Blake Lively is set to play a cage fighter in 'Bruised'

The former 'Gossip Girl' star - who won acclaim for her performance in shark attack thriller 'The Shallows' - is to be the lead star in the drama which follows the life of a single mother who has two jobs who must use her mixed martial arts skills order to keep her son.

The movie is to be directed by Nick Cassavetes, who worked on 'The Notebook' and 'The Other Woman', from a story by Michelle Rosenfarb.

Cassavetes was previously expected to direct the 'Road House' reboot starring Ronda Rousey which is understood to have been put on hold following Rousey's high-profile UFC losses and the backlash on gender flipping movies such as 'Ghostbusters: Answer The Call'.

'Bruised' will be presented at Cannes this week.

Thunder Road Pictures' Basil Iwanyk is producing alongside Linda Gottlieb and Guymon Casady of Management 360.

Shooting on the project is expected to start in September.

Blake - who is married to fellow actor Ryan Reynolds, with whom she has daughters James and Ines - has seen her career go from strength-to-strength in recent years, including a role in Woody Allen's Cafe Society.

And the 29-year-old actress recently revealed she now avoids searching for her own name on Google so she doesn't spend too much time reading criticisms of her.

She said: ''I have [Googled myself] before and it's just ended in full depression. So I think it's a good rule of thumb not to Google yourself because the Internet is not nice.''