jackson_baracus

More MMA fighters are invading your action movies. We just had the report that female fighter Gina Carano would be starring in Steven Soderbergh’s next film. Now there is a credible report that former UFC champ Rampage Jackson, tagged for the role over a year ago, has arrived in Vancouver, where he’ll spend the next six weeks sporting a mohawk and gold chains as The A-Team‘s resident malcontent mechanic B.A. Baracus.

The role is a loaded one, as it broke Mr. T into global superstardom during the show’s original run from 1983 to 1987. The Vancouver Sun reports now that Rampage Jackson (real name: Quinton Ramone Jackson) was just recently cast in the film, after a high-profile string of rumors had pegged nearly every possible African-American actor or celebrity with the proper build to join the film.When John Singleton was directing the film there was a lot of talk about Jackson taking the role, so this isn’t much of a surprise. Jackson has a minor career as an actor (he’s got credits in Midnight Meat Train, among other things, but this will be his first major role.)

The joke in the show was that B.A. stood for ‘bad attitude’ and that seems appropriate given the character’s new actor. One of Rampage Jackson’s more famous recent exploits was his excursion into reckless driving — kind of an understatement as Jackson led police on an extended chase while driving on the wrong side of the road in a Ford F-350 that has his portrait painted on it. Too bad about that, as he’s got a fairly impressive record in the ring. (Sorry, the Octagon.)

Can Jackson turn his B.A. into the sort of figure that Mr. T promoted? Good question, and Jackson is fairly charismatic. Check out his Jimmy Kimmel appearance last year (around the time of the original A-Team rumors) for a little suggestion of his potential as B.A. Baracus. Granted, at the end of the day this is just an A-Team movie. Not exactly serious stuff. Once again, Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin’ Aces) is directing Jackson alongside Bradley Cooper as Lt. Templeton ‘Faceman’ Peck and a reported Liam Neeson as Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith.

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