In 2011 a fighting movie came out and caused barely a ripple at the box office. However, word of mouth spread through home rental and streaming. Friends passed on their copies to friends telling them to watch it. Others re-watched it with a different group. It went viral and now it is one of the best-regarded, best-reviewed beat-’em-up movies ever made. It is one of those movies where if you know, you know. Now Warrior is to be a TV show.

The movie stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as two estranged brothers whose entrance into a mixed martial arts tournament makes them come to terms with their lives, each other, and their alcoholic father. Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, and Frank Grillo also star.

The film was theatrically released in the United States on September 9, 2011, by Lionsgate and grossed just $23 million against its $25 million production budget. However, the reviews are very strong and it even garnered Nolte an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Critical highlights include the movie being described as:

“…heartbreaking and emotionally satisfying…”

“…really gripping…”

“…an unapologetic powerhouse of emotional conflict…”

“…a rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit…”

Now director Gavin O’Connor has revealed he’s working on a TV series adaptation of Warrior. On The Playlist Podcast he describes the show as being about two men and two women working their way through the Sparta MMA tournament. Two are American fighters, one is Irish, and one is a Muslim character from Paris:

“It has the spirit of the movie – it’s dealing with social issues that are important to me. ‘Warrior’ took [an] American working-class reeling from the one-two punch of war and recession.

I’m taking my same rage and anger than I’m feeling today about social issues – whether it’s poverty or incarceration or addiction, mental health – and I’m infusing that inside new characters.”

MMA fighter Daniel Cormier will take one of the leading roles in his first acting role.

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