Rick Schroder directs Tim McGraw in boxing movie. Indian tribes are funding ''Black Cloud,'' about a Native American who wants to be an Olympic boxer

By Gary Susman
Updated June 06, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

At least he can keep his hat on. As an actor, Tim McGraw may be in unfamiliar territory, but the country star is playing a southwestern sheriff in ”Black Cloud,” currently in production in Arizona. It’s the story of a Native American (newcomer Eddie Spears) who overcomes adversity on his quest to become an Olympic boxer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Directing the film and appearing in a cameo is Rick Schroder, a long way from ”NYPD Blue.”

According to the Reporter, the financing for the inspirational drama came from a number of Indian tribes. Native American activist and actor Russell Means (”The Last of the Mohicans”) is costarring, along with ”Seinfeld”’s Wayne Knight and ”Pulp Fiction”’s Peter Greene.

Though ”Black Cloud” marks a first for both Schroder and McGraw — it’s Schroder’s directorial debut and McGraw’s first movie — it also marks a full circle in both men’s careers. As a kid, Schroder made his screen debut starring opposite Jon Voight in a remake of the classic boxing drama ”The Champ,” while McGraw’s breakthrough hit a decade ago was ”Indian Outlaw.”