deal with Lionsgate studios. Then he delivered the stiff-arm: “If there was a deal or would be a deal, I wouldn’t be able to talk about it at this point.”

Pow! Thwack! Sigh. Bare-Knuckled Terrence Howard Bares Soul on Fighting