Soderbergh talks Carano's Knockout
Steven Soderbergh has already put a porn star into a his film about a high class escort called The Girlfriend Experience (Filmstalker review), and we recently heard that he's casting a real fighter into his latest film, Knockout.
Gina Carano is his latest real life non-actor casting, as the mixed martial arts fighter plays the lead in a spy thriller that's got many people wondering where this is going. So Steven Soderbergh decided to tell us more about it.
Speaking about the project he revealed why he chose Gina Carano and why he wanted to do this film.
"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?..
...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."
Carano is a trained Muay Thai fighter who has had a great fighting record so far and has appeared on a reality television show about female fighters, American Gladiators, and soon to appear in an action film headed up by Michael Jai White called Blood and Bone.
Now though she's going to be leading a Steven Soderbergh film, which might not be surprising considering what he did with The Girlfriend Experience, however might be seeing her acting career.
I can understand that she might be perfect for a martial arts film, but a spy thriller? What's that about? From what he's saying it sounds like there's something a lot different to the straight up spy thriller, this isn't a stylised Bourne film.
"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..."
He talks more about the intended plot:
"...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."
There's more in the latest issue of Empire, if you're a fan of the magazine, but the good news is the pairing on the film. Lem Dobbs, who wrote scripts for Kafka and The Limey for Soderbergh, is the one currently writing the script for this one, and you can bet he has Carano in mind when he writes every action sequence and every fight.