As we reported earlier today, James is set to star in an as-yet-untitled feature about a physics teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts fighter in light of some serious budget cuts at his school. He eventually winds up as a fighter in the UFC. It might seem like a stretch to some of you, but James is an actor — it's literally his job to transform himself into characters you wouldn't expect him to play.
Besides, it's not like James doesn't have a long history of martial arts films to study and base his character around. After the jump, we've listed some fighting styles and techniques that he should consider when preparing for his MMA film!
In "Ong-Bak," Tony Jaa introduced the world to Muay Thai — also known as the science of eight limbs — a kickboxing style where fighters use their feet, shins, elbows and knees to take down their opponents. It's hard to imagine James having the dexterity to pull off the same moves as Jaa, but with a little bit of training, his beefy legs could do some serious damage!
An Afro-Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, music and dance into one singular fighting technique, Capoeira was prominently featured in "Only the Strong," starring Mark Dacascos. If Dacascos could teach the art to a school filled with troubled teenagers, there's no question that he could teach James a thing or two — if not in Capoeira, then certainly in the ways of the "Iron Chef."
If you're trying to tell me that Jack Black can pull off this Mexican wrestling style in "Nacho Libre" but James wouldn't be able to do the same thing, well, you're wrong. With sheer size and a comically overaggressive attitude at his disposal, James has exactly what it takes to become a hilarious luchador.
Brief tangent here, but... what if James' MMA movie goes down a more supernatural route? If that's the case, why couldn't he pick up some lessons from Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Shang Tsung and the other vicious warriors of the "Mortal Kombat" franchise? I don't know about you, but I can totally see James pulling off Scorpion's signature "get over here" move.
But why not study fighting styles of all shapes, sizes and historical periods? James will have plenty of research material to consider in watching "Deadliest Warrior," the Spike TV series recently announced for a feature film adaptation, courtesy of "Real Steel" director Shawn Levy. From ninjas versus spartans and vikings versus samurai, James has a veritable history book of fighting technique at his fingertips in "Deadliest Warrior."
Tell us which fighting styles you think James should study for his MMA film in the comments and on Twitter!