There's a movie coming out about a group of soldiers disavowed by their government who plan their own mission to get the man who betrayed them and to restore their good names.
No, it's not 20th Century Fox's remake of the '80s TV show The A-Team, which comes out June 11. It's Warner Brothers' adaptation of the comic book The Losers, which comes out this Friday.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays the Losers' leader, Clay, denies that anyone ever worried about the competition. "First of all, we never went in thinking about The A-Team at all," Morgan said in a press conference last week in Beverly Hills, Calif. "We'll let them think about us."
The filmmakers certainly didn't make any creative decisions based on the potential competition. Director Sylvain White didn't even know the A-Team movie was green-lighted until he completed all the filming on The Losers.
"I didn't even know about The A-Team until I think we were back in post-production," White said during the press conference. "So while we were shooting it, I wasn't even really aware of it."
The Losers comic book was a series released by Vertigo, DC's more extreme label. It had an irreverent take on comic-book action, and White adapted that for the film. There may be other team action movies, but The Losers doesn't take itself too seriously.
"I think the movie has this sort of comic-book tone," White said. "I called it the sort of gray line that you have to walk because the tonality of the movie makes it so that we're almost winking at action films. It has a sort of sarcastic, cynical look at 'em, but at the same time we're laughing with it."
In the movie world, The Losers' sniper rifles, RPG missiles and encrypted flash drives are standard plot devices. It was important for White to distinguish his film's gimmicks with that comic-book humor.
"Some of these unbelievable moments and gadgetry, electromagnetic gadgets that they have and all that stuff, it's part of the comic-book world," White said. "It's part of the fun that the movie exudes. So it was always about trying not to push it too far but push it far enough so that we make people laugh and have fun. So it was actually not that difficult to attain, specifically because the graphic novel itself is such a great benchmark."
The actors had to step up their physicality to match their live-action fight scenes with the extreme artwork in the pages of the Losers comic books. "We spent a lot of time choreographing those fights," Morgan said. "Invariably, they change on the day, and it's hard stuff. We didn't have the luxury of spending a week doing a scene. The hotel scene we shot in a day and a half. The conclusion stuff we shot in a day, and that fight got changed at the 11th hour, after we had choreographed something for two months in Puerto Rico. Then we shot it in L.A., actually, and it was a completely different fight than we had anticipated. So that stuff was a big challenge."
To quote another action movie, maybe Morgan's just getting too old for this s--t. "It's hard getting up off the pavement 20 times and doing it again," he said.