There is a great axiom when it comes to success in Hollywood; a saying that remains true in good times and bad, even at a time when streaming is stepping on the feet of the theater, and that is “talent rules.”
Such a talent is the Russian filmmaker Ilya Naishuller whose action film Universal Nobody it literally turns the genre upside down.
Sure, it had a John wick sensitivity in its script and it’s even written by the creator of that franchise, Derek Kolstad, but when it comes to shots, angles and leads, Nobody shake up the action space in an invigorating way. The headlines of the film, 58 years SNL alum-Mr. Show architect-turned-protagonist, wisenheimer Bob Odenkirk, who sublimely proves here that you’re never too old to be an action star.
‘Nobody’ producers David Leitch and Kelly McCormick on Bob Odenkirk’s action hero Bonafides, Leitch’s evolution from Brad Pitt’s stuntman to his ‘Bullet Train’ director, and Why Aren’t There Oscars for Stuntmen ? Questions and answers
At a time when theaters in Los Angeles and New York are looking to get back on their feet with a new show, it comes Nobody. According to BO figures at noon Nobody is looking for $ 2.4M today with a No. 1 spot for the weekend of $ 6.5 million. It’s a debut that’s already ahead of Liam Neeson’s pandemic national starts for The honest thief ($ 4.1 million) and Shooter ($ 3.1M) (note that the No. 2 Regal chain is still closed until April 1). Already, Nobody he has earned $ 3.5 million from the Middle East and Russia, the homeland of Naishuller.
Naishuller tells us all about it today on Crew Call, from his early love of movies watching pirated tapes in the 1980s, to his days working on set with two Oscar nominations. The mission and Fields of death filmmaker Roland Joffé, to make his first-person action movie Henry Hardcore with the backing and emotional support of Timur Bekmambetov.
Listen below to our intriguing discussion with Naishuller on how to get Nobody off the ground and turn Bob Odenkirk into an action hero:
Henry Hardcore absorbed 3 and a half years of Naishuller’s life, filmed over 123 days, surpassing the production days of even the Russo brothers Captain America: Civil War. The movie, starring Tim Roth and Haley Bennett, was intended to replicate that of a first-person shooter video game, but on the big screen and in a live-action format. STX, as Deadline first told him, bought the movie for $ 10 million in TIFF. Naishuller was always told it would do John wick Box office numbers, but even he knew the novelty of his own movie, and that it would divide audiences. The film opened at $ 5.1 million, fell 72% in its second weekend and ended its US run at $ 9.2 million.
“I did it for the 15-year-old version of myself,” he tells us, “We took something that hadn’t been done before and made it visible.”
“He didn’t do well in theaters, but I know from Twitter how well he (did),” continues the director, “I have people telling me they’ve seen him seven times in theaters. If that’s not a hate it or love it movie, a definition of a cult classic, what is it? “
Naishuller thanks his WME agent Mike Simpson for keeping faith in him afterwards Lasted passed away. Naishuller told his agent that he wanted his next project to star a comedian with a shotgun playing a guy who didn’t have a huge budget, giving him room to be creative. Naishuller was scripted with Associate Bob Odenkirk, 87North Producer and written by Kolstad with a note saying “Ask and you shall receive.”
Naishuller flew to Los Angeles with a 20-page presentation, to introduce himself for the job when the project was stationed at STX. His sensibility was a South Korean thriller by a Russian director with an internally conflicting protagonist. STX stopped making the movie and Naishuller flew back to Russia quite upset.
What Nobody Producer Kelly McCormick told Mike Fleming in his recent interview about Nobody, “They (STX) let us get it out. We were doing our deal at Universal, and I sent it to Peter Cramer, who read it in a week and said, there’s something here, how soon can we go? In fact, he wanted us to go into production sooner than we could. “
It was then that Naishuller received a phone call from McCormick with the good news. It ended up delivering the film below cost and ahead of its 34-day scheduled date.
In regards to seeing the movie released at a crucial time during the pandemic when theaters are coming to life, Naishuller says he was “delighted” every time he heard that. Nobody it was set for a theatrical release and was not sold to a streamer.
“I learned a while ago that my job is to make the best damn movie with what I have, and people who are in marketing, that’s their specialty,” says the director.
The fact that Universal gave Nobody a theatrical release, and paid for a trailer during the Super Bowl, speaks volumes to Naishuller about his faith in the film. The image is currently 80% Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics aren’t always fans of action movies.
Naishuller is often asked how he has weathered the pandemic.
“I’m going to keep my mouth shut because I have nothing to complain about,” says the filmmaker, “I feel bad for feeling good.”