Best-selling author Brad Thor confirmed to TheBlaze on Friday that one of his most popular books, “The Athena Project,” is set to hit the big screen as a Warner Bros. production. The studio has tapped UFC women’s fighter Ronda Rousey to star in the film, a decision Thor says he couldn’t be more excited about.
For those who haven’t read the book already, “The Athena Project” follows a group of beautiful, butt-kicking women from the world’s most elite counterterrorism unit — the United States Army’s 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta. The unit, code named Athena Project, embarks on a dangerous and deadly mission and… Well, we don’t want to spoil it for you, so go read the book.
Thor told TheBlaze he was introduced to Rousey over the phone while she was shooting “The Expendables 3” in Europe. Not only did the UFC fighter absolutely love the book, she also immediately clicked with Thor.
“She finished the book in two days and we talked for like an hour,” Thor said. “The studio said if Ronda and I clicked, they were positive the film project would be phenomenal. And we more than clicked.”
The author had nothing but kind words to say about Rousey, calling her “so smart, so grounded and so cool.” He also said it doesn’t hurt that she’s gorgeous. Bottom line, she’s exactly the kind of woman the real-life Delta Force unit would attempt to recruit.
Due to her combination of stunning good looks and rare physical abilities, Thor said Rousey is the perfect person to star in “The Athena Project.” In fact, he went a little further than that.
“This is going to be Ronda Rousey’s Jason Bourne,” Thor told TheBlaze. “Matt Damon can’t dream of doing the things on-screen that Rousey can do in real life. Ronda Rousey could beat Matt Damon’s ass and Jason Bourne’s ass — at the same time.”
“We have never seen a chick kick ass like this,” he continued. “This is going to make ‘Tomb Raider’ look like a Disney movie.”
Though Rousey is the UFC women’s bantamweight champion, she’s also building up her acting resume. In addition to her upcoming roles in “The Expendables 3” and “Fast and Furious 7” and now “The Athena Project,” Rousey was also selected by Warner Bros. to appear in the “Entourage” movie.
Scoring a starring role in “The Athena Project” comes with the opportunity to secure “a franchise and perhaps the chance to become the female action star Hollywood is lacking,” Variety notes. The ladies of Athena Project appear throughout Thor’s best-selling thrillers, which are just waiting to be turned into movie scripts as well.
Warner Bros. sees not just the makings of a great movie in Thor’s female-driven thriller, but also sees the potential for an action movie series that could appeal to men and women alike, Variety adds, citing various sources.
Fighter Ronda Rousey attends the UFC On FOX: Live Heavyweight Championship held at the Honda Center on November 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images)
Thor is thrilled to be partnered with Warner Bros. to put out a great “pro-American,” “pro-military” movie, which he says there is a shortage of in Hollywood. And because he’s the undisputed king of “faction,” you can certainly expect a heart-pounding, ultra-realistic plotline.
Plus, he explained, “there’s nothing hotter than women with guns who want to go out and defend this country.”
More on “The Athena Project” from Thor himself: