Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

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Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  aiki_chick on Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:22 am

When the action spy picture "Knockout" was first announced a few months ago, director Steven Soderbergh promised that the lead star, non-actress/ mixed martial arts champion Gina Carano would be surrounded by a name-recognizable cast of supporting talent and he wasn't kidding.

Sources close to the project have confirmed to us that the principal cast members supporting Carano include Michael Fassbender ("Inglourious Basterds," "Hunger"), Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid and Michael Douglas.

However, it looks like the original concept, — a girl from the wrong side of the tracks who is given a second chance to use her skills for constructive purposes — having gone through the gestation/inception stage was eventually rethought and cast aside (both filmmaker and writer felt that it had "been done").

Ultimately, "Knockout" is now more of a revenge action-spy thriller. Essentially it's hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and especially one who kicks serious ass. Double crossed by someone on her own team, Mallory Kane (Carano)— a black ops super soldier — seeks to uncover who has set her up to take the fall for a job that goes bad and involves a murder.

The male actors are all part of Carano's special forces team. Douglas plays a government figure not unlike Chris Cooper or Brian Cox from the 'Bourne' movies. Fassbender and one other actor who has yet to sign-on officially (we've been asked not to say who because it's not 100% confirmed, but the actor is male and a fairly big name; though it's possible scheduling conflicts may prevent him from participating) play members of her commando spy unit, and one of these two plays the central antagonist that betrays Carano's character (this is still being kept under wraps for now). McGregor's role is that of the owner/guy who runs a Blackwater private military company-type group that the female fighting champion is a part of (and apparently many of the males take a beating at the hands of Carano).

And as noted, Carano's Kane character is no longer a girl from the "wrong side of the tracks," she now has a solid background and was raised around military honor and academia. She leaves the military to go to work for a Blackwater-esque company to make better money and then is eventually betrayed by one of her teammates.

Both Douglas and Quaid have worked with Soderbergh before in his Academy Award-winning 2000 film, "Traffic" and Douglas is set to star in the filmmaker's "Liberace" film if that happens according to plan this summer. Fassbender is the quickly rising, in-demand actor that everyone wants to work with (Tarantino, et. al) and the director is certainly one of those people — Fassbender's role was written with the actor in mind.

And Soderbergh has been circling McGregor for some time now. The "Trainspotting" actor was originally pegged to have a role in the 'Ocean's' films, but his commitments to Lucas' "Star Wars" prequels unfortunately precluded his participation.

"Knockout" — it's still officially a working title, but now we're told that people are warming up to the name and that it might eventually stick — was written by Lem Dobbs, the screenwriter behind Soderbergh's "Kafka" and "The Limey" also well-known for his contentious (and hilariously candid) DVD-commentary arguments with the director ("The Limey" commentary is like two friends with the gloves off and an amusing must-listen).

The director has previously said the film will take elements from "La Femme Nikita," the 'Bourne' films, the Bond film "From Russia With Love" and John Boorman's 1967 crime film "Point Blank," starring Lee Marvin (which is known as the slightly arty, thinking man's, tough guy picture). But he's also noted that the action will be distinctly different than the Greengrass vibe evinced in his 'Bourne' films. As reported last year, David Holmes, the composer behind Soderbergh's "Oceans 11-13" series, not to mention the brisk and funky "Out Of Sight" film, will be writing the score.

Soderbergh's deal for "Knockout" through Relativity Media and Lionsgate is a typically unique one for the adventurous filmmaker. He will be paid no upfront fee for directing the film, but eventually will retain full ownership of the film once its released. It's a bold and unprecedented move. Having just finished up his media-saturation play "Tot Mom" in Australia, Soderbergh is now in New Mexico doing scouting for his February production start date expected to shoot there, Ireland and Turkey among other possible locations.

Carano has been training in L.A. for two months and test fight footage has already been shot (she's already accidentally knocked out one stunt coordinator in practice sessions... no, really). Lionsgate is eyeing an August release. Producers on the project include Relativity Media's Ryan Kavanaugh, Soderbergh's longtime cohort Gregory Jacobs, and Tucker Tooley as an executive producer.

And while THR doesn't link to us, we're not above linking those that expand on things no matter what and they have a few more additional details on the characters.

Source: http://theplaylist.blogspot.com/2010/01/exclusive-ewan-mcgregor-dennis-quaid.html
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Ewan McGregor

Post  aiki_chick on Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:23 am

Yey! Ewan McGregor! What a treat Smile)
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  Angelique on Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:36 am

Was JUST about to post this, so thanks for being on the ball girl! Sounds like a great cast! Some websites say it's going to be released August 2011, and others say August 2010 - I hope it's the last one, 'cause I don't have the patience to wait till next year! Very Happy
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  LizaG on Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:40 am

Wow what a cast! This film is going to be sweeeeeeeet Very Happy thanks for posting!!!
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  Bastiaan on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:45 pm

That's quite a cast indeed. This does worry me slightly though. Cos we don't know how well Gina can act. I would think she won't be as good as the seasoned actors. On the one hand this may make her look worse than she is. On the other, they might make her better....We'll see. I don't know about the release date. WIth all the post production and such, I'm thinking August 2010 is soon, yet August 2011 is rather late. We'll see. Can't wait for the movie...with these big names it could mean a lot of people will see this which means more fans for Gina Razz

"she's already accidentally knocked out one stunt coordinator in practice sessions... no, really" Laughing That's our girl...
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  LizaG on Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:51 pm

The only thing that concerns me is that we would be soooo awesome that we never see her fight again and gets sucked into the whole "hollywood" thing. Don't think Gina would do that but still a slight concern lol.

Hope the film rocks Very Happy
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  DarkFighter on Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:02 pm

I'll have to agree on that Liza. Even though it's not like Gina it still concerns me as well that she might start getting into the 'hollywood thing' (exactly like you said it). But at the same time I think she really doesn't want it because to my understanding she's made it quite clear that she does not want to be some sort of 'celebrity super-star' wich is also whats make Gina so special.
But anyway I'm still hoping for the movie to be good as well and I'm also very excited to see how Gina handles the acting stuff so I wish her the Best of luck from me Very Happy
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  Angelique on Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:27 am

I hear everyone's concerns, and can second it. Look at Cung Lee though - he's always filming movies, but also fights here and there, so even if Gina finds that she enjoys the movie thing, it doesn't necessarily mean that she'll just give up on her fighting career. All we can do is wait and see what happens. She's not going into this movie with no preparation though, she's been taking acting classes, so that's a good thing.
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  Bastiaan on Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:35 pm

If she hadn't taken acting classes, she would've lost a few points with me. You can't go star in a movie and not know how the act even a little
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

Post  aiki_chick on Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:57 am

I'm just glad this movie thing is shaping up.
Gina has stated that she'll continue fighting while she enjoys it. That's all the reassurance I need. I wouldn't want to see her fight if her heart is no longer in it. I'm with Ange on this issue: she can do movies and fighting. And yes, she's doing some acting classes -- you'd have to, if you're teaming up with big stars in a movie. Let's hope this movie turns out well. Then she'll get better incentives for fighting -- she'll probably own Strikeforce when that happens Razz
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Re: Exclusive: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid & Michael Douglas (& More) Join Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout'

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