Calloused Hands helmer Jesse Quinones is taking to the octagon for Cagefighter according to several reports ahead of European Film Market in February. He’ll direct from his own script that has Josh Herdman, Michael Jai White, and Bound and Face/Off actress Gina Gershon starring along with Michelle Ryan and Welcome To The Punch actor Jason Maza.
Cagefighter is described as an uplifting and inspiring story about a man grappling with his own inner fears in the last place you’d ever want to be afraid: the violent world of British Mixed Martial Arts. Herdman will play Reiss, a fighter deemed erratic and out of control after unexpectedly losing a heavily promoted match finds him on a downward spiral. His marriage is on the brink as is his friendship with his agent, and after alienating his long-time trainer and the biggest MMA promoter in the business, he must now dig deep to find a path to victory and redemption.
Ryan will play Reiss’ wife with Maza co-starring as his best friend and agent, while Jai White will play the trainer, and Gershon will join as the MMA promoter. Joining the roster will be a number of cameos from MMA heavy-hitters alike – namely Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Alexander Gustafsson, Dan Hardy, and Tyron Woodly to name a few.
Quinones, who also reps Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as a black belt himself, is producing along with Lorianne Hall for Woolfcub Productions, and Terry Bird for Norton Place Pictures. Hall will be bringing the film to the EFM to meet with potential financial partners and distributors as things kick off February 7.
Herdman is best known for his role as Gregory Goyle throughout the Harry Potter film franchise led by Daniel Radcliff for Warner Bros. The actor segued into climbing the ranks in mixed martial arts back in 2016 after five years of practicing Jiu-Jitsu.
Jai White was enstooled earlier in January as a King of Akwamu in Ghana, thus establishing his wife, Gillian Iliana Waters, as Queen Mother after learning they both share West African/Ghanaian ancestry in their DNA. The two can be seen together in his 2016 sophmore directorial outing, Never Back Down: No Surrender, while the actor and martial artist will also be seen in S. Craig Zahler’s upcoming crime thriller, Dragged Across Concrete which opens in October from Lionsgate via Summit.
Martial arts fans more knowing of his recent endeavors are also waiting with baited breath to catch him in Accident Man helmer Jesse V. Johnson’s Triple Threat which sources have reported will open in the U.S. in March. (Deadline)