Mercedes Varnado — aka Mercedes Moné, fka Sasha Banks - has always believed in her potential as a crossover star, as has her army of fans.
Her turn as Koska Reeves on the Disney+ Star Wars show The Mandalorian was seen as just the beginning of a The
Boss CEO’s Hollywood career. Varnado hasn’t been the overnight sensation some predicted, but she’s got her first movie under belt.
In early December, back before we knew she’d negotiated her exit from WWE, she tweeted about wrapping her first movie in Boston.
Replying to a fan posting pictures of Varnado courtside at a Boston Celtics’ game, actor and podcaster Mike Messier revealed the film was being directed by self-styled multi-hyphenate creator Tom DeNucci, who previously directed the 2016 revenge movie Almost Mercy:
my friend and "AND ACTION" podcast partner @TomDeNucci is directing the film Sasha is in out of Boston.— Mike Messier Actor / Writer / YouTuber/ Moviemaker (@ironichandle) December 2, 2022
A report late last week from Deadline connected the dots and revealed more about Varnado’s feature debut, The Collective. Here’s a plot summary:
... a group of righteous assassins called The Collective take aim at a highly sophisticated human trafficking ring backed by a network of untouchable billionaires. With their backs against the wall, The Collective has no choice but to put their most important mission in the hands of rookie assassin...
Mercedes is not the rookie assassin — that would Lucas Till, who played Havok in Fox’s X-Men movies, and starred as the lead in the latest MacGyver reboot. She’s not part of the Tyrese Gibson and Don Johnson-led Collective, either. Instead, she’s on the side of those darn untouchable billionaire human traffickers, which include John Wick 2’s Ruby Rose as “the cunning general manager of this evil, clandestine organization” and The Wire alum Paul Ben-Victor’s “auctioneer to a seedy underground cabal of billionaires bidding on human lives.” Varnado is Ben-Victor’s “blade wielding company pit-bull and chief of security, Nikita.”
The Collective is being produced and marketed by Yale Entertainment. No word on how it will be released (straight to streaming/DVD/VOD seems likely, but we’ll see).
Who’s checking out Mercedes’ first movie, however it premieres?