Empire Magazine caught up with Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh, and chatted him up regarding the upcoming action-spy-thriller Knockout, which is being developed around its star, female MMA fighter Gina Carano.
Knockout certainly isn’t what movie-goers have come to expect from Soderbergh, although he is known for mixing up his palette, having directed films as varied as Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven, Che and his current project, The Informant.
The director said of his star, who’s an experienced fighter, trained in Muay Thai:
“My feeling was, If I don’t do this, somebody else will…I felt, somebody is going to look at her and go, ‘She should be in a movie!’ And I felt like, Why shouldn’t I be the person saying that?”
He went on to say:
“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.”
Carano – who appeared as Crush in TV’s American Gladiators and has a role in upcoming Michael Jai White action film Blood And Bone, along with fellow MMA fighter Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson – will play an outsourced government agent, who’s assigned to perform tasks the state can’t be seen to undertake, including hostage grabs, surveillance, or even killing.
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