Sean Penn has starred in an array of films with some excellent, memorable performances, but we’ve yet to see him as a full-blown action star. The first opportunity to see him take on such a role will be The Gunman, which is currently filming in Europe.
The film is based on a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette and was adapted by Pete Travis (who directed Dredd and Vantage Point.) Directed by Pierre Morel (Taken), the story revolves around Martin Terrier (Penn), a hitman who had planned to get out of the game and escape with his love (Jasmine Trinca), but is unable to when his company betrays him. He’s sent on a European-spanning journey filled with a whole lot of bloody deaths.
While this sounds like a very action-focused film, Penn says it’s much more complex than that. Check out what he had to say about the genre below.
“Here’s the funny thing, calling it an ‘action film’ is kind of like calling Meryl Streep a sexy blonde chick. She is. But that really doesn’t tell the story of what she is at all.
I don’t separate this in my mind from anything else I have done. It’s a very human story that deals with the same things exploited in action films, like warfare.”
Penn hasn’t revealed much of what he did to prepare for the role other than “diet and exercise,” but he did attend a special military training camp in Arizona and handles many of the stunts in the film himself.
This film has an extremely strong supporting cast which includes Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Ray Winstone. With all those huge fan favorites on board, there’s potential for a lot of money to come in, and producer Joel Silver (who also produced Lethal Weapon) is hoping that success will be enough to turn this film into a franchise.
There still isn’t any U.S. release date set for the film, but it looks like it’ll be coming sometime in 2014.
What do you think of Sean Penn’s look for The Gunman? For those who have read the book, what do you think of this being made into a movie? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.