October 27, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Gina Carano wants revenge in first movie since Disney firing

Actor Gina Carano was canceled earlier this year. Now, backed by conservative media company the Daily Wire, the former MMA star is planning a return to the screen, The Times has confirmed.

Carano, who lost her job on “The Mandalorian” and her UTA agent after Disney, via Lucasfilm, deemed some of her social media posts “abhorrent,” will star in an action-thriller based on the Eric Red novel “White Knuckle.”

As yet untitled, this is the movie Carano announced with Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro in February, just days after her high-profile ouster from “The Mandalorian.” The company is aiming to release the film in the first quarter of next year, with a trailer due in February.

In the flick, she’ll play a woman who survives a murder attempt by a serial-killer trucker, then partners with another trucker to get her revenge by taking down the killer after the authorities fail to do so. Filming is planned for October in Tennessee, Utah and Montana.

Early this year, Lucasfilm and many others slammed Carano for her previous social media posts, including one that compared being a Republican today to being a Jew during the Holocaust, a post she ultimately removed.

“I was in utter shock and confusion when certain people said it was anti-Semitic,” Carano said in late February to journalist Bari Weiss, who, like Shapiro, is Jewish.

“Then, as I went to take it down, I noticed that the image was not the same as the one people were referencing. I was honestly confused: Should I take it down, or leave it up? I still don’t know the answer to that question, because taking it down only makes the mob attack you more,” she added.

Carano’s absence from “The Mandalorian,” however, isn’t expected to have much of an impact on the Disney+ series, which is due to deliver a third season next year on the streaming service.

Audiences had generally responded positively to her character, Cara Dune, whose combat training, physicality and no-nonsense attitude had set her apart from the other strong women of the “Star Wars” galaxy. Fans also appreciated her character’s origin story: Dune came from Alderaan, home to Princess Leia and the first planet destroyed by the Death Star.

After Carano’s expulsion from the series, which included a ban from future Disney projects, including a rumored Cara Dune spinoff, the performer struck a deal almost immediately with the Daily Wire to produce and star in a film. Simultaneously, the conservative company announced its new entertainment-industry ambitions.

“This is just the beginning … welcome to the rebellion,” Carano said on social media in February as she retweeted Shapiro’s tweet promoting the new venture.

“I am sending out a direct message of hope to everyone living in fear of cancellation by the totalitarian mob…,” she told Deadline at the time. “They can’t cancel us if we don’t let them.”

Since then, Carano has posted statements and memes against mask mandates and vaccine passports — though she doesn’t oppose those who wear masks or choose to get vaccinated — along with thoughts and jokes about other conservative causes.

Last week she put up a meme titled “The Two Reactions I Get to My Sense of Humor,” a trait she blamed in part for her cancellation. One picture showed two “Goodfellas” actors laughing hysterically, while the other showed Steve Harvey asking, “What’s wrong with you?”

Carano, 39, is a producer on her next film, along with Dallas Sonnier and Amanda Presmyk of Bonfire Legend and Tony Timpone, who edited Fangoria magazine for more than two decades before moving on to the company’s DVD and VOD divisions. No director has been named.

Domestically, the movie will be released to Daily Wire subscribers, the company said, while Voltage Pictures will handle international distribution. Red previously penned scripts for the ’80s and ’90s movies “The Hitcher” and “Blue Steel.”

Deadline first reported the movie news Thursday.

Times staff writers Tracy Brown and Christi Carras contributed to this report.