The Raid Star Iko Uwais and UFC Fighter Ronda Rousey Team-Up for Buddy Cop Movie

By  · Published on March 2nd, 2015

Lionsgate / Sony Pictures Classics

It’s always nice to see Hollywood employ action stars who can actually perform the stunts. I’m not talking about Tom Cruise, but props to him, too. I’m talking about martial artists and athletes who are cast in prominent roles to do what they’re best at for vehicles showcasing their talents. Sure, sometimes it leads to silly results as in Kurt Thomas in Gymkata, which really wouldn’t be so laughable without the odd pommel horse sequence. Better is when people like Ronda Rousey become movie stars during or following their professional sporting careers.

In her case, she’s a champion UFC Fighter, still going strong (her latest victory occurred over the weekend) between parts in the action movies The Expendables 3, Furious 7 and now a buddy cop movie called Mile 22. The best thing about this project is she’s not being teamed-up with a comedian or a well-established action movie star. She’ll be paired by another genuinely athletic person who is also on the rise for a deserved career in Hollywood: Iko Uwais, best known in the US as the lead in The Raid and its sequel. In this, according to Variety, she’ll play a CIA agent and he’s an Indonesian police officer forced to work together on a political corruption case.

Former US Marine turned Lost and Fringe writer Graham Roland wrote the script for Mile 22, and actor/filmmaker Peter Berg, who cast a real-life vet with prosthetic legs in Battleship, is on board as a producer. “Ronda and Iko will be a very unique and powerful team,” Berg is quoted as saying about the project after sharing his love for Uwais, director Gareth Evans and The Raid. There doesn’t seem to be a director attached yet.

Mile 22 is set to begin shooting in May. Meanwhile, Rousey will be in the latest Fast and Furious sequel this April then the Entourage movie and The Athena Project. Uwais will appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and will serve as fight choreographer on Evans’s next movie, Bister. At some point he’ll also return for a third installment of The Raid.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.