Almost 30 years after those soldiers of fortune first popped up on the small screen, the A-Team is getting its origin story. The origin you’ll see at the cinema this weekend, though, flies by in an extended opening sequence and wasn’t even supposed to be part of “The A-Team.”
The original opening, it turns out, was far different, and according to star Bradley Cooper and director Joe Carnahan, it could have turned out to be the best scene in the entire movie.
“It’s still my favorite scene in the film, the scene we didn’t shoot,” Carnahan said. “All you saw was [Liam Neeson’s] Hannibal with these goggles on in this white environment and you realize, as the camera pulls back, there were sled dogs. And then as you pull back even further, you realize there were sled dogs going over the dunes in the desert.”
Carnahan ditched that opening when the studio, Fox, prevailed upon him to provide some backstory for the Special Forces soldiers who make up the A-Team — some concrete details about how the crew was wrongly convicted as war criminals and banded together as badasses-for-hire. Yet, like Carnahan, Cooper’s favorite sequence in the script remains that original first scene. As he explained, much of the script was jettisoned once filming began.
“The script was fantastic actually,” Cooper said. “And it sort of went away when we started shooting it, and that was an interesting process. That was probably the most morphed element of the movie, was what happened to the script.”
If “The A-Team” does well at the box office and Fox green-lights a sequel, both Cooper and Carnahan said fans should look for that original opening to become the first scene of the second movie. “The opening in the script that we read was so fantastic — the original incarnation of the movie — that I hope the second one opens like that,” Cooper said.
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