Warrior Director Gavin O'Connor Sells The Samurai To Warner Bros.

Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton in Warrior
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Gavin O’Connor has made some fine films over the course of his relatively short career, from the inspirational Olympic hockey drama Miracle to the vastly underrated cops-and-family thriller Pride & Glory. But he has never been hotter than right now thanks to his outstanding work on the critically acclaimed MMA drama, Warrior. O’Connor, wisely, is using some of this clout to get his next picture made.

He and co-writer Michael J. Wilson have sold a script to Warner Bros. titled The Samurai, according to The Playlist, and O’Connor is setting it up as his next directing gig. Details on the project are relatively vague at this point, with the source saying this would be a quick-moving thriller set in international locales and featuring a love interest. That describes 75% of the films released in Hollywood a year.

Wilson, meanwhile, is a wild-card collaborator. His credits include the script for the first Ice Age movie as well as Shark Tale and The Tuxedo. Beyond that, he sold two scripts (Tiki and Inventory) that attracted such talents as Bruce Willis but stalled in various stages of pre-production.

So we’re going into this one with cautious optimism. O’Connor has earned that trust, having strung together consecutive winners going all the way back to 1999’s Tumbleweeds with Oscar nominee Janet McTeer. If he can somehow lure Warrior co-stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton or Pride co-stars Edward Norton and Colin Farrell into this international thriller, all the better. Heck, grab all four … and Nick Nolte, for good measure. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with O’Connor’s work by either renting Glory or going out of your way to see Warrior, please rectify both situations this weekend.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.