The first trailer for the Tom Cruise-led American Made is now online, ahead of its debut in theaters with select prints of The Mummy (which also stars Cruise) this weekend. Directed by Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow helmsman Doug Liman, American Made features the Mission: Impossible headliner in the role of Barry Seal: a real-life TWA pilot who, back in the 1980s, was recruited by the CIA to battle the emerging threat of communism in Central America… by serving as a drug runner and eventually working for the Medellin Cartel.
Formally titled Mena, American Made is based on a script by Gary Spinelli (Stash House) and features Sarah Wright (Marry Me) as Barry’s wife Lucy, as well as Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Jesse Plemmons (Breaking Bad) and Jayma Mays (Glee) in key supporting roles. Liman described his own interest in telling the story behind American Made back when production on the film got underway in 2015, referring to Barry Seal himself as being an “improbable” hero whose tale has “the makings for an entertaining film that is equal parts satire, suspense and comedy – and always surprising.”
Universal Pictures’ first trailer for American Made (see the video above) likewise blends real-world drama with satirical comedy, bringing something like David O. Russell’s American Hustle to mind in this sense – especially when Cruise as Barry Seal (via voiceover) claims that “Some of this s**t really happened.” Beyond that, said trailer focuses on painting the broader strokes of Barry’s story, without giving away too many of the bizarre twists and turns that it ultimately wound up taking along the way. The first poster for American Made is online now too, as you can see below:
While Liman as a storyteller is perhaps best known for his genre movie efforts like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Edge of Tomorrow, he’s no stranger to true story-inspired fare either – having previously directed the 2009 drama/thriller Fair Game (a dramatization of the Valerie Plame identity leak scandal) and produced the documentary TV series The Unexplained and Captive. Judging by the trailer, American Made falls somewhere between the opposing ends of the director’s past projects; aiming to deliver the popcorn entertainment of Liman’s fictional suspense-thrillers in combination with the political subject matter and commentary of his docudrama/documentary efforts, in the process.
For Cruise, American Made is more drama-oriented than most of the movies that he has appeared in over the past ten years; it’s arguably his first true dramatic vehicle since Bryan Singer’s WWII film Valkyrie in 2008. Liman’s new film isn’t necessarily being positioned as an awards-season contender, but it could wind attracting much of the same September moviegoing crowd that turned out to see political drama/thrillers like Denis Villeneueve’s Prisoners and Sicario in years past – assuming the word of mouth surrounding American Made is good – for similar reasons.
Source: Universal Pictures
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