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At this point, the only sure thing about “Knockout” is that the title is probably going to stay (though honestly, given the new plot, it doesn’t actually make a whole lot of sense), and Steven Soderbergh is still going to direct it. The latest news is that, true to his promise to add a veteran cast to help MMA fighter Gina Carano in her first leading movie role, Soderbergh has surrounded her with Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid and Michael Douglas.
The plot of the film, meanwhile, has gone through a drastic change. Now instead of Carano’s character being a girl from “the wrong side side of the tracks” that gets a second chance by joining a Government spy agency, Carano will instead play Mallory Kane, described as “a black ops super soldier” who is seeking payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. Kane will also no longer be a “La Femme Nikita”-like character, and has been given a family with a strong and honorable military tradition, something that is endangered when she is framed.
Ewan McGregor will play a former ally of Kane, now the head honcho of the Blackwater-esque company that Kane currently works for. And if you know the name Blackwate”, then you basically know there’s a good chance McGregor is evil, and so is his company. Michael Fassbender, last seen getting himself killed in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”, will be playing a member of Kane’s black ops team, while Douglas will be playing an important government figure who is somehow involved with McGregor’s dealings.
Carano has been training for the role for the last two months, though I imagine much of the training involves her learning to “fake” the action for the screen, which probably takes some getting used to since, well, she actually used to kick people in the head for real, and now she just has to “sell” it.
Soderbergh will direct from a scripot by Lem Dobbs, who also scripted Soderbergh’s “The Limey”. They’re looking at an August release date.