EXCLUSIVE: Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Paige VanZant is heading out of the cage and onto the big screen for her feature debut. The UFC’s eighth-ranked Women’s Strawweight fighter and current Dancing With The Stars finalist contestant will be joining Kickboxer: Retaliation.
In the latest pic in the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme-originated Kickboxer franchise, VanZant will play Gamon, a 26-year-old with high-level fighting and shooting skills with some strong criminal connections too. The role was specifically written for VanZant after producers saw her on the ABC dancing competition show this season. “Paige is the up-and-coming darling of the UFC and her star quality shines through on camera,” producer Rob Hickman of Our House Films said in a statement. “She’s a tremendous asset to the film both as an onscreen talent and as a trainer fighter.”
Retaliation is the sequel to Kickboxer: Vengeance which stars newcomer Alain Moussi, Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Dave Bautista, Van Damme and Gina Carano. Directed and written by Dimitri Logothetis, Vengeance comes out this fall. Kickboxer: Retaliation brings Kurt Sloan (Moussi) to Thailand to fight against Mongkut portrayed by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays formidable The Mountain on Game Of Thrones.
Larry Nealy and Steven Michael Swadling of Our House Films will serve as EPs of Retaliation with their company and Acme Rocket Fuel as the production companies. The pic is filming in right now in California and Nevada before heading to Asia in June.
VanZant is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, MMA Incorporated and Anderson Group PR.