Director tells how he brought Rodrigo Minotauro to the big screen
Story and photo by Erik Engelhart
Written by journalist Pedro Bial, the documentary about Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira’s life is being directed and produced by the Portuguese Fernando Serzedelo, producer of “Fast and Furious”, “Incredible Hulk” and “2012”. And it was exactly on the shooting sets of “Fast and Furious”, in Rio de Janeiro, that they came up with the idea of making a movie out of the life of one the biggest national MMA icons. Serzedelo heard about the main star of the movie, Vin Diesel, who was a big Minotauro fan. In order to please the actor, Fernando got in touch with the MMA legend and invited him to visit the locations of the movie.
Rodrigo accepted the invitation and went to meet Vin Diesel. And it was on that meeting, between one big MMA representative and a movie star that came up the idea of shooting a documentary on Rodrigo Nogueira’s life, according explained the movie director.
“I got along with Minotauro since moment one. He was talking to Vin Diesel and I call him and asked: ‘Rodrigo, do you want to have a movie done on your life?’ He says: ‘let’s talk about it’. We started talking and soon enough we realized we really got along well. In the end of 2010 we had an agreement about launching it in 2011”, explained Fernando, who was chocked about the Brazilian’s popularity on the United States.
“I was impressed to realize they are heroes back in America. I arrived about 11a.m. to shoot in Seattle and I left at 4p.m. The line would go around the corner of people wanting Rodrigo’s autograph, and also Rogerio and Anderson’s. These MMA fighters are heroes not only inside the rings, but in life”.
The debut of “Minotauto, the life of the legendary fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira” is predicted for 2013 and the director believes that cinema will perform an essential role on humanizing athletes. “Movies will humanize those guys and, having them turned into humans, people can relate to them more, because MMA heroes are heroes only in the rings, but in life. They are all humble, focused guys”, said the director, who analyzed one of the biggest MMA cinematographic productions at this moment.
“The difference between Minotauro’s documentary to Anderson’s, is that ‘Like Water’ has a beginning, middle and end. Despite the script and all the things that happen, it’s his preparation for fighting Chael Sonnen. It’s a really good movie, there’s an important villain, a hero and a dramatic outcome, with the good guy’s win over the bad guy. On Jose Aldo’s movie, it’s a fiction based on his life, there’s a soap opera star on it, it’s a romance. My movie is a documentary on Rodrigo Nogueira’s life. From his childhood, since he was ran over at the age of nine. He almost died, was in a coma, doctors discredited him, but his amazing overcoming power showed since a kid he would win in life. The movie has not pre-established script, who writes it is Minotauro himself”, concludes Serzedelo.