Bruce Willis to Replace Arnold Schwarzenegger in Indie Thriller ‘Captive’

Published 1 year ago by

bruce willis captive movie Bruce Willis to Replace Arnold Schwarzenegger in Indie Thriller Captive

Old (action star) dogs Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis had a rather uneven year at the box office in 2012; the former two headlined financial duds The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head while Willis sequel RED 2 was a slight under-performer, which gives a legitimate reason to question their continued box office viability. Then again, the new year means another chance for these three to prove they’re still capable of big ticket sales (and/or decent films, in Willis’ case).

Willis has entered negotiations to headline Captive: an independent-funded project that was originally fashioned to serve as a new starring vehicle for Schwarzenegger. However, the latter has passed on the prospect and his Expendables 1 & 2 costar is now poised to become his replacement.

Variety is reporting that principal photography on Captive is expected to get started this March, with Willis in the lead role. The story developed by producer Michael London (Lola Versus) and scripted by Benjamin A. van der Veen (Che: Part Two) and Kario Salem (The Score)┬árevolves around an American real estate magnate (Willis) in Brazil, who ends up being kidnapped and held ransom in an armored-truck prison cell in a isolated landfill. As Willis’ protagonist struggles to escape, a detective works around the clock to locate him.

The Captive premise is somewhat reminiscent of that for the Ryan Reynolds Sundance breakout thriller Buried, albeit less minimalism in design (and possibly more subtle with its political overtones). Director Simon Brand used a similar central set piece-driven approach and tension-heavy atmosphere on his 2006 film Unknown, so this project very much lies in his wheelhouse as a storyteller. Likewise, the lead role will allow Willis to flex his dramatic chops as well as his action muscles, which is what he’s done in his better films of late (see: Looper).

expendables schwarzenegger stallone willis 570x294 Bruce Willis to Replace Arnold Schwarzenegger in Indie Thriller Captive

Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Willis in ‘The Expendables 2′

Willis has the Frank Miller comic book sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For releasing this year, but its arrival nine years after Robert Rodriguez’ original Sin City adaptation makes its box office success less certain (to say nothing of Rodriguez’ underwhelming output of late). Still, Sin City 2 has a lot of anticipation behind it, which is why it earned an honorable mention on Screen Rant’s most anticipated of 2014.

Meanwhile, Schwarzenegger will try spreading his wings with the gritty thriller Sabotage and zombie drama Maggie both expected to release in 2014, before he reunites with Stallone for another cheeky trip down nostalgia lane with The Expendables 3. That is to say, who knows – by the time this year draws to a close, it might be the old-timers who end up laughing in the faces of everyone who’s claimed they’re all washed up.


Captive doesn’t have an official release date yet, but will probably open in 2015.

Source: Variety

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Captive
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  1. I don’t remember the last time I watched Bruce Willis in a role where he convinced me that he wanted to be in the movie. Didn’t he also have an underperforming Die Hard sequel last year?

    • I don’t remember watching a movie with Bruce willis as of late that showed me he wanted to be in a movie

  2. This might work if Bruce’s role is more dramatic (than action oriented), since he is a good actor. (Perhaps his character could be some miserable S.O.B. that the police S.W.A.T. team has to rescue.) I’d like to see them bring in someone new, or relatively new, a fresh face, a younger person, as the person who is going to rescue Bruce. They could split the action scenes with the younger rescuer(s) and Bruce’s character something like 70% to 30%.

  3. Well, we’ll see, maybe a peek at this Willis thing on Netflix…but the plot has been done countless times before on many detective shows, police dramas, in books, and in movies, so no new material here. Probably watchable but not high on the priority list.

  4. Sounds like old toast on stale bread. Cue the washed-out “gritty” palette shot on hand-held cameras, the explosions, and the pulsing percussion soundtrack. Wake me when it’s on Netflix.

  5. This isn’t the first time arnold was considered for a role bruce Willis got. First was die hard when he was considered to play John McClane, second was Expendables when he was considered to play Church but he wanted to be Trench.