Bruised is an upcoming Netflix Original sports drama that has been directed by and starring Halle Berry. The screenplay is by Michelle Rosenfarb, and production was handled by Thunder Road Pictures, Entertainment 360, and Romulus Entertainment. A recent press release from Netflix revealed that the film Bruised will be released on November 24th, 2021.
Halle Berry’s sports drama also made its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2020.
The Film in Contention
Halle Berry stars in the film as Jackie Justice who is a disgraced MMA fighter and is hoping for a final shot in the ring. The film also stars others such as Stephen McKinley Henderson, Adan Canto, and Shamier Anderson. Berry commented that the producers gave her the script and she loved the story, but it was written keeping in mind a 20-something Irish Catholic white woman.
Berry, however, could not get it out of her mind and she began to think on the grounds whether the role could be changed in a way that it could suit the persona of a middle-aged Black woman, someone fighting to get the last chance rather than another chance. Berry rues that when you are younger, you do get all the opportunities in the world. However, when you get older, the chances start dwindling and you continuously look for a role that would do justice to your talent. Clearly, Bruised was an opportunity that Berry did not want to miss out on.
The Lawsuit Against Berry
Cat Zingano, an MMA star, filed a lawsuit against the actress after she was cut from Bruised. Zingano claimed in the suit that she missed a vital UFC fight to star in the film, Bruised – Berry’s directorial debut. However, she was cut out from the film and UFC entirely.
In the lawsuit, the UFC fighter claimed that Berry asked her to star in the film in 2019 because there were clear parallels between the Bruised script and the fighter’s life. Since she declined an offer for a UFC fight the same year to star in the film, it impacted her career in a big way. The fight was supposed to be a key event in Zingano’s career which may have led her to fight for the title.
The Meeting and The Aftermath
In the lawsuit, Zingano went on to say that Berry has been told to appear in the film when they met for a meeting in July 2019. The suit stated that Berry was drawn to her in the first place because of her backstory. However, as per the suit, Berry told Zingano that she could not participate in the fight, because of insurance reasons, and Zingano could not do both the fight and the film. Zingano was torn between participating in a career-defining fight and a film role.
The Alleged Promise
After their film meeting, Berry allegedly told Zingano that she no longer could be a part of the film as only UFC fighters were allowed to participate. Berry then cut off communication with Zingano, who later had to sign with Bellator MMA.
Zingano said that there was a clause of, promissory estoppel, putting up an argument that she had to depend on Berry’s promise to make her part of the film when she turned down the UFC fight. Berry’s representatives however chose not to respond or comment. Zingano said that Berry cut off communication and Zingano sued immediately after based on a promise that never materialized.
In the lawsuit, Zingano, who is now signed with Bellator MMA, argued that she was relying on being featured in Berry’s film instead of participating in the UFC fight.
Halley’s Directorial Debut
Bruised, which is set to drop on Netflix in November, is an important film as it marks the actress’ first time directing a film. The film was written keeping Blake Lively in mind. However, after the Gossip Girl chose to give the film a miss, Berry realized that she simply could not get the script out of her mind. While the film is all set to dazzle the viewers very soon, we just hope the lawsuit gets settled and the film releases without any hitch.
We just have to wait and watch this space to find out what happens next!