More On Warriors MMA Movie
October 23, 2008
We mentioned the MMA movie Warriors by Gavin O’Connor earlier in the week and the director sat down with Premiere magazine to give a few more details about the project:
What is your next film?
I am [working on] a movie called Warriors. When I finished Pride and Glory, Toby [Emmerich] said, “What do you want to do next?” I told him the story and he said, “Done!” We made the deal. I wrote it for New Line. New Line imploded. I called up Toby and said, “Please let me leave. I don’t want my script inherited by Warner Brothers because I don’t know if it is the right place to make the movie, and I don’t even know if they want to make it.” So he let me leave. And I set it up with Lionsgate.
So what is Warriors about?
The movie is about two estranged brothers that haven’t seen each other in 14 years, and they come back together and they are both mixed martial arts fighters. One of them, when we meet him, is a schoolteacher who is married. He has three little girls. His wife had a heart transplant so he is massively in debt. He starts fighting in what is called “Smokers.” They [happen] all over the country. There are guys [fighting] in parking lots in cages, and you can walk away with a couple of thousand dollars. The other brother we discover is AWOL from the Marines, and he has been arrested in Mexico and thrown in prison. Being a gringo in a Mexican prison wasn’t very easy, so he had to defend himself. The guy is an animal and was kicking everyone’s ass, and he became known as the king of this prison. Some guy got him out, and he traveled all around Mexico fighting these underground fights. And he ends up leaving there and going to see his father. Fourteen years before, he and his mother had left while the other brother and the father stayed. The father was an alcoholic and an emotionally abusive man, a Vietnam vet, ex-Golden Gloves fighter who taught his kids how to fight at a very young age. And the kid, Tommy, goes back to see his dad. Tommy is drinking now and [is a] pill popper. He comes home, and his father is a thousand days sober and is living a very different life. The story is about healing and forgiveness. There is a tournament called “Sparta” for the heavy weight championship of the world of mixed martial arts. It is a $5 million purse, and it is a 16-man grand prix tournament. And these two brothers are on a collision course to fight each other for the heavy weight championship of the world. And everything about their relationship, their past and their future is dealt with by communicating through violence.