Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks JACK RYAN and RED 2; Says JACK RYAN Deals with Contemporary Issues

by     Posted 1 year, 206 days ago

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Lorenzo di Bonaventura is certainly one of the more prolific producers working today.  The man is juggling a few different franchises at the moment, including Transformers and G.I. Joe, and he has two other highly anticipated films opening later this year.  Steve recently sat down with the producer to talk about G.I. Joe: Retaliation, but di Bonaventura also spoke a bit about the action-comedy sequel Red 2 and Kenneth Branagh’s thriller Jack Ryan.  Di Bonaventura talked about the new cast additions for Red 2 and his reaction to seeing the film, and he had nothing but praise for Chris Pine’s work as the titular character in Jack Ryan, also talking about the connection between this new film and the previous iterations of the Jack Ryan character.  Hit the jump to read on.

red-2-mary-louise-parker-bruce-willis-john-malkovichWith Red 2 opening this summer, Steve asked di Bonaventura how the film turned out.  While he mentioned that they’ve yet to screen it for an audience, di Bonaventura is quite happy with the finished product:

“It’s really fun, it’s really good.  I think the best measure of it is that all the cast members that we added—Byung Hun Lee, Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony Hopkins, David Thewlis—we added some really great actors and they really killed it.  So I think we made, I say ‘a richer broth.’  And [director] Dean [Parisot] has a great sense of comedy and there’s just some laugh-out-loud funny stuff in it.  I really love it, but you never know what it’s gonna feel like until you show it to an audience, which is next week.”

jack-ryan-chris-pineDi Bonaventura could possibly be adding yet another franchise to his plate with the thriller Jack Ryan, which is based on the Tom Clancy character that was previously the center of films like The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games.  Di Bonaventura noted that he’s seen the whole film put together and he has some high praise for Chris Pine’s lead performance:

“I’ve seen the film cut together.  I think the biggest question when you make a movie that’s about a guy is, ‘How’s Chris Pine?’  Chris Pine nailed it, he just nailed it.  He’s just picture perfect all the way through the movie, I think, and we showed it to one audience so far and the audience just loved him in it.  So that’s the make it or break it, and we made it.”

jack-ryan-chris-pine-kevin-costnerThe last Jack Ryan film in theaters was 2002’s Ben Affleck-led The Sum of All Fears, so Jack Ryan acts as a bit of a reboot of the character.  Steve asked di Bonaventura how this new take on the character differs from those previous iterations, and the producer spoke to what he thinks ties all the films together:

“What I always liked about Jack Ryan was it always dealt in something that was contemporary.  Pablo Escobar was contemporary when they were doing Clear and Present Danger, that notion of the drug kingpin, and we are drawing on stuff that is really contemporary for the story.  I think the past movies always felt smarter and more relevant because they were actually dealing with things that you recognized were political and real issues in the world of the day, and we do the same thing.  I think that’s different than most other franchises that are in make-believe worlds; you feel the reality of this world.”

You can watch the portion of Steve’s interview with di Bonaventura in which the producer talks about Red 2 and Jack Ryan below, followed by a full transcript of the conversation.  Look for Steve’s full interview with di Bonaventura later this week here on Collider.

red-2-john-malkovich-mary-louise-parker-bruce-willisSteve: How did Red 2 turn out? And I know you guys got bumped up on your release by a few weeks.

LORENZO DI BONAVENTURA: Which is always a good sign, I guess.  But we haven’t previewed it to an audience yet, so until an audience votes, you know—as a filmmaker I think it’s really hard to tell you, “Wow, it’s the best movie I’ve ever made!”  It’s really fun, it’s really good.  I think the best measure of it is that all the cast members that we added—Byung Hun, Catherine Zeta Jones, Anthony Hopkins, David Thewlis—we added some really great actors and they really killed it.  So I think we made, I say “a richer broth.”  And Dean has a great sense of comedy and there’s just some laugh-out-loud funny stuff in it.  I really love it, but you never know what it’s gonna feel like until you show it to an audience, which is next week.

Obviously Jack Ryan is coming out later this year.  Have you seen any footage?

jack-ryan-chris-pine-kevin-costnerDI BONAVENTURA: I’ve seen the film cut together.  I think the biggest question when you make a movie that’s about a guy is, “How’s Chris Pine?”  Chris Pine nailed it, he just nailed it.  He’s just picture perfect all the way through the movie, I think, and we showed it to one audience so far and the audience just loved him in it.  So that’s the make it or break it, and we made it.

For fans of the Jack Ryan character and the previous films, what can you tell people what’s new about this one or what’s different?

DI BONAVENTURA: What I always liked about Jack Ryan was it always dealt in something that was contemporary.  Pablo Escobar was contemporary when they were doing Clear and Present Danger, that notion of the drug kingpin.  And we are drawing on stuff that is really contemporary for the story.  I think the past movies always felt smarter and more relevant because they were actually dealing with things that you recognized were political and real issues in the world of the day, and we do the same thing.  I think that’s different than most other franchises that are in make-believe worlds; you feel the reality of this world.

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