Realizing that things with Terrence Malick were probably over, Sean Penn has started to get his hands dirty with the action genre. It’s not a decision I’d have anticipated the typically, sometimes comically serious actor to make — he’s been critical of actors taking what he sees as inconsequential roles — and, even with some political shades that he could tap into, the news just felt… off. Those who know a thing or two about him, which is sure to be most of us, probably understand what I mean with only that one word.
And further into genre staples do we go. As learned by THR, Pierre Morel — a Luc Besson favorite who honed his style through The Transporter, District B-13, Taken, and From Paris with Love — has landed the director’s job on Prone Gunman, being handed a screenplay by Dredd helmer Pete Travis that, itself, is taken from a novel by Jean-Patrick Manchette. In either work, the audience follows a contract killer, Martin Terrier, hoping to exit the business by marrying the woman of his dreams; this doesn’t go as planned, like you’ve already guessed, and Terrier must get revenge by trekking across Europe with more and more blood on his hands.
THR’s comparison between Morel launching Liam Neeson into action and, now, guiding Penn through his entrypoint are somewhat apt, though possibly a little early. As alluded to, there’s a deeper political edge contained within, and what might speak more to the actor’s interests than, on the other hand, shooting guys in a hotel hallway. It’s what interests me the most, too — probably because I’m also a bleeding heart — and, while not something new for Penn, could be a nice way of seeing Morel expand his horizons.
Silver Pictures and Studio Canal are producing Prone Gunman, and expect to start shooting in a few months’ time.
What do you make of this choice to helm Gunman?
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