SAN FRANCISCO — Trading in superheroes and bad guys for submachine guns and bullets, the DC Comics series “The Losers” has never been your typical comic book fare.
Created by Andy Diggle and Mark Simpson (an artist better known as Jock), the revenge-seeking characters get another shot at vengeance when the movie opens April 23. We caught up with the “Losers” cast at this year’s WonderCon for the inside scoop on filming, making out with Zoe Saldana and what it’s like to adapt a graphic novel that truly is graphic — all while keeping it PG-13.
Director Sylvain White (“Stomp the Yard”), a big comics fan, told MTV News he set out to make the big-budget action film stand on its own, but was determined not to cut out the creators of the book.
“The graphic novel has a really interesting, beautiful use of primary and secondary colors that I really wanted to stay true to,” White said. “So [Jock] collaborated with me in terms of defining the look of the movie that way. Also, we do some really cool transitions where the characters actually turn into their comic book selves. That’s how we introduce them.”
White also explained where the movie’s action begins. “It’s a story about a crew of guys that basically get screwed over by the CIA and try to find their way back to the U.S.,” he said. “They’re on a special mission abroad, and they have to come back to the U.S. to prove their innocence and try to find who’s behind the conspiracy.”
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays Clay in the movie, said his biggest fringe benefit was getting to lock lips with a certain fast-rising Hollywood starlet. “The cool thing about getting to play the character is, for one, he’s simply badass, and two, I get to make out with Zoe Saldana,” Morgan said with a laugh, “which is not a bad way to spend your afternoon.”
The star of “Avatar” and “Star Trek,” Saldana told us that playing Aisha in “The Losers” was exactly what she needed. “After being in space for a year and a half with [my characters] Uhura and Neytiri, I got to put on some jeans and grab two guns and beat the crap out of Jeffrey Dean Morgan,” she joked. “It was just awesome.”
Trailers for the movie show that Saldana’s Aisha has been tweaked quite a bit, as rabid fans of the original comic have noted. “There is literally a picture in one of the volumes where she kills three or four guys with a big knife, and then she’s just licking it,” Saldana said. The scene was dropped to keep the film teen-friendly. “Now, that’s pretty awesome! But we needed to keep it PG-13. So there was a lot of polishing that needed to happen, at least for this first one.”
We asked: Are “hard-R” sequels to come?
“What we really want to do,” White said, “is ’Losers 2.’ ”
“If this works,” co-star Columbus Short echoed, “I’d do it.”
“Absolutely, are you kidding me?” Chris Evans agreed. “That would be great!”
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