Producers Forrest Lucas and Ali Afshar are launching the underground fighting drama “American Fighter” with Tommy Flanagan, Bryan Craig, Sean Patrick Flanery, Parviz Sayyad, and George Kosturos attached to star.
The ESX Entertainment movie is a sequel to “American Wrestler: The Wizard”, which starred John Voight, William Fichtner, Lia Marie Johnson, Afshar, and Kosturos.
Shaun Piccinino is directing “American Fighter”, which revolves around a desperate teenager who is forced into the dangerous world of underground fighting to win enough money to save his ailing mother. He finds out what he’s made of in the face of hungry competitors.
Afshar, Christina Moore and Anna Zielinski are producing the film, based on Afshar’s story. Principal photography begins this month in Northern California.
“Continuing down the line of a ‘Rocky’ meets ‘Karate Kid’ story, this new ‘American Wrestler’ movie remains a very heartfelt project for me,” Afshar said. “The response to my true story was extremely motivating so I wanted to keep the story going in a consistent manner and tone and have the right script and cast to rekindle the magic of the first film. The sequel is an original story and not based on my life – I don’t think I would have excelled as an underground fighter.”
Lucas, founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, teamed with actor-producer Afshar in 2015 to launch the production company ESX Entertainment. The slate includes action-drama “Ride,” starring actor and rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges; the drama “Dirt” starring Kevin Dillon and DeRon Horton; and “The Dog Lover,” a drama starring Lea Thompson, James Remar, Allison Paige, and Jayson Blair.
Flanagan’s credits include “Sons of Anarchy” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.” Craig won a pair of daytime Emmys for “General Hospital.” Flanery starred in “Boondock Saints” and “Powder.”