The female-driven action movie is about to get a makeover. “Haywire,” the new film from Steven Soderbergh, casts mixed martial arts star Gina Carano as a take-charge woman who’s not afraid of a fight — just as Carano wasn’t afraid to perform her own stunts.
Carano, whom Soderbergh discovered on a random Saturday when watching an MMA fight on CBS, makes her theatrical debut as a privately employed special ops agent who’s been double-crossed by her employers. She, co-star Channing Tatum and Soderbergh were on hand Friday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, where Relativity Media debuted the trailer for the January release.
“I’ve never seen someone perform like that, in a cage,” Soderbergh quipped about Carano. So he and Lem Dobbs quickly pulled together a screenplay and an impressive cast that also includes Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas and Antonio Banderas. Striving for authenticity, Carano and company did all their own stunts: no body doubles, no cut-aways and a lot of injuries.
“They wore padding, but when Gina was punching Michael [Fassbender] in the ribs, she was really punching him in the ribs.” And how was it for a man, who’s been taught to never hit a woman, to fight with Carano? Said Tatum: “I had to hit her with a ketchup bottle, and I couldn’t do it. She called me the p-word, so then I did it for my ‘manity.’ But then she hit me back twice as hard, and I didn’t want to do it anymore.”
Soderbergh, who is set to release the thriller “Contagion” later this year, quashed the rumors during the panel that he was retiring. Which is probably a good thing, because he’s certainly sure to win some fans with his authentic portrayal of women truly beating up men. Said one thrilled audience member: “I’ve always had trouble believing Angelina Jolie was really beating up those guys. So thanks to Steven Soderbegh for casting a girl who can really beat up the guys.”
— Nicole Sperling
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