Original Release: June 12, 2008 (UK)
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Written by: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan, Mark Millar, J.G. Jones
Produced by: Jim Lemley, Jason Netter, Marc Platt, Iain Smith
Running Time: 110 minutes
Box Office: $341,433,252 (Worldwide)
A young man finds out his long lost father is an assassin. When his father is murdered, the son is recruited into his father's old organization and trained by a man named Sloan to follow in his dad's footsteps.
James McAvoy (Wesley), Morgan Freeman (Sloan), Terence Stamp (Pekwarsky), Thomas Kretschmann (Cross), Common (The Gunsmith), Kristen Hager (Cathy), Marc Warren (The Repairman), David O'Hara (Mr. X), Konstantin Khabenskiy (The Exterminator), Dato Bakhtadze (The Butcher), Chris Pratt (Barry)
Filming Locations: (view all)
- Pernstejn Castle, Nedvedice pod Perstejnem, Czech Republic
- Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Charles Bridge, Old Town, Prague, Czech Republic
- Berwyn, Illinois, USA (grocery store [egg store] & exteriors)
- New York City, New York, USA
- James McAvoy screentested for the lead role in early 2006, but was initially rejected, as the studio wanted a more "conventional" leading man. He was later recalled when the producers decided that his character was more "the runt of the litter." The studio ultimately changed its mind and wanted someone geeky. McAvoy got the part.
- James McAvoy worked out to improve his physique for the film's action scenes, and suffered several injuries during shooting, including a twisted ankle, and an injured knee.
- Director Timur Bekmambetov is wanted to make a sequel, though the creator Mark Millar has denied that he will write one. He is instead creating a story along with the producers. This was many years ago so it doesn't seem likely that it will happen.
- The graphic novel features superhero costumes worn by many characters, but the film eliminates them, except the leather attire worn by Wesley and The Fox.
- Angelina Jolie says she based her role on Clint Eastwood.
- In the office at the end of the film, a photo of Angelina Jolie appears at the left of the computer screen, which is a screenshot of her just before entering Wesley's room in the middle of the movie.
- Angelina Jolie was coming out of her pregnancy, and A Mighty Heart (2007), and wanted to make an action film. Ian Livingston, President of Eidos at the time, confirmed that there were talks with Paramount to make a third Tomb Raider movie. The movie had to be shot and be released by the end of 2007, due to Paramount's contract. That was impossible, so the plans were scrapped. Angelina Jolie decided to film this movie, and she personally picked the Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003) writer, Dean Georgaris to tailor the role of Fox for her, and completely re-shape the film to her likes.
- Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Beyoncé Knowles were considered for the role of Fox.
- This is Timur Bekmambetov's first American film.
- The script went through several revisions, with the most significant one being the third act that was re-written by Chris Morgan in mid-2006. The first draft was rejected by Mark Millar, because he felt the script was too tame and Americanized. Dean Georgaris also contributed a re-write, and tailored the role of The Fox specially for Angelina Jolie. Finally, original writers Derek Haas and Michael Brandt then put in the final re-write to even out the voice of Wesley, which was established in the first draft.
- Ryan Phillippe was attached to do the leading part, which went to James McAvoy.
- Branko Tomovic auditioned for the part of The Repairman.
- When Wesley leaves the building after walking out on his job, the camera pans by a newspaper stand. The headline reads, "WANTED", with side-by-side pictures of James McAvoy and Angelina Jolie.
- The graphic novel that inspired the movie is actually about super-villains who took over the world and defeated almost every super-hero. The movie took a less fantastic/supernatural approach, and some characters were not used such as Shithead, a monster made with the feces of 666 of the most evil people on Earth, including Hitler.
- Angelina Jolie asked for Fox to get killed, reasoning that "If she was to find out she had killed people unjustly and was a part of something that wasn't fair, then she should take her own life".
Wesley: What did he do to deserve to die? You don't know. I didn't know if he was bad. I didn't know if he was evil. I didn't know anything about him. We get orders from a loom; fate. And we're supposed to take enough faith in what we're doing is right. Killing someone we know nothing about. I don't know if I can do that.
Fox: About twenty years ago, there was this girl. Her dad was a federal judge, so she probably had it in her mind that she would follow in his footsteps. So she's home one Christmas, and her dad's on this big racketeering case. The defendant wanted to get a softer judge who they could buy off. So they hired this guy, Max Petridge, to get him to pay her father a visit. And the way he pays people a visit is to break in, and tie up their loved ones, and force them to watch while he burns his targets alive. And then he takes a wire hanger, twists it around, and brands his initials into each one of them so they will never ever forget. After I was recruited into the Fraternity, I found out that Max Petridge's name had come up, weeks before the federal judge was killed, and that a Fraternity member had failed to pull the trigger. We don't know how far the ripples of our decisions go. We kill one, and maybe save a thousand. That's the code of the Fraternity. That's what we believe in, and that's why we do it.
Wesley: Please, please, please drive faster!
Fox: Please be quiet!
Wesley: Why did you make me do this?
Fox: Because you are the only person he wouldn't kill.
Wesley: I'm sorry.
Fox: You apologize too much.
Wesley: Well, sorry about that.
Fox: I knew your father.
Wesley: My father left the week I was born, so...
Fox: Your father died yesterday on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Building. Sorry.
Wesley: Look, the liquor aisle is just over there, so if you want to go...
Fox: Your father was one of the greatest assassins who ever lived. The man who killed him is behind you.
Fox: Why are you here?
Wesley: I don't know who I am!
Fox: What did you say?
Wesley: I said I don't know who I am.
Wesley: Are we gonna "bond," now?
Fox: Would you like to?
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films - Best Fantasy Film
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards - Best Action Movie
Empire Awards - Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Superhero
Golden Schmoes Awards - Biggest Surprise of the Year
Golden Schmoes Awards - Best Action Sequence of the Year
Golden Schmoes Awards - Best T&A of the Year - Angelina Jolie
Golden Schmoes Awards - Best Line of the Year - "Shoot *this* motherfucker!"
MTV Movie + TV Awards - Best Female Performance - Angelina Jolie
MTV Movie + TV Awards - Best Kiss - Angelina Jolie & James McAvoy
MTV Movie + TV Awards - Best WTF Moment - Angelina Jolie
National Movie Awards - Best Action/Adventure
National Movie Awards - Best Performance - Female - Angelina Jolie
National Movie Awards - Best Performance - Male - James McAvoy
Teen Choice Awards - Choice Summer Movie: Action Adventure