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Studio scales down Ronda Rousey's role in 'Mile 22' movie, wants 'Rowdy' to do less acting

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Ronda Rousey's role in her next film project, "Mile 22," underwent some re-writes before it was given the green light.

While that's normal in the movie biz, the up-to-date screenplay drastically reduces "Rowdy's" role and will instead have the story focus on Mark Wahlberg as the main character, and not the former UFC women's bantamweight champ.

Director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Hancock) fought on behalf of Rousey to keep the story intact. One that was expected to pit her as the lead role of a CIA agent trying to dodge countless enemies en route to the airport to escape Indonesia alongside actor Iko Uwais.

But then Adam Fogelson -- chairman of STX Entertainment -- wanted to make some changes to have the third lead role in the film (which belonged to a male) be the star. As a result, the script, as they say, was flipped.

Enter Wahlberg.

After casting the A-list actor to head the film in a role that Will Smith initially turned down, Rousey's part was reduced to focus more on action scenes without a lot of heavy dialogue, according to The New Yorker (via FOX Sports).

"It allows Ronda to do everything she can and should do without having to carry any undue acting weight," said Fogelson, who wasn't exactly thrilled with Rousey's acting chops in her previous roles like "Furious 7."

At the end of the day, it's simply business and not personal, as being studio head comes with great responsibility and having a potential franchise led by an up-and-coming actress as opposed to a longtime veteran of the trade is just one risk he wasn't willing to take.

But don't weep for Ronda just yet, as she still has plenty of starring roles in her future, as she will be the lead character in the upcoming remake of the classic film "Road House," and is in talks to spearhead "The Athena Project" franchise.

And before you conspiracy theorists out there start claiming the decision was made due to Rousey's knockout loss to Holly Holm at UFC 193 (see it), the decision was made long before that championship bout took place.

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