Director Steven Soderbergh has been known for quirky film experiments since "Sex, Lies, and Videotape" gave audiences all three of those things in 1989. He's mixed commercial fare like the "Ocean's" movies, "Erin Brockovich," "Traffic" and the recent "Contagion" with a film-noir attempt ("The Good German") and a two-part Che Guevara movie.
With "Haywire," which opens Jan. 20, he heads in yet another direction, casting Gina Carano, a professional mixed-martial-arts fighter with limited prior acting experience, in the lead role as an international black-ops agent. It's a risk mitigated by a team of male co-stars (Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum) that would seem at home in Mr. Soderbergh's swanky "Ocean's Eleven" world. In fact, "Haywire" plays a bit like "Ocean's," with an added wallop of spy-versus-spy butt-kicking. Mr. Soderbergh talked about his tough new starlet's cross-demographic appeal (from feminists to Ultimate Fighting Championship fans), and the joy of seeing a girl beat up on the boys.
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