The summer’s biggest remake, The A-Team, starring Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper, opens June 11, 2010, and has four new faces stepping into the roles of Face, Bad Attitude, Hannibal and Howling Mad.Based on the The A-Team television series, 20th Century Fox’s The A-Team is directed by Joe Carnahan and produced by Ridley and Tony Scott. The creators of the TV series, Jules Daly and Stephen J. Cannell, are also involved in The A-Team.
The A-Team TV series focused on a group of ex-United States Army Special Forces who work as soldiers of fortune while being on the run after being branded war criminals for a “crime they didn’t commit.”
In the film, the plot shifts from Vietnam to the Middle East.
Writer Michael Brandt said the film adaptation of The A-Team will be gritty and will follow in the footsteps of Batman Begins, Die Hard, The Bourne Identity, and Casino Royale.
The A-Team follows four U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers who have turned mercenaries after three of them were set up for a crime they did not commit and arrested.
After escaping from military prison and branded as war criminals, the three – Liam Neeson (Col. John “Hannibal” Smith), Bradley Cooper (Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck) and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Sgt. B.A. “Bad Attitude” Baracus) – team up with Captain H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock (Sharlto Copley), their reconnaissance pilot, as soldiers of fortune.
Going “rogue,” they use their unique talents to clear their names and try and find the real culprit. Jessica Biel plays Faceman’s former lover, a disenchanted and ruthless Army officer in charge of pursuing the team.
Patrick Wilson, Omari Hardwick, Maury Sterling, C. Ernst Harth, Brian Bloom and Gerald McRaney are part of The A-Team cast. Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict, who played H.M. Murdock and Templeton Peck respectively in the TV series, also appear in cameos in the film.
The A-Team has been in development since the mid-1990s.
In September 2009, the casting of Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper and mixed martial arts fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson was confirmed. Filming got under way in Vancouver, British Columbia, by the end of September 2009.
Liam Neeson, who played Zeus in 2009’s Clash of the Titans, has three other films in post-production. In The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which releases on December 10, 2010, he reprises his role as the voice of Aslan, the majestic lion.
He plays a cameo in director Paul Haggis’ The Next Three Days, which stars Elizabeth Banks, Russell Crowe, Brian Dennehy, Olivia Wilde, Lennie James, Aisha Hinds and Daniel Stern. The Next Three Days is slated to be released in November 2010.
Unknown White Male, a thriller directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, is based on the Didier van Cauwelaert’s novel Out of My Head and stars Liam Neeson, Diane Kruger, January Jones and Frank Langella. Unknown White Male is scheduled for an early 2011 release.
Bradley Cooper, best known for his roles in the 2009 film The Hangover, the 2010 film Valentine’s Day, and the TV series Alias, was earlier this year seen in Case 39, a horror film directed by Christian Alvart, starring Renée Zellweger, Canadian actress Jodelle Ferland and Ian McShane.
Both Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper have great expectations from The A-Team. The TV series, which ran for five seasons on NBC, has attained cult status. Some of the show’s catchphrases – “I love it when a plan comes together,” “Hannibal’s on the jazz” and “I ain’t gettin’ on no plane!” – can be seen on T-shirts and other merchandise.
A series of prequel comics to the movie began in March 2010. The comics are published by IDW Publishing and written by Carnahan and Chuck Dixon. Jazwares also plans to launch a toy line to coincide with the release of The A-Team.