Exclusive: Director Gavin O’Connor Talks Warrior At 10 And Spin-Off Plans

With the shadow of the likes of Rocky and Raging Bull hanging over the genre, making a sports drama is no easy task, but each year new ones are released aiming to be the next big thing.

A decade ago, a new contender entered the ring as writer/director Gavin O’Connor released Warrior, his tale of brotherhood and family set against the backdrop of an MMA tournament, starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.

Driven by raw emotion and strong characterisation, whilst never losing sense of the wrath of battle both in and outside of the cage, the impact of the movie was immediate as it resonated with audiences across the world.


Ten years on it still has that effect, often listed alongside Rocky as one of the greatest sports dramas ever made.

But it’s deserved acclaim as Warrior is a powerhouse of a film, transcending the clichés of the genre to become something more raw, honest and brutal.

We spoke to O’Connor about his legendary movie to celebrate its 10th anniversary, also getting the exclusive on the upcoming spin-off show that will follow in its footsteps.

Trust us when we say it is very exciting, with a return to Warrior’s Sparta tournament and legendary UFC champion Daniel Cormier already cast in a lead role.

Check out the interview in the latest issue of our digital monthly magazine The Lowdown.

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Emily Murray

Emily Murray


Emily is a journalist and film critic who unashamedly cries at most movies having got too emotionally attached. When not at the cinema, she is at home cuddling her cat Holmes, whilst binge watching New Girl. She can be found on Twitter @emilyvmurray