Back in September of 2019, Bloody Elbow spoke with screenwriter Michelle Rosenfarb about the evolution of her screenplay, Bruised. The project had gone through significant story development, with Halle Berry and Rosenfarb working together to bring to life the story of a UFC fighter looking for a comeback.
At the time, the film was clicking along right on schedule under Halle Berry’s direction. The shoot, conducted in the late fall of 2019, went smoothly. The expectation was for Bruised to hit theaters in 2020. Of course, nothing went according to expectation in 2020.
As the film industry adapted to a world beset by a pandemic, Bruised wound up going to the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was picked up for a tidy sum by streaming giant Netflix. For almost a year, Netflix has held onto the film, a release date still a question mark. But as Berry wrote on her Instagram, “After three years in the making, I am THRILLED to finally announce “Bruised” is coming to @netflix globally Wednesday, Nov. 24.”
Halle Berry, a longtime fight fan, went on to say, “This project is so special to me, not only because it’s my directorial debut, but because the fight game — especially MMA — is a sport that I absolutely love and a genre that has always been winning. Everyone loves to root for the underdog, as we’ve all been there.”
Berry worked closely with the UFC during the story development process and during filming. She also cast UFC Flyweight Valentina Shevchenko in the movie, and trained with her leading up to the shoot. Berry and Shevchenko because fast friends in the process, with Shevchenko giving her director high praise for her fighting ability.