When writer-director Joe Carnahan's adaptation of the beloved '80s TV show "The A-Team" hit theaters this summer, it seemed poised for blockbuster awesomeness. It had a built-in fanbase, a talented director and a spot-on cast -- Liam Neeson as Hannibal, Bradley Cooper (pictured) as Faceman, UFC fighter Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. and "District 9" star Sharlto Copley as "Howling Mad" Murdock. But for some reason it failed to find a blockbuster-sized auidence.
When Carnahan called up MTV to chat about the movie's release on DVD and Blu-ray (it hit stores December 14), he talked about why he thinks it didn't connect with audiences in theaters, dished on the Blu-ray's extended director's cut and revealed his thoughts on an "A-Team" sequel. He also spilled the beans on his "'Jaws'-like' next film "The Grey," which stars Liam Neeson as the leader of a group of oil drillers being hunted by wolves in the Arctic. Sounds chilling.
MTV: The "A-Team" DVD features a new director's cut -- how does it differ from the theatrical version of the film?
Joe Carnahan: [It's] a really cool, legitimate extended cut of the movie that I'm very, very proud of. We deliberately cut it for the Blu-ray DVD release. We knew that this was not for the theatrical version because it was kind of slowing things down a little bit for the audience. But I'm really happy with the longer cut of the movie. I think it's really good.
MTV: Does the new cut kind of take the film into R-rated territory?
Joe Carnahan: I wouldn't say R-rated, but there's a lot of dick jokes in there that we just couldn't do [in the original], and a lot of great improv stuff that all by its lonesome is fantastic but as part of the larger film doesn't work. We also have Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz from the original series in there — those scenes are in this cut in their entirety.
MTV: Did you watch a lot of old "A-Team" episodes to prepare for the film?
Joe Carnahan: No, I knew what I knew about the original show. But what I wanted to do was put a really good story together because we weren't trying to transpose five seasons of the "A-Team" and take 88 episodes of the show and make a two-hour movie out of them. We were trying to do our own thing. There's a degree to which you can overdo it, and I think that's the greater danger — that now you just have to do what everybody expects the show to be. And I think you're kind of cutting off your balls off at that point.
MTV: When I spoke with Sharlto last week, he expressed interest in doing a sequel. He saw this as the origin story and thought it would be could to do a sequel where the team goes on one of their signature missions to help somebody else. Is that something you're considering?
Joe Carnahan: Yeah, that's kind of what we'd want to do. And keep the fun the same and the tone the same. But it just depends. What I think ultimately happened — because it was kind of a marketing misstep — is that people who should have seen that film in theaters didn't because they thought it was maybe corny or campy or whatever. The people that weren't a fan of the show thought it was corny and stayed away thinking it wouldn't be anything other than that. What it is, though, is a lot different. I think in addition to having really great action in it, it's got this real heart to it. And I'd love to do it again, just to work with those four guys and have that kind of fun. I mean, I had a blast making that movie.
MTV: Maybe you can get them all together to play the oil drillers who crash in "The Grey."
Joe Carnahan: [Laughs] Yeah, it would be like "The A-Team in the Arctic." But I think I'd rather concentrate on getting those guys back together and getting them in costume and back in character and doing something really cool.
MTV: Do you have anything lined up for after "The Grey"?
Joe Carnahan: It's really just that right now. But it's going to be "Killing Pablo" or "White Jazz" next. I'm determined to make both those films my next two pictures. I think it's important, for the time being at least, that I don't get too pigeonholed as, like, I'm only doing action-comedy stuff. You begin to type-cast yourself, and I don't want to do that. "The Grey" couldn't be further from "The A-Team" in every conception. I'm excited about that.
MTV: Is it more of a drama or a thriller or both?
Joe Carnahan: It's more of a drama. It's like an action-drama. It's a hard-R exploration of the male id, I guess [laughs]. That's an encapsulated version of it. Yeah, I'm very proud of it. But listen, it's also kind of a horror film. It's a monster movie — not in a "Cloverfield" sense, though. This is something that has a real basis in reality, and that's what interests me. These guys are pursued by wolves. It's a very straight-forward, traditional kind of "Jaws"-like assault on the moviegoer.
Are you psyched for "The A-Team" on DVD and "The Grey" to hit theaters? Tell us in the comments!