Bruised: Halle Berry’s new Netflix film is a gritty tale of redemption, MMA and motherhood

Bruised: Halle Berry’s new Netflix film is a gritty tale of redemption, MMA and motherhood

Posted by for Film

Here’s everything you need to know about Netflix’s Bruised, Halle Berry’s directorial debut coming soon to our screens.

Halle Berry has reigned supreme as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars for decades now, and now she’s making her directorial debut in a new Netflix original film.

Having shown off her elite athleticism as assassin Sofia in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, Berry is now turning her hand to boxing in sports drama Bruised.

The film debuted at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2020 and sees Berry play a washed-up MMA fighter struggling for redemption as both an athlete and a mother.

We can’t wait to see her step into the ring, and behind the camera. Here’s everything you need to know about the gritty, must-watch film. 

What is the plot of Bruised?

Berry stars as disgraced MMA fighter Jackie Justice, who is on a mission to win back the custody of her 6-year-old son and restart her career. The ageing MMA Fighter puts it all on the line when she has to come face to face with one of the sport’s fastest rising stars.

Originally, Blake Lively was cast to play Justice, with Nick Cassavetes, director of The Notebook and The Other Woman at the helm. However, Berry took over in 2018 as lead and director. 

Who else stars in Bruised?

Supporting Berry is a cast that includes Narcos’ Adan Canto, Shamier Anderson, Sheila Atim and Ladybird’s Stephen McKinley Henderson. The film also features special guest appearances from UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion Valentina Shevchenko and Amanda Nunes, the Bantamweight and Featherweight champion.

Michelle Rosenfarb takes writing credit for the film, and production was handled by Thunder Road Pictures, Entertainment 360, and Romulus Entertainment.

Is there a trailer for Bruised?

Sadly not yet, but a handful of pictures have been released by Netflix showing Berry, bloodied and bruised in the ring, to whet our appetites.

Bruised: Directed by and starring Halle Berry, the film follows a former MMA fighter struggling to regain custody of her son and restart her athletic career
Bruised: Directed by and starring Halle Berry, the film follows a former MMA fighter struggling to regain custody of her son and restart her athletic career

What are people saying about Bruised?

Talking about the original plans for the film, Berry told Entertainment Weekly: “They gave me the script and I loved the story, but it was written for a twentysomething Irish Catholic white woman. I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I thought, is it possible that this could be reimagined for someone like me? Because I think I have a take on it that could actually work – making it about a middle-aged Black woman, someone fighting for a last chance rather than another chance.”

She took the lead role after Lively dropped out, but had yet to find a director. As a UFC loyalist herself, Berry recalled to EW the experience putting herself forward for her first chance in the seat. “I had to go back and say, ‘I’ve tried really hard, but what’s in my head, no one else sees. This is going to sound really crazy because it’s crazy for me to even think it, but I think I should direct this.’”

And as if she wasn’t already committed enough to the production, Berry actually broke two ribs on the first day of shooting but carried on, telling Variety: “My director’s mind was just – keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: ‘I’m not going to stop. I’ve come too far. I’m going to act as if this isn’t hurting. I’m going to will myself through it.’ And so we did.”

Now that’s dedication to the cause. 

When can we watch Bruised?

Bruised is coming to Netflix on 24 November. Can’t wait that long? Here are some of the best sports films about inspiring women to watch in the meantime.

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Images: Getty/Netflix

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