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Shoot 'Em up

Hunter Rider

Staff member
Oct 24, 2004
Reaction score
March 03, 2005 - New Line has acquired Michael Davis' action script Shoot 'Em Up in a six-figure deal. Davis, a storyboard artist and Slamdance winner for his film Eight Days a Week, will also direct for Iron Man producer Don Murphy and his Angry Films banner. Filming is slated to commence in September with casting to begin soon.

Variety describes Shoot 'Em Up as "a violent action pic in the vein of a John Woo movie about a mysterious man protecting a newborn baby from criminals out to kill it. Set pieces include a shootout during a sex scene and another in the midst of a freefall."

"It's literally all the cool things you can do with a shootout," said Davis who reportedly "created a 17-minute hand-drawn animation that helped sell the project" to studio brass. Davis and Murphy went to USC film school together.

Hollywood Elsewhere has a great rundown on Davis' background and on the script, which columnist Jeff Wells has read.

not sure whether this will be cool fun or just tacky crap
The line this movie treads will be very thin...
Shoot out in a sex scene...? Maybe, just maybe, it'll be a cool action film.
Small Update

Hey folks, Harry here... Recently I read an article over at Jeffrey Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere that got my brain drooling. First off... There's this story about this mid-forties Michael Davis bloke, who just landed a film at New Line off of a 17 minute personally drawn animated pitch for his live-action screenplay. Apparently this thing was kinetic and cool as all hell - and got Bob Shaye excited enough to put the film into high speed over at New Line.

I remembered the Variety story which essentially was just something about it being the ultimate gunplay flick. At the time I thought... riiiiiight... I'd never heard of this Michael Davis, well, not entirely true, I'd seen EIGHT DAYS A WEEK which was pretty cool. But that was, by no means, an action spectacular. But there was a giddy excitement at the way Jeffrey Wells wrote about the story that made me think he giggled all the way through the 17 minute pre-vis pitch made me get excited. I mean - Jeffery Wells giggling is a glorious thing!

So I realized I had to see this insane 17 minute video. So I began calling, IM-ing and doing my best googly-eyes and hang-dog expression to cute-ify myself a tape. Just got it yesterday. HOLY **** THIS ROCKS!

Now - I haven't seen the script yet, but any film that has the live-action representation of the 17 animated minutes on this tape... It'd pretty much blow your mind. The tape I got was actually about 35 minutes or so - but some of the animation is re-presented in different formats. The first thing that plays is this essentially a teaser - high octane pitch reel. On Wells' story you'll see frame grabs from it like "THIS IS JOHN WOO'S WET DREAM!" - This section, while awesome as hell - the phrases that pop up from time to time are pretty eye-rolling. I mean, this isn't John Woo's wet dream - John Woo's wet dream is probably a cool as hell musical directed by him, there's a fairly major part of John Woo that wants to leave that balletic action style behind him. I know, I wish he'd just go balls to the wall again too. Personally - I'd love for Woo to go back to Hong Kong and make one last HOLY **** flick, to remind Hollywood what an unfettered John Woo can do.

That wet-dream aside... it'll never happen. But what is the story regarding SHOOT'EM UP? This reel shows about 9 major gun-centric action set pieces that are incredible. This reel isn't about character development, it feels more like a male AEON FLUX action piece done in a Don Herzfeldt-like line drawn - but more detailed than pure stick figures. What commences?

Well my first reaction was - HOLY **** THIS IS COOL!!! Next I realized that all of the action was completely possible, yet wildly inventive. Next I thought - The MPAA would have a field day with this. Then I watched it again... and watching it I realized that the tone of what was happening was so fanciful, that I think everything save the gunfight-love scene (which is just... god I hope they can film that!) should get through.

You remember those BMW / Clive Owen short films that kicked unholy ass online? This reel feels like those times 10. It feels like a mixture of that and the Matt Damon "BOURNE" films, John Woo's HARDBOILED and lastly Tom Tykwer's RUN LOLA RUN. From watching this reel - I'm dying to get my hands on the script now. IF this is handled right this could be the best and most fun action we've seen in a film in quite some time. I mean... how the umbilical cord is cut... EWWWWWWW - OUCH! We'll have to keep our eyes and ears wide and open regarding this project. It reeks of coolness!
AICN’s Exclusive Interview With The Director Of SHOOT ‘EM UP!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

If you don’t know what SHOOT ‘EM UP is yet, don’t worry... you will. This sounds like it’s going to be big sick fun, and I’m pleased that we’ve got an interview with the director of the film right now, before the film begins. It’ll be fun to look back at later.

Take it away, Tequila Mockingbird...

