As the producer behind the Transformers franchise, the Red series, and films like Salt and The Last Stand, Lorenzo di Bonaventura always has a number of irons in the fire with regards to upcoming projects. While speaking with the producer at the Transformers: Age of Extinction junket in Hong Kong recently, Steve also took the opportunity to talk with di Bonaventura about the films he has in development, and he provided some promising updates on a few projects. The producer revealed that director Joe Carnahan is now working on the ensemble action film Five Against a Bullet, and provided a status update on the oil rig disaster film Deepwater Horizon. Hit the jump to read on.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura has been working on a film called Five Against a Bullet for a few years now, attaching Bruce Willis to star back in 2012. The pic is in the vein of The Wild Bunch and The Magnificent Seven and tells the story of five bodyguards who are hired by a Mexican politician to protect him through a contentious election, following the murder of his father by a drug cartel.
It’s an exciting project, but we haven’t heard movement on it in quite some time. However, di Bonaventura told us that they have just set the very talented Joe Carnahan (The Grey, Narc) to begin work on the pic:
“Joe [Carnahan] we just put on a project called Five Against a Bullet, which I’ve loved for a long time. 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.”
This kind of project sounds right up Carnahan’s alley, and I’m enthused to hear that it’s moving along smoothly. Hopefully this one comes together sooner rather than later.
Di Bonaventura also provided a status update on another project that’s been in development for a bit, the real-life drama Deepwater Horizon. The film is based on the Gulf of Mexico oil rig disaster that occurred in April of 2010, and while Ric Roman Waugh was previously eyed for the director’s chair, that iteration of the film failed to come together. The producer is optimistic about the film’s chances, though, adding that Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z) has also done work on the screenplay:
“Lionsgate is very aggressive about it and hopefully we’re gonna have a couple of cool announcements shortly that should give us a good sense of how fast it’s gonna go. Two writers have worked on it, Matt Sands and Matthew Carnahan, and they did an extraordinary job with the script. It’s really a great script with a great subject matter that is both emotionally compelling and real, and very commercial because it’s such an extraordinary event.”
When speaking about the film specifically, di Bonaventura reiterated his previous comparisons to A Perfect Storm:
“It’s an extraordinary tale of blue collar heroism, much like A Perfect Storm in a way, in the sense of you get to know people doing a physically tough, demanding, remote job, then all hell hits and what do they do? We’ve read all of the stuff about BP and the pollution and all those things that are very important, but no one’s ever talked about the fact that that day on the rig, a lot of people died and there was a lot of heroism. It’s really a tremendous, emotional, personal story and that’s really the direction we’re going in.”
We’ll have much more from Steve’s interview with di Bonaventura in the coming days, so stay tuned folks. Here’s what he had to say about Five Against a Bullet and Deepwater Horizon.