Carnahan talks The A-Team film
I think it's fair to say we've all been thinking about how The A-Team are going to be portrayed in the film version of the popular television show. After all no one was ever shot or killed in the series and the formula often saw the larger than life characters building a tank out of straw and a spare tractor engine in a farm shed that just happened to have welding equipment in it. Larger than life was indeed the order of the day.
So how is the film going to play out? Is it going to be larger than life too, or are we going to get a more realistic A-Team who are going to find themselves in the real world? According to the director Joe Carnahan, it's the latter.
”I’m not interested in making the easy, breezy Cover Girl version of ‘The A-Team”
In fact, according to the comments he made on the Hero Complex L.A. Times site through Collider, he's ensured the adaptation is more in the vein of the reboot of Batman by Christopher Nolan than anything else. This is not another Starsky and Hutch television to film adaptation.
It would seem that Joe Carahan was rather insistent on that point and according to the article, he threw out various scripts that had come before him, placing the A-Team as covert operatives working in Iraq who, during the pull back of troops in Iraq, are used as scape goats and are pinned with crimes they didn't commit, well that bit is the same.
”I thought they were too slavishly devoted to the TV show...While I like the TV show, I didn’t think it was any great shakes in terms of heavy drama. You could take that story and have it translate into the present day with more success.”
There are references retained to the old show, but things are updated. The example of B.A. Is made with the gold chains gone and the sayings heavily paired down. Apparently he sports two tattoos, one of PITY and the other FOOL across his knuckles. Nice touch.
“Howlin’ Mad” Murdock is another character to get the modern treatment, after all he wasn't really that mad in the television series, not compared with what would pass for mad in the Iraq war, we've all seen Jarhead (Filmstalker review).
”People are a lot more keen and savvy. If you tried to put that show out today, you wouldn’t get away with what they got away with...I mean, Murdoch for what passed as crazy 25 years ago? It doesn’t hold up. Nowadays, you have Steve-O on ‘Jackass’ strapping on a g-string made out of chicken parts and rapelling over an alligator pit. So you have to reevaluate things like ‘crazy.’”
Carnahan summarises for those of us who haven't quite grasped it yet, and I'm well on the way to doing so, but just as the final push.
”We’re not making an homage to The A-Team...We’re taking the base story of four guys wrongfully convicted of a crime, they’re an Alpha Unit, that’s it. That’s the point of departure.”
Excellent. That's what I was hoping for. However with all this said and the concentration on the realism and taking it away from the television series, what is it with the closing scene from the trailer and the tank shooting the fighter plane down as it parachutes from the exploding transport plane? That's pure A-Team stuff right there, however I guess we can allow one or two over the top moments can't we?
One thing we can be sure of is action, and plenty of it, you'll remember that Joe Carnahan wrote and directed the excellent Smokin' Aces (Filmstalker review)