EXCLUSIVE: Michael Fassbender to Join Steven Soderbergh's Knockout
I was talking to Michael Fassbender this morning in advance of his new film Fish Tank (more on that soon), and the actor let slip a juicy piece of unannounced casting. Fassbender's seen his profile rise since he played the purring Hickox in Inglourious Basterds, and he's got a full deck of interesting directors clamoring to work with him, including David Cronenberg (who will team Fassbender with his Basterds costar Christoph Waltz for The Talking Cure) and Cary Fukunaga (who cast Fassbender in his upcoming redo of Jane Eyre).
Still, potentially his most interesting project is the one that he'll shoot before those two.
"I'll be starting work with Steven Soderbergh in the beginning of February in Dublin," Fassbender said, confirming that he'll take part in the prolific director's next film, Knockout. That'd be the spy thriller starring mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano, written by Lem Dobbs (The Limey).
Fassbender is the first piece of casting announced since the project's inception, and his presence signals Soderbergh's willingness to surround newcomer Carano with professional actors (never a given with Soderbergh, who loves using non-actors and unknown faces).
Still, after telling me about the project, Fassbender tried to clam up. Can he divulge anything about his character? "I can't, really," he said, laughing. "There's one physical part in it, but it's not too bad actually."
Though we'd normally expect a flood of casting announcements due to the film's imminent shoot date, Soderbergh is the kind of auteur who can shoot an entire feature film without anyone catching on. As far as casting information goes, we'll take what we can get -- but in getting Fassbender, at least Knockout is beginning to shape.