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Film News Roundup: Stephen Dorff’s MMA Drama ‘Embattled’ Adds Four UFC Fighters

In today’s film news roundup, a quartet of UFC fighters have joined Stephen Dorff’s “Embattled,” firefighting documentary “Wildland” is bought, and Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz are honored.

CASTINGS

UFC fighters Tyron Woodley, Cowboy Cerrone, Eryk Anders, and former UFC fighter Kenny Florian have joined Stephen Dorff and Darren Mann in director Nick Sarkisov’s MMA drama “Embattled.”

Written by David McKenna, the film will be produced by Sergey Sarkisov for Blitz Films, alongside Kate Cohen for Straight Up Films, and Scott LaStaiti, with Blitz’s Nick Sarkisov and Dorff serving as executive producers. Eryl Cochran from Blitz Films will oversee production. The film is currently shooting in Alabama.

Mann plays a high school judo prodigy who steps into the MMA cage for a vicious battle of retribution against his father, played by Dorff.

“It’s been really important to me that the film feels as authentic as possible and that it respects the world of MMA – from the fight choreography to the commentary to capturing the intense feeling of being in the cage,” Sarkisov said. “These guys are the real deal, and incorporating them into the film is helping us achieve that.”

Woodley is the current UFC welterweight champion and appeared in “Straight Outta Compton.” Cerrone appeared in “The Equalizer 2.” Florian is a commentator and co-host for “UFC Tonight.” Anders is an American professional mixed martial artist currently competing in the light heavyweight division.

ACQUISITION

FilmRise has acquired North American distribution rights to Alex Jablonski and Kahlil Hudson’s documentary “Wildland,” centering on a group of men who battle wildfire over the course of a single fire season.

The film will air nationally on PBS’ Independent Lens Oct. 29 and will coincide with the launch of the FilmRise impact marketing campaign to exhibit the full 77-minute length feature film documentary theatrically as a national Gathrâ Films Theatrical On Demand release in January.

“Wildland” portrays first-hand accounts of stories behind the decision to pursue employment as a wildland firefighter. For some, there is a need to prove themselves as tough or capable, or a desire for some kind of adventure; for others external pressures, a tough job market, a recent run-in with the law or lingering drug habit, have pushed them into this line of work.

The deal was negotiated between FilmRise’s Max Einhorn, CAA, and Jablonski.

AWARDS

Timothée Chalamet and Rachel Weisz will receive the supporting actor and supporting actress awards, respectively, at the 22nd annual Hollywood Film Awards on Nov. 4 at the Beverly Hilton.

Chalamet will be honored for his work in Amazon Studios’ “Beautiful Boy,” while Weisz will be recognized for her role in Fox Searchlight’s “The Favourite.” They join previously announced honoree Nicole Kidman, who will receive this year’s Career Achievement Award.

Chalamet is currently filming “Little Women” with director Greta Gerwig and will star in “Dune,” directed by Denis Villeneuve. Weisz recently produced and starred in Sebastián Lelio’s “Disobedience” alongside Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.

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