David Ayer Hopes to Launch Action Franchise with ‘The Dirty Dozen’ Remake

     January 1, 2020

It was recently announced that David Ayer (Bright, Suicide Squad) was in negotiations for a remake of the 1967 classic film The Dirty Dozen. The original flick was itself based on E.M. Nathanson‘s 1965 bestseller inspired by real-life World War II demolition teams who ventured into enemy territories. It centered on a group of lowlife prisoners who were turned into Army commandos only to embark on what was certain to be a suicide mission. If you’re making the connection between The Dirty Dozen and Suicide Squad, congratulations, we’re on the same page. And it seems Ayer has modern franchise plans in store for the OG (i.e. non-DC) Skwad as well.

In a chat with our own Christina Radish for Ayer’s upcoming Fox drama TV series Deputy, he teased his approach for the remake of The Dirty Dozen. First up, he confirmed that it will indeed be a modern take on the material, freeing him up from the well-trod ground that is WWII. More interestingly in this modern era, however, is that Ayer sees the remake as the first in a potential franchise. Here’s what he had to say:

You’re also writing and directing a contemporary take on The Dirty Dozen. How are you planning to approach that?


AYER: I think it’s just an opportunity for a great ensemble action franchise. I’ll have a really solid lead character, and I see it in the vein of the Mission: Impossible movies, or the Fast and Furious franchise, for which I wrote the first one. It’s like anything, you build an amazing family of characters, and then you watch them bounce off of each other and drive each other crazy.


Is it scary to take something like that and put it in present day, or does it feel like more open and exciting to do that?


AYER: I think it’s more open and exciting. For me, World War II is the Holy War. To do a more fun, comedic version of that war, I don’t think I could pull that off. But absolutely, I can do that present day, and have that fun and anarchy and wildness, and have modern characters with incredible diversity and real voices.

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