Joe Carnahan is a prolific action director who’s had quite a few ups and downs throughout his career. For example, his films Narc and The Grey were both critically acclaimed, while his movie version of The A-Team somewhat underperformed - and Smokin’ Aces, even though it was lots of fun, is more of a cult success. Carnahan has also been connected to a few high-profile projects - an adaptation of James Ellroy’s White Jazz, the Jason Bateman comedy Remarkable Fellows- that never got off the ground.
However, Carnahan’s next project is in fact going forward, under the banner of producer Jordan Schur’s new Suretone Pictures.
Five Against A Bullet, an action thriller set in Mexico and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, has had Carnahan attached since June, when he came in to rewrite a previous script written by Alex Litvak (Predators). Bruce Willis was attached to star at one point; while that no longer appears to be the case, Deadline is reporting that the project has nonetheless been greenlit by Suretone, with Carnahan at the helm.
The premise of Five Against a Bullet sounds intriguing, and also well-suited to Carnahan’s talents, as described by Deadline:
Five elite bodyguards are tasked with keeping safe through the elections a mayoral candidate of the most powerful city in Mexico, after the candidate’s father and previous office holder was murdered. An army of cartel hitmen are gunning for the candidate, under orders of the biggest drug cartel kingpin.
The Five Against a Bullet premise sounds like a nice fit for Carnahan’s sensibility: a team of tough guys with a plan, with lots of bullets flying before long. If he can bring the same anarchic spirit to this project that he did to Smokin’ Aces and, more recently, his offbeat action/thriller, Stretch, then this new project of his sounds like it could be a winner. For now, we know nothing about the potential cast, though the formerly-attached Willis suddenly has a more relaxed schedule (after having left Woody Allen's new movie).
It's also not clear what effect (if any) this has on Carnahan's possible involvement with Bad Boys 3, which Sony recently scheduled for a theatrical release in early 2017. Carnahan was previously reported to be in talks to rewrite and possibly direct the third Bad Boys film installment, though Five Against a Bullet getting a green-light may signal that Carnahan's not going to work on that Will Smith and Martin Lawrence buddy cop franchise after all.
We'll bring you more information on Five Against a Bullet when we have it.