Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo are reportedly circling lead roles in action-thriller Boss Level, written and directed by Joe Carnahan. Gibson starring in Boss Level would serve as the latest in a slow but seemingly sure journey back to something approaching his former status for the actor. Gibson was of course at one time one of the biggest movie stars in the world, before his regrettable off-screen behavior led to a period where almost nobody in Hollywood wanted to be associated with him.
After not working in front of the camera since 2005, Gibson returned to leading a film with director Martin Campbell’s 2010 grim crime drama Edge of Darkness, which actually saw Grillo turn up in a small but pivotal role. He’s since appeared in films like Machete Kills, The Expendables 3, and most recently, the family comedy Daddy’s Home 2. Gibson’s casting in that last type of project drew a bit of flack from some, but most critics seemed to think he did a fine job, with the performances being the least of that film’s worries.
For his part, Grillo has seen his profile in Hollywood rise exponentially in the last few years, thanks mostly to two key franchises. Grillo starred as grizzled hero Leo Barnes in horror sequels The Purge: Anarchy and The Purge: Election Year – both big hits at the box office – and also played Brock Rumlow/Crossbones in the MCU installments Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. In Boss Level, Grillo would play a retired special forces soldier who becomes trapped in a time loop that always ends with his death, according to Deadline.
Details on Gibson’s potential role in Boss Level have yet to be revealed, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine him as the villain opposite Grillo’s hero, or perhaps as Grillo’s badass mentor who he looks to for help. As cool as a Gibson/Grillo combination could be on-screen, another interesting variable in the mix is writer/director Joe Carnahan. Carnahan is best known for his work in the action genre, directing films such as Smokin’ Aces, The A-Team, and The Grey, on which he worked with Grillo. Carnahan is also attached to a U.S. remake of The Raid, which will also star Grillo.
A distributing studio is not yet attached to Boss Level, but with this kind of talent involved, that probably won’t take long to change. These kind of plots – in which the protagonist is trapped in a time loop and must figure out how to escape it – are certainly nothing new. The most prominent example is Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, although recent films like Edge of Tomorrow and Happy Death Day have continued the tradition. Hopefully Carnahan, Gibson, and Grillo bring something to the proceedings that makes this take on that premise unique.
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