Joe Carnahan to tackle THE A-TEAM

NARC and SMOKIN' ACES director Joe Carnahan will helm THE A-TEAM at 20th Century Fox according to Variety. He will replace John Singleton (FOUR BROTHERS, SHAFT) who bailed on the project last year because of the constant script re-writes. Since Singleton left, Skip Woods (SWORDFISH, HITMAN) has been re-drafting from scratch but Carnahan has brought on actor and friend Brian Bloom to re-draft further. The new release date of June 20th 2010 put in place (it was originally due out this June). June 2010 is of course less than a year and a half away so expect Carnahan and Fox to quickly ramp up the pre-production on this project quickly. To help that will be Tony and Ridley Scott who are on board as producers as is the show's original creator Stephen J. Cannell, just adding that extra bit of manpower to make sure this adaptation gets made this time. The idea is to use the original premise of the series as the template for an action film. Of course the biggest irony of all ironies is that Carnahan, like the so far ill fated big movie adaptation of THE A-TEAM has himself seen many projects fail over the years. You could probably count on two hands the amount of movies Carnahan has worked tirelessly on over the past five years to see fall down the wayside because of actor and studio politics. Movies like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III, like BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING (which died when star Reese Witherspoon went missing), WHITE JAZZ (which died when Clooney got bored with it) and his KILLING PABLO movie which has been tossed around from studio to studio despite Christian Bale's attachment. Carnahan is due a big break and I won't hear the notion that he is selling out here. He himself tells the trade (about PABLO in particular)...

"I am determined to make that movie there or elsewhere, but it's an interesting time in Hollywood, and you have to be aware when you get the opportunity to step into a business model that is working," Carnahan said, noting that many of the top-grossing studio films are based on branded properties. "This was a coveted property, and reimagining a show that I remembered as a kid was tough to turn down," Carnahan said. "Fox hired me to make it as emotional, real and accessible as possible without cheesing it up."
Carnahan needs this, just for his sanity if nothing else. He needs studio backing, which he will get now if he plays the game that Fox want him too. Sure he's been asked to turn in a watered down and audience friendly movie, more so than he is used to but if he turns this in and it makes money, his name recognition will mean future WHITE JAZZ style projects will only be a phone call to an exec away. Interesting to see if Woody Harrelson and Tyrese Gibson (guys who Singleton cast) are still on board for this.

Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.