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Gina Carano goes Hollywood

Those hoping Gina Carano would return to the cage sometime soon are in for some disappointment: unless she gets a quick fight in before January, it might be a while before she fights again.

Relativity Media will fully finance, and Soderbergh plans a late January production start. Domestic distribution is expected to be locked quickly.

Soderbergh locked in the film just as his Warner Bros. comedy, “The Informant!,” made its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. The Matt Damon-starrer opens stateside on September 18.

Scripted by Lem Dobbs, “Knockout” casts Carano as a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes. The film is a closer cousin to “La Femme Nikita” and “Kill Bill” than “Million Dollar Baby,” in that it doesn’t take place in the fight ring. Rather, Soderbergh considers the film as a flat out action film in the James Bond mold, and will shoot in locations around the world that include Ireland, Turkey and the U.S.

Soderbergh – the director of films like ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape’, ‘Traffic’, and ‘Oceans Eleven’ – seems to be on a newbie actor tip … one of his last movies, ‘The Girlfriend Experience’, starred pornstar Sasha Grey in her first proper (aka no gaping holes filled) movie. Now he’s doing the same for Gina, who’s done some ” target=”_blank”>various junk acting for various junk projects but nothing near this caliber of project.

If you’re wondering how Soderbergh and Carano connected, I have no idea for sure. But I do think it’s a bit of an interesting coincidence that Soderbergh and Mark Cuban work together regularly, with Cuban producing ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ and releasing Soderbergh’s film ‘Bubble.’ So if there’s someone to blame for poaching another MMA star for Hollywood, he’s the prime candidate.

(picture by Esther Lin)