Filmmaker Joe Carnahan doesn’t mess around. His movies range from gritty thrillers like Narc to big summer tentpoles like The A-Team to thoughtful, existential dramas like The Grey, and recently he’s been delving into television to great success with The Blacklist and the upcoming State of Affairs. Though his latest feature film, a small-scale crazy actioner called Stretch, is currently looking for a distributor, we recently learned that Carnahan is lining up another feature project in Five Against a Bullet. The Wild Bunch-esque story revolves around five bodyguards that are hired to protect a Mexican politician through a contentious election after his father is murdered by a drug cartel.
At the TCA Press Tour, Christina interviewed Carnahan in anticipation of his upcoming drama series State of Affairs, and the director touched on Five Against the Bullet, revealing that it will probably be his next film. Check out what else he had to say about the project after the jump.
“My deal is closing and Lorenzo is still globe-trotting with Transformers 4, but we’ve had a number of meetings. I think that Lorenzo is a prolific producer, but also such a bright, humble guy. When someone has had that degree of success, and has run a big studio at their zenith, at the end of the day, Lorenzo still loves movies, and those are the guys I want to make movies with.
And with Five Against a Bullet, there’s such a unique opportunity with that material to do something personally profound. Lorenzo loves movies like The Wild Bunch, and I love The Wild Bunch. I want to take something like that and re-engineer it for a new audience when, as you get older, you become more of a humanist, and incorporate that and these personal situations and these deeply felt characters into the traditional mores of an action film. I think we came up with such a cool way of doing it that now it’s just about execution. That’s exciting. I’m really looking forward to that. I’m really looking forward to working with Lorenzo day-to-day on that.”
For a time, Bruce Willis was attached to star in Five Against a Bullet, but Carnahan says the casting is wide open as he’s considering going younger for the lead ensemble:
“[The casting is] wide open. We’ve had initial discussions and there’s a number of ways you can go with that. You can go with Bruce Willis, but you can also go younger. Everybody has seen the hardened old cynic, but the younger cynic is also interesting. The post-millennial generation of guys are equally distraught and frustrated by modern society. That’s also an interesting scope through which to view the film. I’m just fired up to get going on that.”
Though the director is likely developing a number of projects at the same time, he says Five Against a Bullet is looking like it will be his next feature if all goes according to plan:
“That will likely be the next film, barring something unforeseen. There’s a timeliness to it. But, who knows? We say that, but my track record, in terms of predicting the movie business, is commensurate to my own career. It’s all over the road. You never know. The market shifts so radically now. To try to sit there and prognosticate or predict what’s to come is silly. It’s an exercise in futility. But just that package of Lorenzo and Sony and Mike De Luca, and that particular piece of material, it’s really enticing. I really want to make that film.”
As a fan of Carnahan (and his no-BS attitude towards the moviemaking business as a whole), I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what he does with Five Against a Bullet. Hopefully the project comes together quickly. Look for Christina’s full interview on Collider soon.