Halle Berry's Film 'Bruised' Has an Intense New Trailer

Photo credit: Mike Coppola - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Coppola - Getty Images

Halle Berry's directorial debut will hit Netflix this fall.

The Oscar-winning actress's film, titled Bruised, tells the story of a disgraced MMA fighter seeking redemption as an athlete while also learning to raise the son she abandoned years ago. Bruised first screened as a work in progress at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was quickly bought by the streaming giant. The first trailer for the film, shown above, gives audiences the first glimpse at Berry in her most physically-demanding role ever.

Here's everything else we know about Bruised so far.

The film hits Netflix on November 24.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Bruised will be released in theaters on November 17, and then globally on Netflix on November 24. The confirmed release date comes 11 months after the film's screening at TIFF and the initial reports that Netflix was offering $20 million for the film, per Variety.

Berry directed and stars in the film.

The Monster's Ball actress plays Jackie Justice, a disgraced MMA fighter who returns to the cage after everyone has counted her out, while also getting to know the son she gave up as an infant. In a Variety profile, Berry said that she saw herself in the role when she first read the script. At the time, she had already been training for three years in mixed martial arts, as well as immersing herself in judo, jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and kickboxing for the John Wick films.

Here's the full cast roster:

  • Halle Berry as Jackie Justice

  • Stephen McKinley Henderson as Pops

  • Shamier Anderson as the MMA league promoter

  • Sheila Atim as Bobbi "Buddhakan" Berroa

  • Danny Boyd Jr. as Manny Lyons Jr.

  • Adan Canto as Desi

  • Nikolai Nikolaeff as Igor

Berry's role was initially written for a younger white actress.

During a virtual conversation at TIFF, Berry revealed that her character was very different when she first received the script in 2017. According to Entertainment Weekly, Berry said that what ended up being Jackie Justice was originally written as "a 25-year-old Irish Catholic girl."

Berry continued, "I knew as written it could not be me, but what I loved about the story is it was classic fight film. I loved the fractured brokenness of this character, and I love to see a film that's about redemption. I want to see the human spirit soar, I want to see someone rise above obstacles and still be standing at the end of the day."

Berry also told Variety that she pitched herself as the lead of a new type of fight film. "Why not a Black woman? It's an old genre; there's so many great fight films that have been made. I made the point why it would be worth retelling an age-old story with this new twist," she said.

Berry said that she was "scared shitless" about directing her first film.

Berry said at TIFF that she got approval from the film's producers to let her shape the story to fit her vision. While rearranging the story and characters, Berry also led the search for a director. She said that she didn't feel a solid connection with any of the candidates, before a conversation with her friend and producing partner, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, led her to try her hand at directing.

"I said to her, 'No one understands what's in my head, and she said, 'Why don't you do it?' I slept on it overnight and I woke up thinking 'Yes, I can.' I knew I'd worked harder than I ever worked in my entire life on a character, and the last thing I wanted was for all of that work to be for naught and mistakenly fall into the hands of a visionary who didn't see it quite the way I saw it," Berry said.

Berry also said that though she was "scared shitless" about directing for the first time; those fears ended up easing her anxiety in the end. "Fear and worry are healthy. If you're not having some sense of worry, I don't think you really care about doing your best," she said.

Berry cracked two ribs while filming a fight scene.

Berry told Variety that she was injured filming a big fight scene with costar Valentina Shevchenko. The actress, who had previously broken three ribs while filming John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum, told the outlet that she worked through the pain.

"I didn't want to stop because I had prepared for so long. We had rehearsed; we were ready. So my mind, my director's mind, was just—keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: 'I'm not going to stop. I've come too far. I'm going to act as if this isn't hurting. I'm going to will myself through it.' And so we did," Berry said.

Berry trained in boxing and martial arts for four to six hours a day.

The actor told the New York Times that she trained four to six hours a day to learn boxing, Muay Thai, judo and jujitsu, and capoeira for the role. She also explained that she connected to Jackie's struggles and need to fight.

"I understood who this character of Jackie Justice was and where she came from," Berry said. "I loved [the role] because fighting is something that I just know so much about on a personal level and on a career level. I understand what it is to fight and not be heard. I understand the trauma of life that makes one want to fight, need to fight, have to fight."

She continued, "I understand being marginalized as a Black woman and the anger, resentment, fear and frustration that comes with all of that. If I could put all of that into this movie, all the things that I know so well, then I knew I could create a character that will not only be real, but will resonate with women of different races, too."

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