Filmmaker Gavin O’Connor’s sports drama, Warrior, is poised make a comeback for its tenth anniversary, as it’s set to be revived as a television series that expands on the themes of the movie. During a recent interview with The Playlist, the film’s director revealed that the feature will be adapted for the small screen.
Warrior, which was distributed in September 2011 by Lionsgate, wasn’t a total box office hit upon its initial release. But the family-driven drama has since grown in popularity and respect amongst movie audiences, in part for its impressive cast of actors. The cast includes Oscar-nominee Tom Hardy and Golden Globe Award-nominee Joel Edgerton, both of whom were on the verge of breakout careers upon the film’s distribution in theaters, as well as Nick Nolte, who received an Academy Award nomination for his performance.
When O’Connor, who also served as a producer on Warrior, and co-wrote its script with Anthony Tambakis and Cliff Dorfman, spoke to Mike DeAngelo on The Playlist Podcast, he discussed the feature’s production and lasting cultural impact. During their conversation, the filmmaker also made the announcement about the television show being in development.
“It has the spirit of the movie – it’s dealing with social issues that are important to me. Warrior took [an] American working-class reeling from the one-two punch of war and recession,” O’Connor explained. “I’m taking my same rage and anger that I’m feeling today about social issues – whether it’s poverty or incarceration or addiction, mental health – and I’m infusing that inside new characters.”
The helmer also revealed that the series will follow four characters, which includes two men and two women, who are competing in an upcoming Sparta MMA tournament. The small screen adaptation is also set to move beyond the confines of the American middle class, and feature a Muslim character from Paris and a fighter from Ireland, in addition to two American fighters.
O’Connor also confirmed that the show’s casting process has begun, as decorated MMA fighter Daniel Cormier has been cast in one of the leading roles in the quartet of fighters. The filmmaker referred to the fighter, who’s also a former Olympian, as “one of the great ambassadors of the sport and one of the greatest fighters ever.” While Cormier has previously appeared as himself in both video games and original UFC content, this will mark his first attempt at acting as a post-fighting career.