Ronda Rousey, with her UFC championship belt and mainstream crossover appeal, could be appearing in more than one movie next summer.
Already committed to a role alongside Sylvester Stallone and his band of merry (and aging) action heroes in the third installment of "The Expendables" franchise, Rousey is in talks to appear in "Fast & Furious 7." Variety, the Hollywood trade magazine, first reported news of the negotiations on Wednesday.
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"I think anyone would be ecstatic to have the opportunity to be part of both of those franchises, but I gotta find a way to make everything work," Rousey told Newsday on Thursday.
Rousey's schedule is quite full in the coming months. She defends her women's bantamweight title against rival Miesha Tate at UFC 168 on Dec. 28. She is also coaching opposite Tate on the upcoming season of "The Ultimate Fighter," which premieres Sept. 4 on Fox Sports 1, a new 24-hour cable network launching Aug. 17. The season has already been taped, but there could be promotional commitments for the show that Rousey may need to fulfill, such as hosting the UFC Fight Club Q&A on Aug. 16 in Boston.
In the meantime, she'll be in Bulgaria filming "Expendables 3," a movie that figures to be just as action-heavy as the first two, if not more so.
Variety reported that it's possible Rousey could also film "Fast 7" after wrapping on "Expendables" and before training camp for UFC 168. But, Rousey sounded unsure about that.
"The fight is always going to be what I care about most," Rousey said. "I gave my word to 'The Expendables,' so, my word is my bond. That's it. If we can find a way to make 'Fast 7' work around both those things, then I would be absolutely ecstatic to a part of it."
These are good problems for Rousey, the first American woman judoka to medal in the Olympics, to have as she begins to expand her profile from beyond the world of mixed martial arts. The first "Expendables" grossed more than $100 million in the U.S., and the "Expendables 2" brought in $85 million. Worldwide, the franchise grossed more than $500 million.
The "Fast & Furious" franchise is even bigger. The sixth installment grossed $238 million at U.S. box offices this past summer -- plus another $533 million worldwide. That movie included Gina Carano, the first female MMA fighter to gain mass appeal. The "Fast" franchise has grossed $2.3 billion worldwide. Yes, billion.
Both movies have scheduled release dates listed for the summer of 2014. "Fast 7" is schedule to hit box offices on July 11, 2014, with "Expendables 3" to follow Aug. 15.
"When 'Expendables' came along, I let them know that my first priority is the fight and I have commitments," Rousey said. "I committed to 'Expendables,' then when 'Fast 7' expressed interest, I had to tell them, 'Look, I gave my word to 'Expendables.' They're my first priority. And I gave my word to the UFC, they're my first first priority, so you're priority No. 3, pretty much.' My word is my word."