Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh really does make his movies for “grown ups.” Soderbergh’s last film, The Girlfriend Experience featured a professional porn actress as it’s lead, and for his next project entitled, Knockout he wants to keep that level of authenticity going. According to Variety, the director has cast real life MMA fighter Gina Carano as the lead actress in the action film.
Knockout is a spy thriller that will be directed by Soderbergh and financed by Relativity Media. The story centers on “a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes.” It’s described as a flat out action film with hints of James Bond, La Femme Nikita, and Kill Bill. Even though it involves plenty of fighting it doesn’t take place inside of a ring. The director plans on surrounding Carano with several name actors in supporting roles.
Soderbergh must have faith in the script for this film written by Lem Dobbs (Limey, Kafka), because he waived his upfront salary. Carano is a lightweight division fighter in the professional mixed martial arts league, with a record that stands at 7-1. She’s also had acting stints on the revamp of American Gladiators, as well as the Showtime documentary, Ring Girls.
Since Knockout will be a straight laced action film I have no doubt that Carano will be able to carry it. On the other hand her acting skills are up for debate. That’s probably why Soderbergh wants to have her surrounded by several “name” actors. Somebody on the set has to know how to deliver a line, instead of a right hook.
What do you think of Gina Carano being cast as the lead in Knockout?