The Hitman's Bodyguard
Published Date: 07/08/2017
The world's top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice.
The world’s top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world’s most notorious hitmen (Samuel L. Jackson). The relentless bodyguard and manipulative assassin have been on the opposite end of the bullet for years and are thrown together for a wildly outrageous 24 hours. During their raucous and hilarious adventure from England to The Hague, they encounter high-speed car chases, outlandish boat escapades and a merciless Eastern European dictator (Gary Oldman) who is out for blood. Salma Hayek joins the mayhem as Jackson’s equally notorious wife.
The Hitman's Bodyguard is an action thriller – including the freewheeling hitman who can’t miss and the dreamy bodyguard whose protection never fails – and irreverently crashes them right into one another. It was this collision that excited two of the most sought-after stars, who quickly signed up to take the lead roles, hurtling the production forward.
Says Ryan Reynolds: “I love the bond between Bryce and Kincaid. These two guys couldn't be more polarised but as we move through the story they start to acquire begrudging love and respect for each other. There’s a bromance and several love stories all wrapped up in this incredible, crazy action story.”
Adds Samuel L. Jackson: “Ryan and I go on a crazy fun jaunt through the roads of Europe – and it’s full of chaos and humour between two characters who have a very unusual chemistry.”
From the beginning, Reynolds played a big hand in carving out the character who disdains chaos but finds himself sucked into it. “Ryan worked very hard during pre-production, coming up with lots of creative concepts for Bryce and his whole philosophy of life,” says Producer Les Weldon. “Then he tapped into an intuitive comedic timing that really brings the character to life. He compels you to root for this character who was once Mr. Efficient but has kind of broken down and lost his way. His performance has an emotional core but it’s also very funny."
The rapport with Jackson was immediate and led to both actors letting it fly, says Reynolds. “Sam and I have a lot of moments where we just get to play, and that was important to creating the unique bond between our characters. Sam is so good at improv, he can play ball with the best of them, and that is my background as well so we just got out there and had as much fun as we could. We had a good thing going.”
Jackson admits it was Reynolds’s involvement that spurred him to sign onto the role. “Ryan had been attached to the film and when my name popped up, it made sense. It felt like a fun idea. I’ve enjoyed watching Ryan, I've known him on a personal level and I like him, so I thought we'd have interesting chemistry on screen,” he says.
Reynolds and Jackson are joined by a supporting cast that includes Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek working from a script by Tom O'Conner.
Bringing all this together is director Patrick Hughes. Having perviously directed The Expendables 3, Hughes was drawn by the fun of revisiting that staple of 80s and 90s blockbusters – the mismatched buddy comedy – in a fresh but cheeky way, replete with fast, frenetically calibrated action that could only be created in the 21st Century.
“The story of The Hitman's Bodyguard appealed to me in part because it’s got that old-school, classic buddy-comedy flavour to it – with two contrasting characters with completely clashing life attitudes - and that's something I wanted to maintain, but in a modernised way,” Hughes explains.
The Hitman's Bodyguard opens at Showcase on August 18
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