Ten years ago, Gavin O’Connor’s passion project about MMA hit the big screen. It starred Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, and Nick Nolte, and was produced by the Hollywood powerhouse Lionsgate. Despite the team behind it, Warrior flopped.
However, thanks to streaming services, the MMA movie about the Conlon brothers found a second life and became a cult hit. The popularity of the film has grown to where Lionsgate took notice, and greenlit a return to the world of mixed martial arts.
Two-weight UFC Champ and veteran UFC commentator Daniel Cormier has secured one of the four leading roles. The television show will not carry on the story of the Conlon family, but instead feature four fighters—two men and two women—from different backgrounds.
O’Connor told DiscussingFilm.net, “But the show will be in the spirit of the movie. It will be dealing with social issues that are important to me, as there were social issues that were important to me back then that I was dramatizing. There will be characters fighting for something bigger than themselves.”
Although the box office for Warrior only amounted to 13.6 million, the movie was a critical success, with Nick Nolte earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. O’Connor will stay in creative control of the TV spin-off, acting as executive producer and writing the scripts with Adair Cole.
Cormier announced on Twitter that he secured one the starring roles.
DC going to Hollywood baby!!! For all the support you guys have given me makes opportunities like this possible. This is only the beginning hopefully. Thank you pic.twitter.com/CQAYSZ9z4l
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) September 9, 2021
While Cormier has a lot of experience in front of the camera, this will be his first acting role. He will portray Bobby Watkins, a Houston resident trying to fight his family out of poverty, a good fit for the Daddest Man on the Planet.