In a recent interview, Liam Neeson has revealed that there are no plans for a return as Hannibal Smith in The A-Team. Speaking with Den of Geek, the actor discusses the deflated box-office performance of last year's revival movie and why it happened. He's played everything from a Jedi Master, the Lord of Mount Olympus, a former CIA Agent, Anti-Holocaust Hero, and even a Jesus Lion, yet Neeson apparently feels badly that he may not get another chance to take a puff from a cigar and muse about a plan coming together. It seems that he quite enjoyed the time he spent with co-stars Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as the wrongfully-framed elite military unit who go around solving injustices in a cool black and red-striped van. With a strong hype campaign, a solid cast, and possible crossover draw from the MMA crowd with the casting of Jackson, the odds seemed in its favor. So, what went wrong?
According to Neeson:
“Yeah, I thought it was a really good movie, you know? And thought it would’ve done much, much better at the box office in America, but the studio released it the day after the World Cup started, and I think that probably affected the overall performance of the film.”
What may have also hurt the film, was the fact that it was up against another revival of a popular 80's property in the remake of The Karate Kid starring pre-teen Hollywood progeny Jaden Smith. Going into the weekend of June 11, 2010, the nostalgia appeal on which The A-Team depended, would be split between its strongest competitor. Making things worse, The Karate Kid was able to tap into the same family-friendly crowd that make just about any generic computer-animated feature with talking animals dropping one-liners a hit. So, without a firm hold on nostalgic adults and a brigade of moviegoers with screaming kids firmly entrenched with the competition, what was once a promising formula became bleak.
It's a shame, too. Smokin' Aces helmer Joe Carnahan actually did a good job in blending the old and the new. Yes, it's one of those mindless stylistic action movies with over-the-top stunts, but it was solid fun and flowed quite well. It's the kind of movie that's quite enjoyable if you go into it with the mindset of just having fun, rather than expecting some grand transcendental revelation. As The Expendables would demonstrate just a few months after The A-Team, there is indeed a market for these type of old-school, purposefully-mindless explosion-fests. However, at the moment, anyway, a sequel is not on the table. As Neeson goes on:
“Well, there’s nothing planned at the minute, but the studios certainly aren’t saying no. I personally would love to get on the horse again, you know? With Bradley and Sharlto and Rampage - we all would. But with the studios and the studio system it’s a question of dollars and cents.”
So, if there is one small beacon of hope in this news, it's that the door is not completely shut on The A-Team 2. While the box-office performance may not justify the sequel, sometimes all it takes is the enthusiasm of the cast and someone at the studio that's willing to take a gamble against conventional wisdom. In the meantime, Neeson will maintain connections with The A-Team director Joe Carnahan in next year's Alaskan-set survival drama The Grey.
What are your thoughts on a possible sequel to The A-Team?
Source: Den of Geek