UFC Champ Ronda Rousey Cast for ‘Athena Project’ and ‘Entourage’ Movie
[Warner Brothers] is in final negotiations to acquire rights to New York Times bestselling author Brad Thor’s “Athena Project” with Rousey attached to star, and it’s also tapped her for one of the female leads in the upcoming “Entourage” movie.
Rousey is currently training for her next fight: On Feb. 22 she will defend her title against Sarah McMann at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Rousey will begin shooting her role in the “Entourage” movie in mid-March.
It is unknown what she will do following the “Entourage” shoot since her next fight following McMann has not yet been set. But as “The Athena Project” is still looking for a writer, it’s likely that Rousey will be back in the gym prepping for her next bout.
While the “Entourage” gig gives Rousey a recognizable property through which to get noticed for her acting, “The Athena Project” could give her a possible franchise and perhaps the chance to become the female action star Hollywood is lacking.
The story follows a top secret, all-female Delta Force counterterrorism team code named the Athena Project that is sent in to hunt and kill a master terrorist after a bombing in Rome kills 20 Americans. Trouble ensues once the team realizes there’s more at play than a simple bombing.
Sources say Rousey fell in love with the book and also quickly clicked with author Thor, attaching herself to the project before it even had a studio involved. After the studio approached her reps about doing the “Entourage” movie, the studio was also interested in other things she may want to work on given the great word of mouth from “The Expendables 3″ and “Fast and Furious 7″ shoots.
That’s when “The Athena Project” was brought up; the following day, the studio put in a bid for the novel. Warners sees the property as a potential franchise that could appeal to both men and women. SOURCE
This is big news for Ronda Rousey. Just this week ex-MMA women’s fighter Gina Carano made a guest appearance on Fox’s Almost Human. Carano was also the lead in Haywire, was in last year’s Fast & Furious 6 and even had some of her fans wanting her name to be in the running for Wonder Woman (Really glad that didn’t happen). So it’s no real surprise that women’s MMA’s biggest star, Ronda Rousey, would be on the radar’s of film studios. She’s already scheduled for appearances in Expendables 3 and Fast & Furious 7. I don’t expect Ronda to go full throttle into acting like Carano did because Ronda’s having so much success in the UFC AND she’s getting rewarded for it very well. When Carano left MMA, it was basically because woman’s MMA was in it’s infancy and there were more lucrative avenues outside of the cage. Still, it will be interesting seeing how Ronda will do in these roles. As much as she’s been focusing on it and improved, Carano’s acting is still very limited. But she’s great in action sequences so there will always be demand for her. But Rousey is known more for his Judo and not her striking, so it’ll be interesting to see if she has as much success as Carano does. Plus, with her not really focusing on it, I don’t see her making any significant improvements in acting until she moves away from MMA. But who knows, maybe she’s a natural at acting and will surprise us all.
All that aside, The Athena Project actually sounds pretty cool. Sounds like a more serious all-female Expendables and I’m here for it. I know sexism is alive and well with folks saying this kind of movie won’t have wide appeal over the gender lines but I disagree. If it’s good and it has ass kicking in it, men will watch just as much as women will.