Sometimes you just gotta love Twitter! A few days ago, along with the help of Mischa fan Xavi, I noticed writer Ben Trebilcook bring up Mischa’s name in conjunction with a new movie project that we hadn’t heard about called Knockout. I thought I’d try my luck and contact Ben, to see if I could get a few details on the project, thinking that I’d either get no reply or just a few words. Amazingly, Ben replied with a vast amount of information regarding the project so here is the Q&A that came about:
Big thanks to writer/producer Ben Trebilcook for being so generous with his time! And if you’d like to stay updated on the project, follow Ben Trebilcook on Twitter.
I recently caught up with writer / producer Ben Trebilcook to discuss his upcoming new movie ‘Knockout’, a quirky martial arts thriller, to be shot in the US early 2014. A few months ago, it was globally reported that Ben was writing ‘Die Hardest’, the sixth and possibly last movie in the ‘Die Hard’ franchise.
Sam: Hi Ben, can you tell us a little about the plot and characters in your movie ‘Knockout’?
Ben Trebilcook: Hi Sam. The film is about a young woman, (Charlie), distraught from witnessing the murder of her parents as a child, develops her own unique martial art by playing video games. It’s because of this she suddenly finds herself embroiled in the world of underground fighting.
The film features a host of great martial arts and fight talent from around the world, including UFC and MMA stars and also the UK’s own Zara Phythian, who plays ‘Charlie’. Charlie lost her parents when she was young and ended up in foster care, shutting the rest of the world out by playing video games, eventually forming her own quirky martial art. When she’s 18, Charlie is living in a dirty, noisy and very dangerous hostel. It gets too much for her and she runs away.
This is when she meets ‘Danielle’, to be played by Mischa Barton.
Sam: How did you get Mischa involved?
Ben Trebilcook: A few years back, I wrote a script for Mischa, which her mother, Nuala and I were going to produce together. It was a big spy film, like a female James Bond. Finance talks fell apart and we all moved on to other projects. There was a lot of interest in ‘Knockout’ and it soon took center stage. The first person I thought to play the other female lead was Mischa, so I got in back touch with her mom and went from there.
Sam: What can you tell us about the character Mischa plays?
Ben Trebilcook: She plays ‘Danielle Kaffee’, a nurse. We first see her in complete distress. A little drunk and being harassed by several guys in a very eerie part of town. She fends off a couple and, well, if you’ve been out late to a bar, are tired, have had a bit to drink, you’re going to be disorientated and certainly won’t be on top-form. Anyway, Zara Phythian’s character, Charlie, appears and helps her out considerably. Mischa’s Danielle, being the caring character she is, offers to clean up this oddball, dirty homeless looking girl and a place to stay, however, Danielle’s boyfriend turns up and, let’s just say he owes a lot of money to a local gangster and sees Charlie’s fighting skills a means to an end.
Sam: So, does Mischa get to fight in the movie?
Ben Trebilcook: There’s definitely some scenes which would require Mischa’s character to protect herself! Danielle isn’t keen on the idea of Charlie being used and doesn’t feel comfortable in the environments she finds herself in. The fights are in unusual places and the fighters are match them.
Sam: Can you tell us anything about the fighters?
Ben Trebilcook: Sure! We’ve got another Miesha, as in Miesha Tate. She’s a super-tough UFC talent. In fact, her main rival has just been snapped up to be in the next Fast and the Furious movie. I think they’ve got the wrong girl, because Miesha is so brilliant and looks amazing on film. We’ve got Kyle Kingsbury, another UFC star and I’m on the look out for a massive, Hulk of a brute. Perhaps a bodybuilder. Someone ridiculously huge and scary. I’ve brought in a British guy called Neil Fingleton, who is one of Europe’s tallest men. He’ll fight Zara and Mischa.
Sam: Who have you got playing Mischa Barton’s boyfriend in the movie?
Ben Trebilcook: Actually, that role hasn’t been cast yet. He’ll be in his twenties and called ‘Frank’. It was going to be Sean Brosnan, but he pulled out. I don’t know. I’m sure fans of your website would come up with someone.
Sam: And lastly, on your Twitter, when talking about the movie, you hashtag #PressStartToFight what does this mean?
Ben Trebilcook: Ha, it’s a reference to how Zara’s character, Charlie, views her opponents. When she’s about to fight, she sees it all as a video game and obviously, in games, you sometimes have text on screen saying Press Start To Fight. It’s also a cool line Mischa Barton would say in the script, telling Zara to do just that.
Sam: There’s no confirmed shooting or release date yet for the movie, but we’ll keep you posted on any updates. Ben can be found on www.twitter.com/BenTrebilcook