Strikeforce's Gina Carano is joining the ever-growing list of fighter-thespians.
According to a report from the Hollywood news and trade outlet Variety, Carano has landed the lead role in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh film, "Knockout," a spy thriller tentatively slated for a late 2010 release.
Soderbergh is a well-known director and Oscar winner who's directed hits such as "Traffic," "Ocean's Eleven," "Erin Brockovich" and "Sex, Lies, and Videotape."
"Knockout" marks the first major role for Carano, who had a small role in the upcoming release "Blood and Bone," which centers on an underground fight scene. She also appeared on NBC's remake of "American Gladiators," though the role was more of a competitor than actor. Although this marks Carano's first major film, Soderbergh said he plans to surround her with veteran actors in the cast.
According to Variety: "'[Knockout]' is a closer cousin to 'La Femme Nikita' and 'Kill Bill' than 'Million Dollar Baby,' in that it doesn't take place in the fight ring. Rather, Soderbergh considers the film as a flat out action film in the James Bond mold, and will shoot in locations around the world that include Ireland, Turkey and the U.S."
Carano most recently competed in August, when she suffered her first career loss in a heavily hyped Strikeforce title fight with Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos.
She remains arguably the most famous fighter in women's MMA, but with "Knockout" set to begin production early next year, she could be out of action for an extended period of time. (Of course, Strikeforce has already dealt with a similar problem with middleweight champ Cung Le, whose Hollywood career has kept him out of the cage for 17 months.)
And here's a picture