ComingSoon spoke to The Terminal List director and executive producer Antoine Fuqua, author Jack Carr, and EP David DiGilio about the Amazon series, which stars Chris Pratt and premieres on Friday, July 1.
“It follows James Reece after his entire platoon of Navy SEALs is ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission,” reads the synopsis. “Reece returns home to his family with conflicting memories of the event and questions about his culpability. However, as new evidence comes to light, Reece discovers dark forces working against him, endangering not only his life but the lives of those he loves.”
Tyler Treese: I went into this show expecting a more straightforward action series, and it definitely has those great high-octane moments, but there’s a lot of great human drama there. In your first episode, you really set that tone so well, can you talk me through just finding that balance?
Antoine Fuqua: For me it was all about the emotion, you know, Jack wrote an amazing book and you can’t outdo action where a guy actually lived it and really did it, right? So my goal was to make you feel for the characters more. And then when I met Dave, Dave came in with the psychological twist and I really got excited then. So that’s really what got me going, that was my way in.
Jack, this is just such a great adaptation of your work. Can you speak to the advantage of this being a series rather than a film? It really has time to breathe and do the narrative justice.
Jack Carr: Oh yeah, this is definitely the way to tell this story. Eight hours, eight episodes, and you get to develop the characters. You get to have that action. The actors get to explore their character much more in-depth over a series. You get to see them on a journey, just like we are, all of us are in life, and them adapting to situations in a way that you couldn’t do if it’s an hour and a half or two hours. So this is definitely the way to tell the story.
Dave, I was so impressed by the scale of the production. TV shows can feel scaled back, but this really has the production quality of a film all the way through. Can you speak to how you were able to achieve this because it’s quite impressive?
David DiGilio: Yeah, we coined a phrase early on. We were going to make Cinevision, the kind of perfect hybrid of film and TV. But we’re doing something that is unique to the other huge shows that are out there. The Marvel shows, the Star Wars shows, those things. Those are mainly visual effects-driven shows in their scope. This is a location-based show for its action [and] for its drama. So it takes a tremendous work by your crew, by your cast, a tremendous amount of commitment from your streamer — thank you Amazon, thank you MRC Studios — to achieve something that is really classic action. If you’ve seen Top Gun: Maverick, right? That’s a real … that is a tangible feel to that movie. It’s the reason audiences are responding to it. We have the same thing in this show.
You’ve been having such a great streak of streaming projects with Infinite and The Guilty last year, and this. What has led to you embracing streaming while some other all-star directors are more hesitant?
Fuqua: I think it’s just a great opportunity and another avenue to do your art in a longer form, you know? I’m grateful that it’s here, or we wouldn’t have been able to do The Terminal List. I can’t imagine taking The Terminal List and turning your hard work into two hours. I think that’s an injustice. So it allows great writers to write these beautiful, powerful novels, for it to be done. For companies like Amazon to embrace it, it’s fantastic.