LOS ANGELES — “Domino,” Tony Scott’s upcoming Keira Knightley-starring action flick about a lethal bounty hunter, will give fans of the director the chance to cozy up with some familiar offerings: hyper-violence, rapid editing and a plethora of severed limbs and drug hallucinations. While sitting down for an interview to promote the film, the 61-year-old English auteur brandished a heartwarming smile, peering out from beneath a faded red baseball cap that could brag of more years in Hollywood than his current leading lady.
Scott is a man who no doubt appreciates the virtues of familiarity. As the discussion turned to his upcoming high-profile remake of the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors,” however, Scott made it clear that his ball cap might be the only recognizable thing on the set.
“The opening of ‘The Warriors’ now begins on the Long Beach Bridge, and it’s going to look like the L.A. marathon,” Scott said of the script, which relocates the story of the titular gang attempting to get home to its turf after being mistakenly accused of murdering a rival gang leader. “You’ll still get the same story, but we’re reconstructing the family, reconstructing the characters, and I’m doing it in L.A. The original was in New York and everything went upwards; L.A. goes [length-wise]. And instead of 30 gang members, there’s going to be 3,000 or 5,000.”
Scott revealed that he intends to do away with such warring factions as the Baseball Furies (a bat-wielding group of thugs dressed in makeup and MLB-worthy uniforms), the Punks (chain-wielders in hillbilly overalls) and the Hi Hats (bad-ass mimes wearing top hats). The decision, which will no doubt stir up controversy among die-hard fans currently snatching up newly released “Warriors” action figures at mall stores nationwide, is largely due to the director’s recent meetings with actual L.A. gang members, whom he employed onscreen in “Domino” and intends to use again for “Warriors.”
“I sat with all the gang members and they said, ‘If you can get this movie on, we’ll do a treaty between all the warriors, all the different gangs,’ ” Scott said proudly. “It’s very different from what the original is like. I love the original, but this is a very different tone and a very different feel. The encounters will be more like ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’ It will be the Warriors stacking up against 3,000 gang members.
“The story is so generic, it’s like these guys are at point B and they need to get back to point A,” Scott said of the similarities between the two films, which will virtually end after the title, concept and name of at least one major character. “It’s contemporary; it’s going to look like the L.A. riots, with fires burning after Cyrus gets shot at the beginning.
“Everything else that we’re doing, what I’m bringing to it, it’s a different movie,” he added, saying that authentic tattoo-sporting gangbangers will replace fictional organizations like the Savage Huns and the pimpish Boppers. “It will be the Bloods, the Crips, the Vietnamese, the 18th Street [Gang], all the boys. It will be all the major gangs in Los Angeles, and we’re going to try to get them to stand on the Long Beach Bridge.”
The comments by the “Man on Fire” director also put to rest Internet rumors that the remake would be largely martial-arts oriented, implying instead that the action will be of the bare-knuckles and drive-by-shootings variety.
When “Domino” lands in theaters October 14, Scott said that “Warriors” fans should pay close attention to one particular scene if they want a taste of the tone of his remake. “You had [one of the real-life gangs] in ‘Domino,’ the 18th Street Gang. When [Keira Knightley's character] does the lap dance [to convince some street thugs to drop their weapons], they’re all the boys, they’re all the real thing, and they were fantastic.”
Saying that he’s “still a little ways off with this one,” Scott insisted that no name actors had been cast. He added, however, that he is on track to roll cameras “next year.”
Adding that he’s got “enough outrageousness in the real people,” Scott admitted that although he enjoys the flamboyant gangs in Walter Hill’s original film, the Baseball Furies will be permanently stranded in the on-deck circle. So, when ill-tempered gang member Luther recites his famously taunting quote, “Warriors … come out to play,” he’ll likely be confronted by a very different group.
That is if Luther — or even that line of dialogue — survive the remaking process.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Domino.”
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