2011 looks like the year that Mixed Martial Arts goes mainstream. We’ve got four MMA movies awaiting release and/or in the pipeline, and that obviously spells a trend. And I’ve never watched a mixed-martial-arts bout in my life. Who does? ESPN mainliners, guys who drink Four malted beverage and watch Mexican wrestling, etc.?
Gavin O’Connor‘s Warrior, which allegedly screened through the roof for exhibitors last week in Las Vegas (and which I briefly mentioned earlier today), is one. Another is Michael Tucker‘s Fightville, which generated good buzz at last month’s South by Southwest (Cinematical‘s Eugene Novikov called it “an exhilarating sports documentary and a levelheaded, piercingly intelligent treatment of a touchy subject”). And there’s also Kevin James’ MMA movie for Sony, directed by Frank Coraci (The Wedding Singer, Click, The Waterboy) from a script by Allen Loeb. And of course, Steven Soderbergh‘s long-simmering (some would say endlessly simmering) Haywire.