Fighting With My Family Director Stephen Merchant Pitches Ideas for a Sequel
Director Stephen Merchant and producer/WWE icon Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson brought the story of WWE Superstar Paige and her family to life earlier this year with the film Fighting With My Family. Based on a BBC documentary from 2012, the story centers around the Knight family as Paige (played by Florence Pugh) gets an offer for a WWE developmental contract while her parents run a small wrestling promotion out of Norwich, England.
While the film goes into great detail about how the rest of her family reacted to Paige's career move, particularly how her brother Zak Zodiac moved on after not being signed himself, the film puts Paige front and center for the climax of the film when she defeats AJ Lee (played by WWE's Zelina Vega) for the WWE Divas Championship the night after WrestleMania XXX in 2014.
But while the win was a massive moment for Paige's career, it was far from last. Which was why once the film came out, many fans were surprised to see the story stop after her title win and not cover some of the other highlights from her career, including her WrestleMania appearances, her involvement in the Women's Revolution, and her sudden, shocking retirement at age
In a recent interview with ComicBook.com, Merchant explained that the plan was always for the film to end with her debut on Monday Night Raw, given that it felt like a perfect climax for her character.
"There was something that she told me early on which I found very moving, which was when she won that title on that first appearance on Raw. To her the adrenaline she got, the emotion of that moment was so real and so overwhelming and tangible, that it was similar to if she had won an Olympic gold medal or you'd won a real life boxing match. Even though there's theater and the outcome was preordained, the journey she'd been on to get there was concluding some way in that moment and it was really overwhelming to her. The tears and the emotion, the adrenaline she felt was all very real and wasn't manufactured."
Merchant added that, because so much has happened to Paige both in and out of the ring in the years that followed her debut, he'd be interested in a possible sequel.
"I wasn't imagining in my head that this was suddenly everyone's lives were resolved in that film, particularly that was where we were going to stop the story and send you away with a smile," he said. "So I think there is a lot to explore in a sequel including, I think she's also been through a lot and then come out and she's in another kind of good place now. So I think, actually, there's another story to tell of another kind of redemption. I think that in a sense, that's true of anyone's life, right? It's an ongoing story. It doesn't cut to and end just 'cause we chose to stop the story there."
The film featured Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead) and Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) as Paige's parents Ricky Knight and "Sweet" Saraya Knight. Merchant added that another idea for a film that interested him would be telling their story in a prequel.
"I think the sequel that I'm interested in is actually a prequel," Merchant said. "It's less to do with what happened to Paige next, it's actually more about her family, her parents. Because I love the fact [that] they are very much in love, they're such a kind of tactile couple who will quite happily start kissing and making out in front of you. It's a real sort of very odd love story about this couple who have dark demons in their past.
"The idea of this couple that sort of found wrestling and it kind of saved them from despair and darkness and it gave them new focus and new meaning and it brought them together and ultimately led to their family and their family business. I just find that a very sweet, funny, romantic story, you know? So that's the story I think would be fun to tell."
Fighting With My Family is currently available digitally, and on Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand May 14th.
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