Action superstar extraordinaire Jackie Chan has signed on to star in the long-in-development Five Against A Bullet. While details are scarce on his role, given that it centers on a team of bodyguards protecting a Mexican mayor from the cartels, it seems likely that Chan is one of said bodyguards. According to The Tracking Board, the film is being looked at as a potential franchise-starter, with the bodyguard team having further adventures if the project proves successful.
Five Against A Bullet comes courtesy of writer/director Joe Carnahan, who will rework Alex Litvak’s original screenplay and helm the project. As anyone who has seen his works to date knows, the man knows his way around action thrillers, be they darkly violent (Narc, The Grey) or downright madcap in their execution (Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team). Given Chan’s involvement, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that this project will skew in the latter direction. Personally, I couldn’t be more pleased if that is the case. The prospect of Jackie Chan starring in an A-Team-ish modern western with Joe Carnahan at the helm makes me positively explode with glee.
This project is a few years off, however, so excitement will have to be tempered for the time being. Carnahan is currently in pre-production on Bad Boys For Life, the long-awaited third installment in the popular Will Smith/Martin Lawrence-starring action franchise. Five Against A Bullet seems likely to go after that, which would put it on target for a potential 2019 or 2020 release. It currently has no studio home, but was previously set up at Sony years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if they scoop it back up if they are happy with his work on Bad Boys.
It’s honestly wonderful to see Carnahan’s career back on track for the time being. The filmmaker has had a run of bad luck over the past decade or so, with a number of potentially high profile projects (White Jazz, Bunny Lake Is Missing, Killing Pablo) falling apart and a few completed productions (The A-Team, Stretch) being met with financial disappointment. It’s nice to see him poised to burst back onto the scene again with two interesting projects as a director (yes, I’m a Bad Boys fan) and even a few as a writer (Shawn Levy’s Uncharted and Eli Roth’s Death Wish). In a perfect world, he would be giving us a new film every other year or so. Let’s hope the world becomes a little more perfect in that regard in the coming years.
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