Senior Editor
03.09.09 12 Comments

Nick Nolte has joined the cast of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor’s MMA movie.  Nolte will play the ex-boxer, recovering alcoholic father of MMA fighters Tom Hardy (Bronson) and Joel Edgerton, who are destined to meet in the ring.  Here is O’Connor’s insanely thorough synopsis (feel free to skip it, I’ve already told you all you really need to know):

“The movie is about two estranged brothers that haven’t seen each other in 14 years, and they come back together and they are both mixed martial arts fighters. One of them, when we meet him, is a schoolteacher who is married. He has three little girls. His wife had a heart transplant so he is massively in debt. He starts fighting in what is called “Smokers.” They [happen] all over the country. There are guys [fighting] in parking lots in cages, and you can walk away with a couple of thousand dollars. The other brother we discover is AWOL from the Marines, and he has been arrested in Mexico and thrown in prison. Being a gringo in a Mexican prison wasn’t very easy, so he had to defend himself. The guy is an animal and was kicking everyone’s ass, and he became known as the king of this prison. Some guy got him out, and he traveled all around Mexico fighting these underground fights. And he ends up leaving there and going to see his father. Fourteen years before, he and his mother had left while the other brother and the father stayed. The father was an alcoholic and an emotionally abusive man, a Vietnam vet, ex-Golden Gloves fighter who taught his kids how to fight at a very young age. And the kid, Tommy, goes back to see his dad. Tommy is drinking now and [is a] pill popper. He comes home, and his father is a thousand days sober and is living a very different life. The story is about healing and forgiveness [and f-cking people up in the ring! -Ed.]. There is a tournament called “Sparta” for the heavy weight championship of the world of mixed martial arts. It is a $5 million purse, and it is a 16-man grand prix tournament. And these two brothers are on a collision course to fight each other for the heavy weight championship of the world. And everything about their relationship, their past and their future is dealt with by communicating through violence.” [Premiere Magazine via CagePotato]

According to my exclusive sources, Nolte recently watched his first MMA fight in order to prepare for the role. “Wait, ya mean they can’t use tire irons?” he reportedly asked friends.  “That’s how my sister fights.”

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