It’s been a while since we’ve seen Dwayne Johnson take someone down on the big screen, but the wait is finally over and the 38-year-old actor is back to doing what so many love to see him do – kick some serious ass.
He may have left the action genre for some time making his name in more family-friendly flicks like Get Smart and Race to Witch Mountain, but the former pro wrestler is making his action star comeback in CBS Films’ Faster, hitting theaters on November 24.
The revenge thriller is about an ex-con known as Driver (Johnson) who is out to get even for the death of his brother. He is being pursued by Cop, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is also tracking Driver for his own reasons.
There are four people who were involved in the murder of his brother and Driver is on a mission to kill them all.
“You have these really fantastically written characters. In the case of the Driver, there’s no sophistication at all. Basically, the story is about two brothers and one of those brothers is ripped away from me. The brothers love each other dearly,” Johnson tell us. “He’s the only thing I have in my life, but he’s ripped away and killed. I have to go away and serve about 10 years in prison and when I get out the four men who were responsible for that suffer the consequences of taking my brother away from me. Storywise, Oliver’s character is smartly written in. Without getting into too much detail, you can probably figure out how he comes to be and how the match-up comes to happen.”
According to director George Tillman, the film is a throwback to ’70s movies and was inspired by classics like The Good, Bad and the Ugly and Bullet.
“There is a lot of character and a lot of great action, but the action is kind of cemented with a great back-story with characters,” Tillman said. “If you look at a movie like ‘The Driver’ by Walter Hill, it’s a film where there are no names. They are just named, ‘the driver,’ ‘the cop.’ But I feel like this movie wasn’t really trying to be those films, it wasn’t paying homage. It was just part of the character, part of the DNA of the story.”
“I read a lot of scripts out in L.A. – out here in the industry and I just felt like this film was just being genuine. I just felt like it had really great characters. And all the three different characters have completely different stories and they’re all kind of intertwined together thematically. So I just thought it had great characters, great themes. It was at Warner Bros.’ at one point; CBS picked it up and Sony. So it was just in limbo and I just felt like those are the great films that get made, where it’s in limbo, nobody wants to make ’em, that’s why this film works,” he continued.
ComingSoon.net stopped by set for a day in Studio City, California and watched Johnson in action. When we walked onto the soundstages at CBS Films, Johnson was actually there waiting for us and warmly welcomed us to hang out. He briefly gave us a rundown of what the movie was about and said he’d talked to us a little later which he did. We then went over to the monitor that was set up for us to watch him on and saw a few takes of him running from Killer. There was no dialogue in the scene. He was hunting down one of the men responsible for his brother’s death. He was in a hallway of an apartment building when he spots Killer, who followed him there. He draws his gun and is about to shoot when a little girl comes out of one of the apartments. He pushes her out of the way and then fires.
“What happens is that peripherally I see the girl come out, which gets my attention. Once I see her come out just for a moment I look up and I clock the Killer. The only reason why he doesn’t shoot me is because the girl is in the way. She’s in his eye line. I’m closer to her and I start to advance on him and push her out of the way. He’s specifically after me for a specific reason. It’s a great plot point, which will unfold in the movie,” Johnson later explains.
Tillman describes Driver as someone who is on a “death mission,” and doesn’t care what happens to him as long as he kills these four guys.
“He could walk across the street with all these cars passing, he doesn’t care if he dies. He could carry a revolver, you know, the Ruger and just go right in a kill, he doesn’t care if he gets out. With that mindset, it gives you an interesting standpoint in the film of how to play the character. He gives different elements to it. He can take a blast from the killer from his block, it just misses him by a bit, and he keeps moving. I think that can be interesting, a guy who doesn’t he don’t care if he die or if he live,” Tillman said.
You can check out our full interview with Dwayne Johnson here.