Sometimes in this world of constant sequels, remakes and cartoons, you wish some studio would just drop everything and really bring it with some original content. Just make a movie with attitude, style, violence and a point of view. It might end up being a B-movie, sure, but in this day and age one begs for something straightforward and unpretentious, with mild goals that have nothing to do with a franchise, a toy, or some dumb brand. Joe Carnahan and Sony seem to understand that there is an unfortunate lack of projects like these in modern Hollywood and seek to rectify it. Are you ready for Five Against A Bullet?
The Wrap reports that Joe Carnahan and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura are teaming up for Five Against A Bullet, an original idea to be written and directed by Carnahan. The story follows five bodyguards hired by a Mexican politician for protection after the man’s father is murdered by a drug cartel. Collider spoke with Di Bonaventura about the project during the Transformers: Age Of Extinction press junket, and the producer revealed,
“It is a tale of a group of men who have become cynical, sort of lost their sense of hope about life and the world, who are rekindled and betrayed and rekindled and betrayed in this story, and it’s got some of the coolest action and some of the greatest characters, and it’s a really fantastic action movie that I think will really grab people. And Joe’s working on it right now. We have a great script and no doubt he’ll put a little pen to paper as well, but we’re already in great shape and Sony loves the project and no doubt we’ll start trying to figure out how to cast that.”
The Wrap goes on to describe the film as being in the vein of The Magnificent Seven and The Wild Bunch. On the one hand, this doesn’t sound like the most original concept or idea. Carnahan, who previously made the otherwise-barren The A-Team, isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel with Five Against A Bullet.. But this is essentially what the studios are hungry for, and what people like to see: a basic, easy-to-understand concept that showcases movie stars and calls back to an era when a genre film didn’t need a Nick Fury cameo to be relevant.
Carnahan’s had a tough time with the studios as of late. The Grey was a standout $77 million hit, but Carnahan’s follow-up is the still-unreleased Stretch, which Universal treated like a disease and dumped earlier this year. The director’s ambitious pitch for a new Daredevil movie ended up going undeveloped at Fox, and also he had an angle for a Death Wish remake that ultimately went nowhere. Reportedly, he was trying to cast Frank Grillo, a real man, as the lead, but MGM boringly countered with the creatively-bankrupt suggestion of Bruce Willis. Say what you will about Carnahan’s Smokin’ Aces or the gritty Narc – this guy just wants to make red meat movies about real men that kick ass. Five Against A Bullet sounds just like that.