Stunt coordinators-turned directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh's feature-length debut, Act of Valor, was an ambitious undertaking that required the duo to work alongside cast members who possess real-world experience serving as Navy SEALs. The movie was heralded by military families and servicemen for bringing a greater sense of realism to the action and combat sequences (compared to the average Hollywood military ops thriller); however, its video game-like story progression and character interactions left many critics and non-military types with more lukewarm feelings (read our review, for example).
Act of Valor grossed $81 million in theaters around the globe ($70 million from the U.S. alone), so the low-budget production ended up being a profitable investment for Relativity Media. Because of that, both the studio and Bandito Brothers - the production banner headed by McCoy and Waugh - have begun to expand the Act of Valor property into a multi-platform franchise, by starting development on a spinoff television series - in addition to a second movie installment.
Deadline is reporting that the film project - we'll refer to it as Act of Valor 2 for brevity's sake - will be another "R-Rated gritty actioner," albeit this time the focus will be on elite SWAT officers rather than Navy SEALs. The intention seems to be for the followup installment to emulate the model used to construct the original Act of Valor movie. That is, a fictionalized account of a dangerous operation - carried out by a highly-effective task force - will be used to illustrate the harsh realities of that lifestyle; that is, by recreating actual firefight scenarios and anecdotal details with as much accuracy as possible (while still delivering an engaging viewing experience).
The only difference? This time, the characters putting their lives on the line will be members of a law enforcement unit, as opposed to people who are part of the U.S. Navy's special operations force. That could be a deal-breaker, for some of the moviegoers who enjoyed Act of Valor primarily because it shone the spotlight on the SEALs lifestyle - and believe that a proper sequel ought to do the same.
McCoy and Waugh will produce the new Act of Valor movie installment, but the screenwriting and directing responsibilities are going to be handled by Scott Wiper instead. The latter has made such films as the small-town vigilante feature Captain Jack, the police/Mafia thriller A Better Way to Die and the "death match as televised entertainment" action-thriller The Condemned (which was released well-after The Running Man, but before The Hunger Game movie). If you have never heard of, much less seen, any of these films, well... that's may be because most of them were box office duds and critical misfires.
For that reason, those who're interested in watching a down n' dirty thriller about what life is like on the violent streets of America - for the officers who put their lives on the line fighting crime - might be better served by a film like David Ayer's End of Watch (yes, that drama/thriller deals with regular cops and not SWAT team members). As for those who're searching for a promising new movie about Navy SEALs, director Peter Berg's true-story project Lone Survivor is just a few months away...
Does Act of Valor 2 - with SWAT officers instead of SEALs - sound interesting?
The second Act of Valor installment will probably wind up with a subtitle, rather than being called Act of Valor 2. We'll keep you posted on the developing project as more information is made available.