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Ronda Rousey gets reduced role in 'Mile 22'

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Apparently Hollywood may not yet be ready to invest in Ronda Rousey as a leading actress, with director Peter Berg apparently changing up the fighter's planned role in his upcoming film 'Mile 22'.

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Hollywood can be a rough town, especially when you're trying to convince movie producers that a relatively untested actress is worth taking a major chance on. Of course, it helps if that actress' name is Ronda Rousey, but even that may not be enough. According to a recent exposé on STX Entertainment's Adam Fogelson by the New Yorker, Rousey's role in the upcoming STX film "Mile 22" is being reduced, to focus more on her fighting and less on her acting.

It's a lengthy piece that focuses on a number of upcoming projects making their way through STX, including a war-actioner set in the near future, titled "Unmanned," a new Jackie Chan vehicle "The Foreigner," and of course, Ronda Rousey's upcoming movie with Mark Wahlberg and Iko Uwais, "Mile 22."

The film was supposed to center around Ronda Rousey as a woman C.I.A agent, who teams up with an Iko Uwais, an Indonesian cop, to battle their way out of Jakarta. But, with the signing of Mark Wahlberg to the project, things got shifted around a bit. Here's the New Yorker's write up on the changes and how they affected Rousey's role:

The script was "written up" for Wahlberg. In the original, Silva was a turncoat, who served as Ronda Rousey's mentor before dying in the third act; in the new version, constructed with a potential franchise in mind, Silva was the star, a complex man with a shot at redemption. Not incidentally, these changes reduced Rousey's role: same fighting, less emoting. Or, as Fogelson tactfully put it, having avoided both dinner and lunch with her, "It allows Ronda to do everything she can and should do without having to carry any undue acting weight." The negotiations over Wahlberg's contract were protracted so much so that his agent, Ari Emanuel, sent Fogelson two tortoises, and Fogelson sent back a vat of molasses. In the end, STX paid Wahlberg three-quarters of his top quote, plus a sizable share of the profits. Partly as a result of that payment, the film's budget tripled, to thirty-five million dollars. On the other hand, "Mile 22" became the kind of project that the studio was predicated on: a star showcase.

So, there you have it. Fans expecting a Rousey heavy experience from Mile 22 will still probably get a lot of what they came for, but it's not longer quite the same Ronda-driven vehicle that it started out as.