Halle Berry landed a major hit with her directorial debut, it seems.
The Oscar-winning actress’ upcoming mixed martial arts drama, “Bruised,” was reportedly purchased by video streaming giant Netflix for a whopping $20 million.
[Related: 12 Movies With a Female Lead Who’s a Badass Entrepreneur]
No news yet on when the film, with themes and a redemption arc that are said to echo the classic boxing movie “Rocky,” will be made available to Netflix customers. But it’s set to screen at the Toronto Film Festival as a work in progress.
Berry’s achievement is notable when you consider the rarity of women directors — in particular, women directors of color. As of 2019, just 8 percent of directors at major film festivals were women of color. Meanwhile, nearly half of all directors at the same festivals were white men.
The Academy Awards recently announced a new set of diversity standards for Oscars consideration, in a bid to turn the tide. But presently, Berry remains an outlier.
More impressive still is that she’s also the film’s star — which was how she wound up with two cracked ribs during the course of filming. But she was determined to push forward as both an actress and director to bring her vision to life. “I didn’t want to stop because I had prepared for so long,” Berry told Variety of the experience. “We had rehearsed — we were ready.”
[Related: Marvel Movie ‘Captain Marvel’ Wins Big at the Box Office, for Women in Film]
She added that it was her leadership role on the film that drove her onward. “[M]y director’s mind was just — keep going. And I compartmentalized that, and I just kept going: ‘I’m not going to stop. I’ve come too far. I’m going to act as if this isn’t hurting. I’m going to will myself through it.’ And so we did.”
Indeed, they did — and now, she has a knockout deal to show for it.
[Related: What Amy Poehler Can Teach Us From Her ‘Wine Country’ Directorial Debut]