One of the more curious surprises of the last few years, 2010's RED was an extremely loose adaptation of the Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner graphic novel. Whereas the source comic book was an ultraviolent descent into nihilistic despair, the movie took a more tongue-in-cheek approach to the story of an ex-CIA assassin marked for disposal by his own organization. The film ended up grossing $186 million worldwide and gained decent (though often not exuberant) marks from critics.
As is the wont of nearly every movie that performs beyond expectations, RED was placed on the fast-track to a sequel. RED 2 is on a steady road to its late-summer 2013 release; recently, the first photograph of the production was released to the public. What can we glean from this image of the jaunty action film?
Entertainment Weekly has published the first promotional image for RED 2. Showing off the swaggering trio of Bruce Willis (G.I. Joe: Retaliation), Mary-Louise Parker (Weeds), and John Malkovich (Warm Bodies), the photograph serves to remind us of the freewheeling, comedic tone of the original film.
Check out the full image below:
That comedic tone is achieved through the actors' dissonant costuming – there's a heavy disconnect between the obnoxious, almost teenage fashions, the actors' ages, and the gritty action set behind them. Something about the image of Malkovich in clothing fit for a skate-punk (while the requisite background explosion is casually ignored) is inherently amusing. As ever, Willis appears to be having quite a bit of fun on-set.
Like its predecessor, RED 2 sports a rather impressive cast. In addition to Willis, Parker, and Malkovich, Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen) will return to the role of a septuagenarian with a taste for heavy machine guns. While the movie has lost the services of Brian Cox (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), Morgan Freeman (Oblivion), and Karl Urban (Star Trek: Into Darkness), the production has brought in some impressive new blood with Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Rock of Ages), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films), and Byung-hun Lee (The Good, the Bad, and the Weird).
While it's only a single frame from the production, this RED 2 promotional image is fairly heartening. The original film worked best when it combined over-the-top action and a sense of humor that bordered on the cartoonish.
According to previous production reports, the film will break almost completely with its grim source material (which the original almost did, anyway) and focus more on swashbuckling adventure. If the EW photo is any indication, those adventures will come with quite a bit of visual whimsy.
RED 2 will exit retirement and enter theaters on August 2, 2013.
Source: Entertainment Weekly (via HeyUGuys)