Posted on Sunday, January 13th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
While waiting online for the valet, Collider bumped into director John Singleton and ended up with some nice scoops regarding his upcoming take on The A-Team. Before we go any farther, I just want to say that Singleton is one of the most personable and persuasive directors I’ve ever interviewed. During production for 2 Fast 2 Furious, his ideas sounded just as badass, weirdly agreeable and uncompromising as they do here. But either way, he clearly digs the script and materialâ€¦and might he be dismissing Ice Cube‘s recent self-casting as B.A. Baracus?
A-Team is going. It’s not a comic movie farce like Starsky and Hutch, it’s kind of in the tradition of the 80′s action pictures, the man’s movies like Die Hard, Predator, Commando, or even Lethal Weapon more so than anything else. The action is very serious, but there is humor. That’s what we are going for. I don’t know who is in the cast yet, so all this bullshit of who is saying who is this person and who isâ€¦nobody is playing Mr. T, the character’s name is B.A. Baracus, he will have a Mohawk and there is a moment in the movie where he actually gets the Mohawk cause he’s going crazy. And I don’t know who is in the cast yet, but I do know that the only person I want right now is, that I really, really want is Woody Harrelson to play Murdock, the guy who is crazy but he’s kind of real smart, a jack of all trades.
Casting Woody Harrelson as Murdock would set a great tone and message for the film. The guy’s great with comedy (White Men Can’t Jump, Kingpin, the upcoming Semi-Pro) and I’ve always thought it odd that he’s stayed away from straight-up action flicks with the exception of the disappointing Money Train. Harrelson has a certain athleticism, slacker brawn and twinkle in the eye that’s perfect for the genre. And with Oliver Stone’s Pinkville recently falling apart due to the strike, Harrelson’s schedule might free him up to consider the film. Singleton didn’t specify the film’s rating, but you’ll notice that the ’80s films he references above are all, famously, R-rated “movies for guys who like movies” staples. I’d be surprised if the studio (Fox) lets him take it there, but if they do my outlook on the flick improves greatly. I might be the only person who’s still in shock and shambles over Live Free of Die Hard, as well as the tameness and unneeded high concepts of ’00s action efforts.
Another interesting detail Singleton revealed is that the cast members will have a stipulation to sign on for additional A-Team flicks. This wasn’t the case with drivel like The Dukes of Hazzard, and while Singleton says the film’s budget isn’t locked down, the detail hints at a long term investment rather than a nostalgic stand alone cash-and-grab. Singleton also plays up the script by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas (3:10 to Yuma andâ€¦2 Fast 2 Furious) in his chat, saying it’s the primary reason he’s onboard. And while he’s at it, why not randomly compare it to the Bourne films?
Yeah, and the people who are now just going to the movies and don’t know anything about that, will go to it just cause it’s a hot movie. It’s kind of like what they did with the Bourne movies, no nonsense but with a humor, with action. You know what I mean, wall to wall kicking ass and talking shit [laughs].
If John Singleton’s A-Team was rated-R, would that impact your anticipation for the film?