Glee meets the UFC?
Well sort of. The new movie in production from actor Kevin James (The King of Queens) revolves around both music and fighting, and he’s doing the film with the UFC’s blessing.
“Here Comes the Boom” is a film expected to be released in 2012 starring James alongside co-stars Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler. It focuses on a high school biology teach who moonlights as an MMA fighter to help raise money to keep his school’s music program up and running.
James, who is a longtime supporter and fan of MMA, actually called UFC president Dana White when they began production and asked permission to use the UFC brand in the film.
“I like Kevin and he called me up and he’s passionate about the sport, he wanted to do this movie. We haven’t given the rights to anybody,” White revealed. “(In the movie) it’s UFC, we gave him the rights to it.”
The UFC hasn’t offered to allow anyone prior to this film to use their name since Zuffa took over ownership several years ago. Prior to Zuffa, the previous owners at SEG had allowed the name to be used on television shows like “Friends,” which produced a series of episodes in 1997 where actor Jon Favreau portrayed a businessman who wanted to become a fighter.
UFC ring announcer Bruce Buffer as well as referee “Big” John McCarthy and fighters Tank Abbott and Tito Ortiz appeared in the episode.
Since that time the UFC hasn’t allowed their name to be used in a production. The popular HBO show “Entourage” has included fighters like Chuck Liddell on the show, as well as shown footage of UFC fights, but not in a creative manner like the upcoming film with James.
According to IMDB.com, several UFC mainstays are featured in the film. White stated that everybody James was hopeful to use ended up in the production including UFC commentator Joe Rogan, announcer Bruce Buffer, and ring girl Arianny Celeste.
“Everybody who’s associated with the UFC is in this movie. Everybody was in it, Rogan, everybody was in it,” said White.
Well, technically, not everybody. One person you won’t see in “Here Comes the Boom” when it’s released is UFC president Dana White.
“They asked me; I’m no actor. No way in hell I would do that,” White said with a laugh.
The movie is currently under production and is expected to be released in 2012.