Mixed martial arts fighter and burgeoning action movie star (well, sort of) Cung Le is set to anchor the MMA-themed crime drama “Dragon Eyes”. Joel Silver’s Dark Castle and After Dark Films will produce the film, which starts shooting in Baton Rouge next month.
Le plays a mysterious man who comes from an impoverished part of New Orleans to unite two warring gangs against the corrupt lawmen who’ve been using them. It’s a modernization of the Kurosawa film “Yojimbo”.
Le, the former Strikeforce milddleweight champion, has appeared in a handful of films like “Dark Assassin”, “Fighting”, and “Pandorum”, and will be in the upcoming “Tekken” movie. He has definite potential to become a solid movie tough guy, and he seems to realize that people want to see him fight, not talk, so he generally keeps his mouth shut and sticks to kicking people. Whether or not he can carry a movie remains to be seen. Hardcore fight fans know him well, but he doesn’t have the name recognition of some other fighters.
I’m a big MMA fan, and I know it’s the fastest growing sport in the world and all, but even I’m not sure that there needs to be this many movies. There are a couple of good ones, but for every “Blood and Bone” or “Undisputed III” there is a “Circle of Pain” or “Never Surrender”. Just because you get punched in the face for a living, doesn’t necessarily mean you can be an action star. And there’s that Kevin James thing. I don’t have anything nice to say about that.