Just got the news in my inbox today that there is a new MMA sports flick in the wings and some heavy star power is already lined up for it like Dennis Quaid, Sean Patrick Flannery and Brazilian Jio-Jitsu icon Renzo Gracie. Deadline dropped the exclusive a little bit ago and we have the official press release below!

Forrest Films Sets Mixed Martial Arts Drama “Mickey Kelley” as Next Project with Sean Patrick Flanery, Katrina Bowden and Dennis Quaid Starring Alongside Real Life MMA Fighting Legends Renzo Grazie and Edson Barboza 

Forrest Films, the production and distribution outfit launched and run by Ali Afshar, Forrest Lucas and Charlotte Lucas, has set mixed martial arts (MMA) drama MICKEY KELLEY as its next film production (13th film overall), with Alex Ranarivelo (AMERICAN WRESTLER, THE RIDE) directing, and a cast that includes Sean Patrick Flanery (POWDER), Katrina Bowden (30 ROCK, THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL) and Dennis Quaid (THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW, A DOG’S PURPOSE) alongside legendary MMA fighters Renzo Gracie, Edson Barboza, and Mickey Gall.

Photo Credit: Deadline and Shuttershock

Ali Afshar and Ava Rettke are producing the film for Forrest Films. Executive Producers are Forrest Lucas and Sean Patrick Flanery.

Flanery and Alex Ranarivelo teamed to co-write the screenplay, from a story Flanery created, centering on an aged martial artist, who to support his family, accepts a dangerous and lopsided rematch with the man who seemingly ended his career,

In 1990, Mickey Kelley (Flanery), one of the first American black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, gets pulled away from everything he loves and into an unsanctioned MMA tournament, where his hopes and dreams of providing for his family come to a halt with a single, life-altering, split-second decision, as Marco Blaine (Edson Barbosa), plows his way to victory.

Later, Blaine has become a champion in the now sanctioned sport of MMA while Mickey Kelley has become a shell of a man, making ends meet to support his wife and son by sweeping floors at a karate studio. But when a secret video of their tournament leaks onto the internet, fans see Blaine’s claim of being “undefeated” as hollow, due to the way the fight unfolded, and everyone clamors for a rematch. What no one knows is that Mickey hides a secret that could risk the few precious things that remain in his life. Now, against the wishes of his wife (Katrina Bowden) and his best friend (Maurice Compte), Mickey becomes determined to find redemption through the rematch with an opponent that he knows all too well. But the question of whether or not he can find what it takes, or if he ever even had it… remains.

The film’s supporting cast includes Maurice Compte (NARCOS, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD), Reno Wilson (TRANSFORMERS franchise) and Currie Graham (POMPEII).

Said Ali Afshar, “Forrest Films is drawn to material and stories that lead with the heart and tell a tale of perseverance through conflict and struggle. ‘Mickey Kelley’ checks these boxes and even creates new ones for us that will differentiate and elevate the film in the marketplace. Sean really created a gripping story here and we’re excited to bring it to life.”

Forrest Films’ President of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution Scott Kennedy said, “Commercially, ‘Mickey Kelley’ stands out by offering a powerful combination of action and emotion that tugs at audiences throughout. We have a great cast that plays this dichotomy off beautifully.”

MICKEY KELLEY continues a busy year for Forrest Films, which was launched just eight months ago as a vertically integrated entertainment company that releases, produces, finances and develops feature films that tell inspiring and purpose driven stories for global audiences. Forrest Films will release four films this year from a current seven picture slate that includes BENNETT’S WAR starring country music star Trace Adkins (releasing August 30); the action/drama THE RIDE starring Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges; sports-themed LADY DRIVER;  the romantic drama  ROPED; inspirational action/drama AMERICAN FIGHTER;  the thriller THE STAND AT PAXTON COUNTY and comedy WHEELS OF FORTUNE.

Forrest Films funds and orchestrates theatrical release campaigns tailored and scoped individually for each film, fully supported with the marketing, advertising and publicity needed to open the film. The company’s initiatives are supported by a media fund, backed by Forrest Lucas, founder and owner of Lucas Oil Products, Inc., Lucas Oil Production Studios, MAVTV, Lucas Oil Speedway, and the naming rights to the Indianapolis Colts’ Stadium, “Lucas Oil Stadium”, etc., which allows the company to not only finance the production of feature films, but also provide P&A funding for theatrical releases.

In building out its executive team, Forrest Films recently tapped former SVP of Deluxe Advertising and Warner Bros.  SVP of Theatrical Marketing/ Worldwide  Advertising Services Lori Drazen to serve as SVP of Marketing; former Open Road marketing SVP Liz Deutsch to serve as SVP of In-Theater Marketing and Promotions; and former Open Road VP Bryce Campbell to serve as SVP of Operations. These executives report to Scott Kennedy. This followed an earlier announcement of producer/writer/actress Christina Moore being promoted to Executive Vice President at Forrest Films, Ava Rettke being named Director of Development and Production, and the signing of producer Hadeel Reda to an overall production deal with an eye to producing three movies together over the next two years. 

The new film is in the early stages but expect more details to drop in the future. Once we have images, clips and trailers for MICKEY KELLEY, you will see it here so keep it locked and loaded as we are your source for everything action!!!

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