Dolph Lundgren And Scott Adkins On Castle Falls, Aquaman 2, John Wick 4 & More [Interview]

Dolph Lundgren made his name as a physically imposing '80s action hero, but he has been carving out a unique second career for himself, largely with roles in movies like "Aquaman" and "Creed II." And he's also taking an eye towards directing more, resulting in his most recent project, a heist/action flick titled "Castle Falls." This movie unites him with one of cinema's current premier action stars, Scott Adkins. While he may not be a household name, action aficionados are certainly familiar with his work, which ranges from "Accident Man" to smaller parts in major blockbusters like "Doctor Strange."

"Castle Falls" centers on Castle Heights Hospital, which is set to be demolished. However, a select few know that an imprisoned gang leader stashed $3 million in cash he stole from his rivals inside the building. Three different parties want the money, including an ex-fighter (Adkins) who finds it while working as part of the demolition crew, a prison guard (Lundgren) who is willing to do anything to pay for his daughter's cancer treatment, and a ruthless gang of criminals. Let the games begin.

I recently sat down with Lundgren and Adkins in honor of the movie's release this week. We talked about what they both want out of their careers at this point in their lives, some of their upcoming projects (like "Aquaman 2" and "John Wick 4"), and much more.

"I want to use that experience as a director and see if I can find my own style."

So Dolph, if I can start with you, you've been acting for a long time and you've done tons and tons of movies, but you're quite a bit more discerning about what you direct. How do you decide what to take on as a starring vehicle versus directing something such as this?

Dolph Lundgren: Well, I've changed a lot over the years. I mean, I took a lot of action movies earlier when I was not really committing a hundred percent as an actor, or there was really no subtext. There was not much going on there dramatically. I was lucky about three or four years ago to start doing movies like "Aquaman" where I was playing a political figure kind of no action, and I had "Creed II." I had some films like that and I decided, well, I want to use that experience as a director and see if I can find my own style or whatever in the kind of movies I like to do. This script came along onto my desk and it was a two-hander, and I wanted to do something with Scott. So he was perfect for the lead, and I thought, "Yeah, let me give it a shot." Of course, it turned out to be much worse than I thought. We got shut down through COVID. Had to shoot the damn thing in 17 days, and eight months later in Alabama. It was a lot of difficulties, but on the whole, it was a satisfying experience, and I think I'll do more things in the future.

Scott, you are very much known as one of our modern leading action men. What was it like being on set with a guy like Dolph, not only acting alongside him, as he's done so much of this, but as a director? What was it like to sort of being able to work with someone in that capacity who's had all that experience?

Scott Adkins: Well, I've done a few films with Dolph before, so we knew each other quite well anyway. Being directed by him, it was a great experience. He let me collaborate very much with the action scenes, which I really appreciated that he truly trusted me to do that. As a director, we went so in-depth on the character to a level that I'd never really been with any other director. We spent hours and hours talking on Skype before we got to Alabama about the character's backstory and all the things like that. It was a really great experience and I really enjoyed it.

You had mentioned, I don't know the exact quote, but I know you had a smaller part in "Doctor Strange" which was one of my favorite superheroes of all time. You had mentioned something about maybe you should have held out for a bigger part in Marvel. At this stage in your career, what sort of things are you looking to do? It seems that you've indicated wanting to take a bit of a different leap.

Adkins: There's many things that I can wish for that maybe Hollywood might give to me. But you can't really wait for those things to happen, right? You got to sort of create your own destiny. So, that's what I'm doing. I'm creative projects for myself. Currently shooting "Accident Man 2," which I've written and [I'm] producing. I'm trying to develop projects that are interesting to me, more character [driven] sort of character action pieces. Hopefully, I can do some bigger movies as well and get an opportunity to play — well, I think my Marvel card is done, but you know, maybe DC or something. But I would like to hold out for a better part, I should say.

Well, I mean, with the Marvel thing, like Gemma Chan had a small part in "Captain Marvel" and she just led "Eternals." There's no reason you couldn't do the same thing with your character as far as I'm concerned.

Adkins: Well, there you go then. Cool. I'm waiting. [laughs]

"Makes you feel young and it makes you feel like you're alive."

Dolph, as far as going back to you, you mentioned a few years ago that you had a bit of a shift between doing stuff like "Aquaman" and "Creed II." Sort of building on that, at this stage in your career, what keeps you motivated? What makes you still want to get out of bed every day and continue to make movies and keep doing this stuff?

Lundgren: It's the challenge of trying to do things, and try to challenge yourself to do something new or to discover something new in the character, or as a director. Also, I think staying relevant. As you get older, I think it's satisfying as well, to work on things like "Aquaman," which is kind of a family movie, and the fans, a lot of them are young kids. To have an opportunity to do that, I really enjoy it. Makes you feel young and it makes you feel like you're alive. As a director, that's what I'm kind of interested in trying to see where I can go as a director. A lot of it is just instinctual, like "Castle Falls," you just end up doing something you didn't plan it exactly. You didn't know exactly how it was going to turn out, but it comes from the inside and it comes from your dreams, and experience, and whatever it is. It's mysterious, but it's kind of cool to be involved in that creative process.

I know you probably can't say much or anything at all really only because you touched on it. Are we going to see you in "Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom?"

Lundgren: Yeah. I just finished that actually. Shot that in London. I just finished that. It's a really good film. Good script, great people, and good director. I think it's going to be a big, big hit probably

I would assume so. Also you mentioned "Creed II" earlier. Kind of circling back to that same concept, have you seen the new cut of "Rocky IV" that Stallone recently put out?

Lundgren: I haven't seen it yet because I was filming last week. He showed me some clips. It looks good. I mean, he is a smart guy and he has obviously brought something to it. The "Rocky" franchise, it's amazing. It's just one of those creations, like the "[James] Bond" franchise that's just generation after generation. You hear the music and everybody knows what's going on. Whether you're like your 15 years old or 75 years old. I'd love to see the movie. Hopefully, it's got something new and exciting about it.

If I can just wrap up with, what's coming down the pipeline for you guys? What are you working on now? What are you excited about?

Adkins: I got a film called "Day Shift" coming out on Netflix with Jamie Foxx, and then "John Wick 4." I'm currently shooting "Accident Man 2" which is a film I've written and [am] producing. So yeah, plenty coming up.

Real quick. What was it like doing "John Wick 4," man? I'm really excited for that.

Adkins: It was a great, massive fan of Keanu [Reeves], such a nice guy. And I really wanted to work with Chad Stahelski. I think the "John Wick" films are the best action films going at the moment. So very happy to be involved.

Awesome. Dolph, anything you want to talk about?

Lundgren: Well, like you said, I did "Aquaman 2." That's coming out next Christmas. I'm currently shooting "Expendables 4." That's a big action movie with Sly [Stallone] and [Jason] Statham. And we have a few new people, like 50 Cent, and Megan Fox, and Andy Garcia. It's been kinda exciting. Of course, "Castle Falls" is coming in December. I'm in "Minions 2," actually. You know, the yellow little guys running around. I did that and it's coming up this summer. And then I'm going to direct something else, so I'm trying to get that going.

"Castle Falls" arrives in theaters, on digital, and on demand on December 3.