This afternoon I got the much-awaited chance to talk to Michael Fassbender, the actor you either know as the emaciated Bobby Sands in Hunger, the "If this is it, old chap, I hope you don't mind if I go out speaking the King's" Archie Hicox of Inglourious Basterds, or the paternal/creepy Connor in Andrea Arnold's upcoming Fish Tank. This guy is going places, and during our short interview I felt compelled to ask him about the gazillion projects he has coming up, from The Talking Cure with David Cronenberg to Jonah Hex.

But he surprised me by talking about something entirely different that starts filming in February-- Steven Soderbergh's Knockout, a movie Fassbender describes as "a sort of thriller-type, action film" that's about "a CIA operative" played by cage fighter Gina Carano. Fassbender said he's in about four scenes, amounting to 12 or 13 days work, and had this to say about his female co-star: "She's a cagefighter. She's this Muaythai expert amazing fighter, and very very pretty too. I checked her out on YouTube, and it's like, holy shit."

Whether by coincidence or not, The Playlist also snagged some more casting news about the film: Ewan McGregor, Dennis Quaid and Michael Douglas will all be joining the film as well, which helps explain why up-and-comer Fassbender is still relegated to a supporting role. They also have a few plot details:

Essentially it's hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and especially one who kicks serious ass. Double crossed by someone on her own team, Mallory Kane (Carano)— a black ops super soldier — seeks to uncover who has set her up to take the fall for a job that goes bad that involves a murder.

The male actors are all part of Carano's special forces team. Douglas plays a government figure not unlike Chris Cooper or Brian Cox from the 'Bourne' movies. Fassbender and one other actor who has yet to sign-on officially (we've been asked not to say who because it's not 100% confirmed, but the actor is male and a fairly big name) play members of her commando spy unit, and one of these two plays the central antagonist that betrays Carano's character (this is still being kept under wraps for now). McGregor's role is that of the owner/guy who runs a Blackwater private military company-type group that the female fighting champion is is part of (and apparently many of the males take a beating at the hands of Carano).


I feel like we should no longer be surprised when Soderbergh assembles an entire feature cast under our noses, but he's done it again-- Knockout is filming next month, which means we'll have to wait a little longer to see Douglas and Matt Damon get cozy in the Liberace biopic. Speaking of which, don't you figure Damon has to be that other actor who isn't 100% confirmed? If it's true, the notion of him and Fassbender as members of a commando spy unit is enough to make me need to lie down for a moment.

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