Back in December we did a little report on Steven Soderbergh’s next film, Knockout, which was pretty much built around female MMA fighter Gina Carano. Now it looks like Soderberg has found the supporting cast and it sure is a great bunch of actors.
Sources close to the project have revealed that the principle cast members of the film will include Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid and Michael Douglas. There is one other actor that has been cast, but has not yet been revealed to the world. I wouldn’t doubt anyone from the Ocean's movies coming on board. Apparently the actor is a fairly big name.
When I first heard the idea for this film I thought it was going to be a big hit even before hearing about the awesome cast that will surround Carano in the movie. For those of you who don’t know, Carano is an experienced fighter that is trained in the art of Muay Thai, which is the same style of fighting that you have seen Tony Jaa perform in Ong Bak. She doesn't have much acting experience, but since they are building the movie around her, they can make whatever they want to do, work for the big screen.
In a past interview here is what Soderbergh had to say about the movie and what it will be about.
If you start following the female mma fighters, Gina pops out pretty noticeably. I thought it was a fascinating combination of appearance and activity... I’d been wanting to make a spy action film for a while, but hadn’t really determined what I was going to bring to it that would distinguish it from the traditional approach. Then I thought, ‘Why don’t I just build it around her? She can actually break people in half.’ I was interested in doing something ultra-realistic.
My desire is for it to be a very realistic portrayal of somebody who gets hired, as these people do, by the government, to go and perform certain duties that it would be inappropriate to give to the military. That could be anything from a hostage-grab to surveillance to an actual killing...
A combination of a Bond movie and Point Blank, more on the scale of From Russian With Love than, you know, Quantum Of Solace... Something where the characters and the story are as prominent as the action stuff.
So the movie is basically going to be a bad-ass action-spy thriller. The character that Carano will play is named Mallory Kane who is a black ops soldier that is double crossed by a member of her team. Kane goes on a mission to uncover who has set her up to take the fall for a job that goes bad and involves a murder.
Michael Douglas plays a government official in the film. Fassbender and the unnamed actor play members of Kane’s commando spy unit. The role for Fassbender was actually written with him in mind. And Ewan McGregor plays the owner of a Blackwater private military company.
Knockout’s film deal is set up through Relativity Media and Lionsgate, and Soderbergh has a very interesting contract with them. Apparently he will be paid NO upfront fee to make the movie, but he will retain full ownership of the film once it’s released. This is a pretty crazy but cool move for Soderbergh, one that I am sure he hopes pays off in the long run. But as you know he’s known for taking chances.
The film will shoot in Mexico this February and is expected to be released in August.
I seriously can't wait to see what Soderbergh has planned for us with this film. The guy is a very talented and solid filmmaker who is great at what he does.
What do you think about Soderbergh’s next film?