(Ready for her close-up. Image courtesy of gina-carano.org.)
According to Variety, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11/12/13, Traffic, Erin Brockovich, Out of Sight) has cast MMA starlet Gina Carano in the lead role of his next film. Here’s what we’re dealing with:
Knockout, which begins production in late January 2010, follows a very busy 2009 for Soderbergh, who released two movies this year: The Girlfriend Experience (which employed a similar bit of stunt-casting with porn-star Sasha Grey in the lead role as a high-end escort) and The Informant!, which comes out later this month.
Though Carano has previously appeared as "Crush" on American Gladiators and made a cameo in the low-budget action flick Blood and Bone, this will be her first role in a high-profile film production. Carano hasn’t yet revealed if she’ll be taking another fight in Strikeforce before the year’s end, so be warned — a long, Cung Le-esque layoff could be in Gina’s future.