‘The A-Team’ Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson lead gun-loving soldiers of fortune out to prove their innocence.

“The A-Team” left the NBC airwaves in March 1987. In the ensuing 23 years, all we’ve had were reruns and the memory of Hannibal whispering, “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Now those bomb-exploding, chopper-crashing, gun-loving soldiers of fortune are back, as “The A-Team” arrives in theaters on Friday (June 11). If you missed ‘em or if you never even knew ‘em, it’s time to meet the crew: Liam Neeson as cigar-chomping leader Hannibal; Bradley Cooper as smooth-talking Face; Sharlto Copley as loony Murdock; and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as milk-drinking, ass-kicking B.A. Baracus.

Special Forces soldiers wrongly convicted of war crimes, the four men band together to prove their innocence — and blow up a crapload of stuff in the process. The movie is, in a word, loud. It’s also a ton of fun, and MTV News wants you to enjoy the experience to the fullest. That’s why we’ve been following this project since its inception. Now, we present to you another edition of our big-screen cheat sheet: everything you need to know about “The A-Team.”

The Plan Begins To Come Together
After years of false starts, in January 2009, Joe Carnahan (“Smoking Aces”) signed on to direct the adaptation, with Ridley and Tony Scott coming aboard as producers. By June of that year, Cooper and Neeson had joined up, followed in August by Rampage. Copley and Jessica Biel, who plays the hard-nosed government agent going after the Team, inked deals in September.

Filming on “The A-Team” kicked off in the fall, and the first photo of the guys on set popped up shortly thereafter. Days later, the world got its first peek at Rampage as Baracus, taking over the role made famous by Mr. T.

Before she headed off to shoot, Biel spoke with MTV News about tackling the classic “A-Team” material. “I think it will be a little bit similar here and there, but we really have our own tone going on,” she said. “It’s a little bit less campy than the actual show and a little bit more serious action and fighting sequences but still with lots of humor. Lots and lots of humor.”

The Team Lights It Up
The first official glimpse of the new A-Team arrived in January 2010, when the trailer dropped online. It gave us a brief intro to the crew — and revived the pleasant sounds of the show’s familiar theme song. The studio, Fox, followed up that trailer with a slew of photos: explosions, guns and close looks at all of the characters.

The following month, we were treated to introductions by video to members of the Team — Hannibal. Face and Biel’s Sosa. A second and final trailer was released in April, giving us more of everything we’ve come to expect from “The A-Team”: weapons, tough talk and mayhem.

The New Crew Rolls Out

Cooper, Biel, Neeson and the rest of the cast hit the red carpet last week for the Los Angeles premiere of their movie, where MTV News’ official Coca-Cola Movie Awards Insider was on hand to take in the action.

Then over the weekend, we chatted with the cast once again. Cooper revealed that once they started shooting, the script basically got thrown out the window. “The script was fantastic actually,” he 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.”

Script or not, Carnahan and his team have got big plans for a sequel if it turns out the first one resonates with audiences more than two decades after the TV series went off the air. Those plans include the possibility of Mr. T re-entering the “A-Team” world.

“My thing with T was, I brought him down to the editorial and showed him a lot of the film, and he loved it and laughed and was very supportive and seemed to really dig Rampage in that role,” Carnahan said. “I thought, where T is concerned, if there’s ever going to be a cameo, you don’t burn your powder. I think that’s a guy you save potentially for something bigger.”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The A-Team.”

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