Baltasar Kormakur (“Contraband”) reteams with Wahlberg to direct “2 Guns” from a screenplay that is written by Blake Masters (TV's “Brotherhood”) and based on the Boom! Studios graphic novels by Steven Grant.
Boom! Studios published the first issue of writer Steven Grant and artist Mateus Santolouoco’s explosive five-issue miniseries, “2 Guns,” in 2008. Grant told the intriguing tale of Bobby Trench and Michael Stigman, two undercover agents who discover that the amount of cash locked in the bank vault that they are robbing is not remotely what they expected. When the two find themselves double-crossed by the very men who set them up to do the job, they must go on the run from the organizations they vowed to serve.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Boom! Studios Ross Richie walks us through the source material: “It’s a story about characters ground up by the system, set within the framework of government agencies that pursue their goals, no matter the consequences. Steven took the familiar noir trope of an undercover cop tale, and he deconstructed that. He also included lots of comedy and action to make it incredibly entertaining.”
The series of graphic novels is written by a man with a curious take on this style of writing. “I like doing crime comics,” admits Grant, who calls “2 Guns” an “anti-buddy” story. “I don’t actually believe in good and evil. From my perspective, people walk a line, fall on this side or that, and wobble back and forth. It’s just a natural existence. I tend to view my material not as dramas, but as situational comedies where everybody in the story thinks they know what’s going on, and actually nobody in it knows what’s going on.”
Producer Marc Platt, who has shepherded to the big screen action hits such as “Wanted” and “Drive,” was keen to develop the graphic novel series brought to him by his colleague, fellow “2 Guns” producer Adam Siegel. Platt discusses his initial interest in the source material: “I always love stories where there are two characters who are seemingly very different, and the journey of the story is the way in which those two characters find their way to each other. Here were two guys who don’t want to be in the same general vicinity of each other, but who are forced to work together and learn something about each other and themselves in the process.”
Siegel recalls what drew him to the project, and the manner in which he worked with a talented screenwriter to flesh it out: “When I read Steven Grant’s graphic novel, I was blown away by the great characters and the clear concept that these were two guys who were undercover from each other.” “2 Guns” is a natural progression of expression for director Baltasar Kormákur, a critically acclaimed actor and director in his native country of Iceland who made his American studio film debut in 2012’s hit “Contraband,” which starred Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale.
Discussing his choice to join the team, Kormákur says: “The script had this modern Western feel, which felt like something that I could play with and be stylized in finding ways of visualizing the story. There’s a lot of humanity to the characters. We like them as we follow them, even though they’re living in an elevated, but not necessarily unrealistic, criminal world.” He sums: “Ultimately, 2 Guns is a character-driven film that pays homage to Westerns through the feel and scope of the landscape.”
Kormákur readily admits that he is drawn to action scripts, but not simply for the sake of delivering adrenaline-fueled moments. “I look at what I can add to it, and I ask myself if I connect with the material or if it will just be another day at work,” he states. “I get attached to material that I feel I can put myself into and help the actors; that gets me excited.”
Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 18, “2 Guns” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit www.columbiapictures.com.ph to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.