In a story that will make you want to check your calendar to make sure it isn’t somehow the mid-80s again, it appears that aging action titans Sylvester Stallone, super producer Joel Silver, and perpetually underrated director Walter Hill will be joining forces for a new movie. Much like on The Expendables, good ol’ Sly has pulled together a testosterone-laden dream team of genre superstars, but this time the talents come from behind the camera, which will hopefully lead to a better movie. The film is based on a graphic novel appropriately titled Bullet To The Head and will be splattering mangled corpses all over the big screen pretty damn soon given that shooting starts at the end of the month. It will be produced through a partnership of IM Global and After Dark Films, and released through Warner Brothers. Hit the jump for more info on Stallone’s latest ode to elderly ass-kickery.
The original graphic novel Bullet To The Head was written by Matz (a man who only needs one name) and illustrated by Colin Wilson. Appropriately enough, it was an homage to the type of high-octane action movies that the Stallone-Hill-Silver dream team used to specialize in back in the 80s and 90s. The plot is pure action fantasy, concerning a New Orleans hit man (Stallone) and a New York cop who form an alliance to bring down the killers of their respective partners.
No one has been announced to play Stallone’s cop buddy or the villains just yet, though burgeoning action star Sung Kang (Fast Five, Ninja Assassin) is set to play a “key supporting role,” which probably means that he’ll fill in one of those slots. Given the change of title and complete lack of Thomas Jane’s name anywhere near the press release, it’s unclear whether or not this project is the previously announced Headshot that Stallone and Walter Hill were circling. The buddy-cop revenge concept sounds similar, but no connection to the graphic novel was revealed before now and it obviously used to have a different title. It’s hard to believe that it’s a coincidence, but it’s also not impossible that two screenplays with that same basic concept were floating around at the same time.
The film we re-unite Stallone with Joel Silver, who previously produced Demolition Man and Assassins for the Italian Stallion. He’s of course also the producer behind countless classic action titles like Die Hard, 48 Hrs, Lethal Weapon, Predator, and The Matrix. In other words, he’s a man with more money than god and also a guy who knows just what kind of explosions we all like to see between mouthfuls of popcorn. In a statement released alongside the announcement Silver said:
“Sylvester Stallone is an iconic action star the world over and I’m thrilled to be working with him again. I look forward to joining with IM Global and After Dark in bringing this exciting new story to the screen.”
While the re-teaming of Stallone and Silver is certainly an exciting prospect for action movie fans, probably the most talented member of this action-trifecta is director Walter Hill. Though his name has sadly been missing from the credits of a major motion picture since the underrated 2002 prison/boxing movie Undisputed, the guy is a master of the action genre. As a writer/director he’s made some of the most efficient and ridiculously entertaining titles that the genre has to offer including The Driver, The Warriors, Southern Comfort, 48 Hrs, and Trespass. The problem with Stallone’s last action revival The Expendables was lazy screenwriting and convoluted storytelling. Those are qualities that Hill wouldn’t allow anywhere near a movie that he has any sort of control over, so that puts this action picture in good hands.
While it’s obviously too early to tell what Bullet To The Head will actually be like, it certainly seems as though the right collection of talent has been put in place for a new classic action blockbuster. Fingers crossed that these guys can pull off something special, because the summer movie season is desperately in need of some old school action heroes to break up all the rubber-suited superhero hero entertainment that we get these days.