The historic lives of grappling legends Mitsuyo Maeda and Rickson Gracie are coming to Netflix, courtesy of director Jose Padilha. The former ‘Narcos’ director will be telling the story of the founding roots of jiu-jitsu and its rapid expansion in the movie ‘Dead or Alive’.
Padilha is a Brazilian director first gained prominence as the director of the ‘Elite Squad’ movies, before jumping to larger pictures like the 2014 ‘Robocop’ and the Netflix hit ‘Narcos’. Now, he’s turning his talents to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a martial art, both the past and present.
The film is expected to heavily feature portrayals based on Mitsuyo Maeda and Rickson Gracie, two of the arts’ most prominent legends. Maeda was the globetrotting martial artist who mentored the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Carlos and Helio Gracie. Even before then, Maeda was traveling the world, studying and demonstrating his martial arts accumen.
Rickson Gracie is one of the most important figures in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and widely recognized as one of the sport’s all-time great practioners of the art. Rickson rose to prominence for his intensity, grappling skill, and unbeaten resume. He brought his grappling ability into vale tudo and MMA, where he also found great results. Rickson’s role as a flagbearer for the sport helped spark a global expansion that keeps its momentum until today.
“This is a film with universal appeal with remarkable real-life characters,”Silverman said in a statement to Holywood Reporter. “Rickson Gracie is one of the greatest fighters of all time and we are honored to share his story.”
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