Ronda Rousey Turns Script Coverage At WME Into Screenwriting Job As She Will Adapt Script For Netflix Film Based On Her Memoirs

EXCLUSIVE: Having found success on so many fronts throughout her career, former UFC champion and WWE star Ronda Rousey has now found a new challenge to tackle and that is the role of screenwriter. Sources tell Deadline that Rousey has closed a deal to adapt the script for her own biopic at Netflix. It would be based on both her memoirs, My Fight/Your Fight and Our Fight, which she co-wrote with her sister, Maria Burns Ortiz. While their deal isn’t closed, sources say Chernin Entertainment is expected to produce.

Netflix declined to comment.

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The project was originally set up at Paramount in 2015 when the studio acquired the rights to her first memoir My Fight/Your Fight. Following a handful of regime changes at the studio, the rights would eventually lapse with Netflix ultimately jumping on them after Netflix exec — and long Rousey fan — Michelle Evans championed the project. What’s interesting here, given how much time has passed since the first memoir’s release, is that Rousey has since written a second memoir, Our Fight, which goes into even more detail about her life. Some of those new details include suffering her first loss to Holly Holm and contemplating suicide post-fight, her history with concussions that preceded her MMA career and her tumultuous relationship with her long-time coach, Edmond Tarverdyan.

What makes this situation so unique is how hard she has fought to make sure she was the one who adapted this script when so often veteran screenwriters usually do the writing on biopics (Mark Bomback was originally set to adapt My Fight/Your Fight when it was at Paramount). Rousey is known for putting in that extra effort and, according to insiders close to the process, the same was the case here with how seriously she worked to understand what it would take to adapt her memoirs into a script studios would want to make.

Rousey was looking to hone her screenwriting skills and was connected with Adam Novak, a veteran executive in WME’s story group that identifies source material on behalf of its clients. Novak, a seasoned veteran who had been with agency for 33 years, would send her scripts for coverage, critiquing her work and providing her with feedback. In the process of covering 30-40 scripts, she learned about screenwriting structure and technique, eventually writing her own screenplay.

After months of working in coverage, she was challenged by her long-time WME agents, who have been with her pre-UFC, to write the script about her life, a task she handled all by herself in just seven days, blowing away her agents who couldn’t believe the script was from a first time writer. The script was soon taken to the market with Chernin moving fast to land a meeting to come on as producers. After that one sit down, they attached themselves as producers.

Knowing they had something special, insiders say when the package was taken to the market, the front page of the script was torn off prior to the meeting with Netflix, that way execs went in with no pre-conceived bias and only found out who wrote it after they had finished the script. Execs immediately reached out about who the writer was after reading the script and even after finding out it was Rousey did not take long before putting in an offer.

While the project was initially conceived as something she would also star in when it was at Paramount, sources now say she only plans to write the film, with meetings with potential candidates to play Rousey expected to begin in the months to come.

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