Mma | WME’s Hollywood-MMA Push: ‘Gossip Girl’s’ Blake Lively To Star In MMA Action-Drama ‘Bruised’

Monday, it was announced that “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively wouldstar in a forthcoming feature-length action-drama “Bruised.” Theplot centers on an embattled single mother and former MMA fighterwho must return to the cage for a final fight while trying tomaintain custody of her son.

The film, set to be directed by Nick Cassavetes, is being shoppedby production sales company Sierra Affinity ahead of theforthcoming Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 17 to 28. Thescript, written by Michelle Rosenfarb, has already been pitched topotential foreign buyers in advance of the festival.

Beyond the MMA-related plot, “Bruised” has immediate connections tothe UFC’s new ownership group: Lively, who hit commercial andcritical acclaim in 2016 with survival horror film “The Shallows,”which grossed $119.1 at the box office, and Cassavetes, best knownfor directing “John Q” and “The Notebook,” are both represented byWME.

Cassavetes was also scheduled to write and direct the reboot of1989 Patrick Swayze hit “Road House,” which was set to star formerUFC women’s bantamweight champion RondaRousey in the leading role. While technically still listed as”in production,” the project has been put on the backburnerindefinitely following Rousey’s high-profile knockout losses to HollyHolm and AmandaNunes .

WME and its subsidiary International Management Group (WME-IMG) leda group to purchase the UFC from Zuffa LLC, headed by Frank andLorenzo Fertitta, for approximately $4 billion in July 2016.

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