Hollywood, CA (USA) - Mixed martial arts stars "Suga" Rashad Evans and Houston "The Assassin" Alexander are set to make their big screen debuts in Danny Trejo's Vengeance, an upcoming film expected for a late 2010 release. Directed by Gil Medina (Vengeance, Vengeance II, Ambition), the film stars Hollywood Legend Danny Trejo (Predators 2010, Machete, 50's Gun), Jason Mewes (Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), 50 Cent (Get Rich or Die Tryin', Righteous Kill), Noel G (Training Day), recording artist Tech9ne and former WWE star "Diamond" Dallas Page.
In the film, Jack (Trejo) is a retired undercover vice cop whose world is suddenly torn apart by the murder of his wife and daughter. After serving a prison term for a crime he didn't commit, Jack returns to the streets with a vengeance against crimes, and takes to vigilantism. Evans (K.O.) and Alexander (Strong Arm) both play Jack's partners from prison known as the Gorilla Family.
Evans, a former star collegiate wrestler at Michigan State University, broke onto the mixed martial arts scene in 2005 by winning the second installment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship's popular reality series, The Ultimate Fighter. An underdog from the start of his career, Evans grew into a fan favorite by defeating the likes of Brad Imes, Stephan Bonnar, Sean Salmon, Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, and Forrest Griffin. His win over Griffin in 2008 earned him the UFC light heavyweight championship and has been the crowing achievement of his career thus far. A coaching gig on The Ultimate Fighter 10 opposite fellow UFC star Quinton "Rampage" Jackson -- who he will face in the main event at UFC 114 on May 29 -- brought his career full circle.
A popular radio personality and hip hop youth outreach mentor in Nebraska, Alexander is also one of mixed martial arts' breakout stars. A single father of six children who gave a kidney to one of his daughters in 2000, Alexander's priorities have oftentimes lain outside of the cage. "The Assassin" stormed onto the mixed martial arts scene in 2007, beating the heavily favored Keith Jardine in one of the most exciting fights of the year. Alexander went on to defeatAlessio Sakara in 2007, before losing three straight fights from late 2007-2008. He lost via unanimous decision to former street fighter turned mixed martial arts star Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson in one of the most-watched fights of 2009.
Known as Hollywood's "ultimate bad ass," Danny Trejo is a certified big screen legend. Having starred in films like Heat, Con Air, xXx, From Dusk Till Dawn, and the upcoming 20th Century Fox remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Predators 2010 (July 4th weekend) and also Robert Rodriguez & Quinton Tarantino's Machete with Robert DeNiro and Jessica Alba, Trejo has certainly come a long way from his days as a troubled youth on the streets of Los Angeles. Trejo developed skills as a boxer during his teenage years, but a lengthy prison sentence snuffed out any aspirations that he had of going pro. Nevertheless, Trejo became the California state prison boxing champion and became a member of the twelve-step program, which he credits with his success in overcoming drug addiction. An avid mixed martial arts fan, Trejo was recently described as the "Spike Lee of MMA," being a popular celebrity always on the sidelines cheering on his favorite sport.
Director Gil Medina sees Trejo's days as a prison boxer as the reason why he appeals to fans of mixed martial arts: "they called it boxing but it was MMA," Medina said. "He was kneeing them, elbowing them, throwing punches at them,Danny would rather knock you out then shank you but he'd shank you if he had to; so Danny was the ultimate warriorbecause this wasn't sanctioned boxing... this was prison boxing and Danny was the champion of the prisons."
Knowing that fans of combat sports and movies were looking for something real to be a part of, Trejo and Medina created the Vengeance Army (www.vengeancearmy.com) for fans of the movie to gather. The plan is to give the movie away for free to anybody who wants it, and the person who gives away the most copies of the movie will earn a prominent speaking role in the already-planned Vengeance II.
"Vengeance Army is like an army," Medina said. "It is for everybody who's ever been a fan of Danny Trejo, a fan of Charles Bronson, a fan of action and just badass motion pictures. Once you join the Vengeance Army and the film's been released the film is going to be free off of our website. Let's say you're Tommy in Texas and you become a Vengeance Army member and you give away the most free movies. Then he will land a speaking role in our next movie, Vengeance 2. Vengeance II is written and ready to go."
Medina and Trejo have already planned to feature MMA even more in Vengeance II: "Danny calls in MMA fighters to come in and snap the neck of Al-Qaeda terrorists that are trained in hand-to-hand combat, that's what you'll see in the next film. He's calling MMA fighters in to basically defend America," Medina said.