People Tell Me I Look Like Han Solo.
Friday, September 18, 2009
  A-Team cast coming together
Hollywood's been threatening a movie version of The A-Team for years now (a team of wrongfully-convicted military squad taking mercenary jobs while on the run is a pretty great concept for an action movie), but it looks like it's finally going to happen. Like any child of the '80s, I was a pretty serious A-Team fan, though now I barely remember much about it beyond the usual stuff (George Peppard and his cigar, Mr. T, lots of gunfire but nobody getting seriously hurt, etc.). It's getting the big-screen treatment thanks to director Joe Carnahan, who wrote and directed a dark, brilliant little undercover cop thriller in 2005 called Narc (seriously, if you've never seen it, check it out, it's fantastic; Jason Patric vs. Ray Liotta!), and followed that with Smokin' Aces, a movie apparently hated by everyone except for me. So if nothing else, I'm guardedly optimistic his take on The A-Team will at least be a good time; one of the reasons I dug Smokin' Aces was that it's just a wacky, over-the-top action movie, which is exactly what The A-Team should be.

But a big-screen Rampage set to pity fools?adaptation of a beloved TV show doesn't count for much these days without a cast of interesting actors, and the A-Team is looking like it'll be pretty crazy. Liam Neeson is apparently on board to step into Peppard's shoes as Hannibal (which seems like a good idea after Taken, a movie I haven't yet seen but have heard nothing but positive things about), current Hollywood It Boy Bradley Cooper will be pretty-boy "Faceman", UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson will take over for Mr. T as "B.A." Baracus, and now Variety is reporting that District 9's Sharlto Copley and Jessica Biel are in final talks to play "Mad" Murdock and, Faceman's ex, respectively. (I'm not sure if it's just confusing wording, but the Variety piece makes it sound as if Face is the guy pursuing the A-Team, or that she's a general, but neither of those sound right.)

The two people in the cast that have me the most intrigued are Jackson and Copely, for totally different reasons. I'm actually a pretty serious MMA fan, and have been for years (I got a pile of UFC DVDs at my old job a year or two before the sport really blew up, and I've been hooked One of the best things about one of the best sci-fi movies everever since), and Rampage definitely has the right look to play the character that helped make Mr. T the pop-culture icon he is. He's also got a truckload of charisma, and he's funny as hell. But that's not the same as acting ability, so it's still a toss-up over whether this casting will turn out to be a mistake. It is an ensemble movie though, so if Rampage turns out to be a terrible actor, Carnahan can probably get away with limiting his role to the occassional tough-guy line and a few comical exchanges with Mad Murdock.

Speaking of Murdock, I couldn't be more excited by the idea of Copley in that role. Regular readers know of my torrid love affair with District 9 (check out my review here), and Copely was one of the things that truly blew me away in that movie. If he does indeed end up in this role, there isn't a doubt in my mind he will be brilliant as the A-Team's crazy, comedy-relief pilot. The A-Team starts shooting in the fall in Vancouver, and you can be sure I'll keep you in the loop with stuff as I come across it.

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definitely pysched to see Copley in this role -- thanks for the heads up! good writing as always.
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