Renowned Brazilian actress, singer, and comedian Samantha Schmütz is presently working on an MMA-focused movie, which will feature the character Juninho Play, a well-loved character portrayed by Schmütz for several years both on stage and on the popular comedy show Zorra Total on Globo TV.
Having already created an animated web series around Juninho Play in 2015, Schmütz is now in talks to bring the character to the big screen. The plot was jointly penned by Schmütz and TV director Leandro Soares, known for creating the comedic TV show Vai Que Cola, during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My connection with the MMA community, including the likes of ‘Claudinha’ Gadelha, [Junior dos Santos] ‘Cigano,’ and Anderson Silva, has made me see the richness of this world,” shared Schmütz on the MMA Hook’s Trocação Franca podcast. “Although fight films are quite rare in Brazil and humorous fight films in general, I see a wide scope for humor in the MMA domain. At the same time, I want the film to be aesthetically pleasing. Jiu-jitsu truly represents Brazil and its global connection, and I want to integrate this serious and technical side into the film, while interlacing it with humor.”
Schmütz’s interest in martial arts was ignited by her husband’s passion for boxing and MMA, and she began her training after discovering that Pride FC veteran Ricardo Arona lived in her neighborhood in Niteroi.
“When I initially portrayed Juninho in theater, I bought a jiu-jitsu shirt for him — it was a counterfeit, admittedly,” said Schmütz. “I saw a shirt with Arona’s emblem in the store, and after he confirmed his Niteroi roots, I knew that was the shirt for Juninho.”
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Schmütz trains in jiu-jitsu under Fabio Trindade at Gracie Barra Northridge. In April, she flew to Las Vegas to train with Claudia Gadelha at the UFC Performance Institute and attended UFC Vegas 71 at the UFC APEX, which featured victorious Brazilian fighters Bruno Silva, Norma Dumont, and Iasmin Lucindo.
The actress plans to invite personalities from the MMA and jiu-jitsu worlds, including Gadelha, Arona, and Gabi Garcia, to appear in the movie, and aims to shoot scenes in Las Vegas. Inspired by fight films like Jon Voight’s The Champ and the iconic Rocky series, Schmütz hopes to follow in the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone by writing, producing, and starring in her own MMA movie.
“[Leandro Soares] really gets my perspective, my abilities, and our shared interests,” Schmütz expressed. “This project is very dear to me. I’ve been preparing and attending classes.”
According to Schmütz, the movie will revolve around Juninho Play who explores MMA as a means to earn money to provide for his grandmother.
“The story unfolds as a personal journey undertaken for the greater good, to support his family,” Schmütz shared. “There are various lessons encapsulated within the film. The philosophy of life, training, discipline can all be compared. Just like in real life, one can’t swiftly transition from a beginner to a professional fighter. This project has been with me for a while, and things are finally falling into place. I’m savoring each step of this journey.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Samantha Schmütz MMA Movie
What is Samantha Schmütz working on currently?
Samantha Schmütz is currently working on an MMA-themed movie featuring the character Juninho Play, whom she has portrayed for several years in theaters and on the popular comedy show Zorra Total on Globo TV.
Has Samantha Schmütz worked with Juninho Play before?
Yes, Samantha Schmütz previously turned Juninho Play into an animated web series in 2015, and now she is in negotiations to bring the character to the big screen.
Who co-wrote the movie’s story with Samantha Schmütz?
The movie’s story was co-written by Samantha Schmütz and TV director Leandro Soares, known for creating the comedy TV show Vai Que Cola, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is Samantha Schmütz interested in the MMA world?
Samantha Schmütz has made numerous friends in the MMA world, including ‘Claudinha’ Gadelha, ‘Cigano’ Junior dos Santos, and Anderson Silva. She finds the MMA universe rich and sees potential to infuse humor into fight films.
What inspired Samantha Schmütz to create an MMA movie?
Samantha Schmütz’s passion for martial arts was ignited by her husband’s love for boxing and MMA. She began training in jiu-jitsu after discovering that Pride FC veteran Ricardo Arona lived close to her house in Niteroi.
Where does Samantha Schmütz currently reside and train jiu-jitsu?
Samantha Schmütz currently lives in Los Angeles and trains jiu-jitsu with Fabio Trindade at Gracie Barra Northridge.
Whom did Samantha Schmütz train with in Las Vegas?
In Las Vegas, Samantha Schmütz trained with Claudia Gadelha at the UFC Performance Institute and also attended UFC Vegas 71 at the UFC APEX, which featured successful Brazilian fighters Bruno Silva, Norma Dumont, and Iasmin Lucindo.
Who does Samantha Schmütz plan to invite to be a part of the movie?
Samantha Schmütz intends to invite various MMA and jiu-jitsu personalities, including Gabi Garcia, Claudia Gadelha, and Ricardo Arona, to appear in the movie.
What inspired Samantha Schmütz to write, produce, and star in an MMA movie?
Samantha Schmütz drew inspiration from iconic fight films like Jon Voight’s The Champ and the classic Rocky series. She aspires to follow in the footsteps of Sylvester Stallone and take charge of her own MMA movie project.
What is the movie’s plot?
The movie’s plot revolves around Juninho Play discovering MMA as a means to make money and support his grandmother. It follows his personal adventure for the greater good and incorporates various lessons related to life, training, and discipline.
How does Samantha Schmütz feel about the project?
Samantha Schmütz holds this project very dear to her heart, referring to it as her “pet project” and expressing her enjoyment in preparing for it and attending classes.