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DEEP BENCH: Director talks major studio debut

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 5:07 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - If you’re looking for 85 minutes of non-stop action and a movie to lose yourself in, ‘Never Back Down: Revolt’ fits the bill.

It was just released on Tuesday on DVD and streaming.

The movie is director Kellie Madison’s major studio directorial debut. It’s the fourth film in the martial arts franchise, which first debuted back in 2008.

“I didn’t feel a lot of pressure. I felt more excitement,” said Madison. “I wanted to make sure we were delivering something fresh. We completely rebranded the franchise. None of the characters are the same. The story, the plot, nothing’s the same.”

The movie has an international cast from Indian actress Neetu Chandra to Columbian star Diana Hoyos. It also stars UFC standout Michael Bisping from Manchester, England and Olivia Popica of London.

“I loved it,” said Madison. “It’s not just about checking diversity boxes, either. That’s how we cast.”

In the middle of all the action is a very intense dramatic scene that grips you.

“I embrace that,” she said. “Have characters that are lush and that you’re rooting for them and that you love these characters. And that the drama and the story is strong. And then when action sequences surround those elements its super exciting. Because you’re rooting and care for these characters.”

Madison already has other projects in the works and hopes this is a big stepping stone.

“I just want to continue to tell stories,” said Madison. “I’ve been passionate about it since I can remember. I just hope people don’t put me only in the ‘oh, she can only direct martial arts.”

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