Synopsis : Henry Golding (G.I. JOE: SNAKE EYES) stars in this highly entertaining, globe-trotting action thriller. The hunter becomes the hunted when an elite assassin (Golding) is given his final contract: to kill seven people around the world — only to discover the targets are equally skilled assassins hired to kill him. His only shot to survive is to uncover the mysterious mastermind behind the deadly plot before it’s too late. Also starring Daniela Melchior (The Suicide Squad) with Noomi Rapace (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park).
Rating: R (Violent Content and Language)
Genre: Action, Mystery & thriller
Original Language: English
Director: Camille Delamarre
Producer: Ellen S. Wander, Jordan Dykstra, Todd Lundbhom, Todd Lundbohm, Emanuele Moretti, Kieran Corrigan
Writer: Thomas Dunn
Release Date (Streaming):
Distributor: Paramount Global Content Distribution
Production Co: Film Bridge International, Merlin Films
Exclusive Interview with Director Camille Delamarre
Q : This film very much relies on the action sequences but the concept of seven assassins killing each other is very engaging. How did you work with the writer Thomas Dunn? Did you do any storyboards prior to shooting?
C.D: I got this original script and concept from my agent. I read it and my first reaction was, “Okay, I love this story and want to direct it for sure. But we have to get the shooting version, we have some work to do with the writer.” The original concept was from Thomas from the beginning but this is original, something we haven’t seen before. It was cool, of course, to adjust it some, but the base was there.
Q : It was basically his idea. Each of the assassins’ characters are based on the script, but how much did you add your own input for each character? Did you have any specific ideas for each character that you added to them?
C.D: Yes, of course. After that, the descriptions in the script were a bit short but during the casting process, you are building the characters. I wanted some diversity — some women — which wasn’t in the script at the beginning. I built up all the assassins. This is for me, I hope, to have diversity, but the assassins aren’t machines. I hope, they’re something here you haven’t seen before in this type of film.
Q : Most of the film is set in a dark environment. What was your collaboration like with cinematographer Matthew Chuang? It looks very similar to David Fincher’s early works — it’s an intriguing look.
C.D: I met Matthew for the first time in this movie. He was recommended to me by Noomi Rapace. When I met her for the first time, she said, “I’m sure you have your own team and DoP, but you should meet Matthew because he’s talented with a lot of [smart] sensibilities.” I met him out of curiosity and asked what references he had in mind? He told me, “Man on Fire” and I told him, “Me too.” We were on the same page. So I said, “Let’s try to work together.” It was really free teamwork with him. And it won’t be the last time.
Q : This film has an impressive cast — Henry Golding, Sam Neill and Noomi Rapace. How did you find them — through the casting director? Did you have a specific cast in mind prior to hiring these actors?
CD: During the casting process, we first had the goal to find our action hero. We had to find an actor with more than being like a machine and a muscle guy, a badass guy — too many action films are made without any sensibility or charisma. So when I got the freedom to propose to some people, we talked about Henry. When I spoke with him, I realized he was the perfect choice. He’s not just a testosterone guy who wants only action.
For me, he’s a real man, not a machine, not a robot who’s killing people. He has some weaknesses and feelings, so he was perfect. Sam Neill is a legend. So when we were looking for his character, I had him in mind and what a chance to get him on board because he’s just perfect with the perfect voice. On the screen. he’s like “Wow, great cast.” Noomi Rapace was attached from the beginning and she’s a strong, good actress.
She’s already played some characters in similar movies in the past so it was a challenge for her. Of course, she has the capacity to switch from one character to another. She was great and Daniela Melchior, she’s also now a superstar. When I met her for the first time, it was before all the Fast and Furious stuff. She has this European and Latin sensibility which was important for me, and for her character.
Q: There are action sequences where cars flip over, the ambulance dives into the river and fight sequences have characters jumping through windows and landing on cars. There’s lots of action sequences. How did you collaborate with the stunt coordinators to make it really authentic?
C. D: Italian stunt coordinator Claudio Pacifico had just worked on another big production before and we were very excited about the action — to make everything feel real and not cheat, to not use matte painting or CGI, so we had to coordinate everything. First we had to storyboard it cinematically, then, more importantly, to have the actors ready to jump for real through a window. It’s easier when Henry was ready to do it and not use the stunt double. I got Noomi and Henry, for real in front of my camera, ready to fight, to jump, to run. It makes a difference.
Q : An important thing in this movie is creating a relationship between the Morgan and Sophie characters played by Henry Golding and Daniela Melchior. How do you create that chemistry? Did you have a lot of rehearsals? How did you prepare that chemistry?
C.D: We first met during some calls, but after that, we were together during the prep in Italy and did some rehearsals. But from the first meeting, it was clear that they were comfortable together and were ready to be a couple. It was not my priority to choose someone who could be in the same bed and feel okay. So it took some work but it came together pretty easily.
Q : This film was picked up by Paramount. How did the company back in your project and did they collaborate with you?
C.D: From the beginning, it was more an independent action movie with a huge budget and it’s not like a big franchise. Paramount was attached to the project from the start, but we worked mostly like an independent production with a lot of liberty.
Q : You had liberty to shoot what you wanted. Were there any challenges to shooting this film in sequence? There are a lot of action scenes; there were a lot of tough scenes to pull off. What were the most challenging sequences to shoot?
C. D: My real challenge was to shoot this movie on a very short schedule and without a lot of money. When you have one day to shoot a huge car chase scene and no backup, it’s working from sunrise into the night to shoot it and give it the maximum production value to get everything done. To tell this story, there’s real pressure with the time we had to shoot big scenes like that. Otherwise, this was a playground where my mood was very confident. But time and money were the real pressure.
Q : There’s a tense scene between the characters Falk and Caldwell played by Noomi Rapace and Sam Neill. Talk about creating the dynamic with veteran actors like that.
C.D: Before shooting, the most important part of the process was to be ready to work and be sure about the rhythm of the scenes — all the beats you need and feel the tension. This is something we work together during the pre-time. Then on set, it was like all the crew was able to feel the tension. For me it was also something, after a take, that Sam and Noomi both stay in character. They were in a real strong, tense mood and are so talented and great [so they could do it].
Q : What’s your next project after this — what are you planning right now?
C.D: I’m working on different projects right now. Of course I have some action movie projects in process but I am also trying to develop some other action films and I’m working also on the TV series. I’d like to get some scripts and work on them, but I also want to try some personal projects. I’m working on many things. I have a lot of things to do in the future.
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Here’s the trailer of the film.