Soderbergh’s New Film: A ‘Knockout’
Steven Soderbergh has been on a career roller coaster in the last few months. Most recently, he’s had a modest critical and commercial success with The Informant!, which is currently in theaters, but before that he saw his film The Girlfriend Experience flop in its theatrical release earlier this summer, right before he was booted from directing Sony’s Moneyball, just days before production was set to begin. With all the bad buzz, it’s no wonder he was recently quoted in The New Yorker saying,
Basically, right now the film industry is becoming more and more timid and even overcautious. I know, it’s pretty hard to understand. They’re afraid. Afraid of me, of my ideas and of my vision of history.”
Turns out, not every studio is “afraid”, and Variety reports that Lionsgate purchased the distribution rights to his next movie at this years Toronto Film Festival. And it looks like the project is going to be a Knockout.
At least that’s the title of the spy thriller that he will be directing. It could also be a description of its star, mixed martial arts fighter Gina Carano, who caught Soderbergh’s attention and became his inspiration to the make the film. He recently told the entertainment magazine Empire,
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?”
Like porn star Sasha Grey (who starred in The Girlfriend Experience), Carano has limited acting experience, having appeared in American Gladiators and a small role in the upcoming Michael Jai White action movie, Blood and Bone. Carana will play a government worker who, according to Soderbergh, has to,
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.”
Lem Dobbs, who wrote two of Soderbergh’s previous films, Kafka and The Limey, is attached to write the screenplay.