It’s a great time to be a discerning action fan. We’re long past the days of macho body builders simply blowing **** up. Peter Berg did a brilliant remix of the staple ‘80s action films with THE RUNDOWN, which is to COMMANDO what Godard’s BREATHLESS is to THE MALTESE FALCON. In spite of this, as with any genre, there’s a need to move forward, a need to break new ground. Wes Anderson kicked ass and took several names with BILL MURRAY VS. PIRATES. (Oddly enough, several venues mislabeled the film as THE LIFE AQUATIC). Anderson’s style was so fun, unique, and kinetic that you really hope Scott Rudin and Touchstone have the balls to finish the trilogy. We need BILLY MURRAY VS. NINJAS and BILL MURRAY VS. THE INTERNATIONAL CRIME LEAGUE.

As if that wasn’t enough, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY turned the genre up to 11. Any film where Elijah Wood plays a kung fu cannibal, complete with a Charlie Brown sweater, is guaranteed to melt your face off. They even included a brilliant homage to the classic scene in Truffaut’s SMALL CHANGE, with Clive Owen’s Dwight recreating the plummet from the window. We’ve come a long way from the films of Lord Joel Silver and Senor Bruckheimer, which rock in their own respective ways, but we’re slowly reaching a point where the seeming rules related to the genre are disappearing, and we’ve found a place for blazingly original approaches like gunkata.

New Line Cinema is poised to create a new benchmark with two new films. Keep in mind, this is the studio that brought us SURF NINJAS (which is in dire need of a remake, Sony could fund the entire thing through product placement, just swap the Game Gear for a PSP) and THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (which would probably make 80-100 million if we digitally replaced Geena Davis with Cameron Diaz and re-released it), so they already know a thing or two about shaking things up.

First we get DOMINO, from the best and craziest script ever to make it through the studio system (technicality: does Hadida count as the studio system?). When your film includes the cast of Beverly Hills 90210 playing themselves, a heartfelt plea to legitimize the term “blacktino,” shady frat boys, God in heaven flipping a coin to determine the fate of the characters, Mickey Rourke, and Tom Waits as The Wanderer… you’re on a Kaufman level of lunacy few films reach. To top it off, Tony Scott 3.0 is at the helm. This is the new and improved version of our beloved rock star director, inspired-by-CITY OF GOD, seizure-inducing, and James-Brown-lovin’. Few people have any idea how ****ing insane it’s going to be, and Harry’s not lapsing into hyperbole with his hard core, enthusiastic endorsement. You’ll see the film ten times and pre-order the DVD.

Which brings us to the topic at hand, Michael Davis’ SHOOT ‘EM UP. Now, I’m sure you’re all aware of Michael Davis, and a fan of most of his movies. Moonbeam Entertainment, the premiere specialty house of quality family films, put out a few of his direct to video films during the mid ‘90s. I first noticed the name, purely by accident, when I watched 100 GIRLS in college. One day, while a little drunk and stoned most likely, I walked into a friend’s dorm as the movie was starting. He had no idea what the movie was, and he was just looking for a typical college/teen sex comedy. What we found didn’t cure cancer, and it wasn’t as great as CAN’T HARDLY WAIT, the closest thing our generation got to John Hughes, but it was a really FUN movie. He clearly had a voice, and it wasn’t hampered by the low budget origins or the trappings of the dreaded “direct to DVD” nature of it all.

Fast forward to 2005, and suddenly Davis is the hot man around town. He wrote a kickass script, and came up with a truly kickass way to gain the attention of the powers that be. His hard work paid off, and he’s on the verge of being a really huge director, a class act more than willing to **** **** up.

For those not “in the know” what is SHOOT ‘EM UP, and how did the project come together?

DAVIS: SHOOT ‘EM UP starts literally in the middle of a gun battle where the hero, Mr. Smith, is delivering a baby in the middle of a gunfight. The mom dies but the infant lives. He thinks the assassins were after the mother, but he soon discovers the baby is the target. Mr. Smith must uncover the reason why this newborn is the target to save the kid's life and his own. Mr. Smith is the angriest man in the world and is the worst person in the world to take care of the kid. He is near homeless. He takes the baby to a prostitute that services men with a lactation/mommy fetish. He calls her DQ, short for Dairy Queen. She’s the perfect heroine to help him.

The three form a makeshift family while on the run ands under fire. Every possible cool thing you can do with a shoot out is explore in this relentless- RUN-LOLA-RUN with a gun-like story. It also has a strong anti-establishment angle that I like. It combines influences of the Hollywood action film and American indie films, along with a big dose of world cinema, mainly the Hong Kong action films.

How did it come to be? Most people know my work from the romantic comedies I wrote and directed, EIGHT DAYS A WEEK, 100 GIRLS, and 100 WOMEN....and most recently MONSTER MAN which at least takes me closer to the action genre. I've been dying to make a movie like this my whole life...ever since I saw Jonny Quest and then in sixth grade, I read all of the James Bond novels in six months. In seventh and eight grade, I wrote my own 007 novels entitled MASQUERADE OF DEATH and SPEARHEAD -- each 100 pages typed. Then RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK showed me something that could be better than Bond.

The film business is hard and fickle. I wanted to write and direct. After BEANSTALK, I got fed up with the studio shuffle and rounded up 200k to make EIGHT DAYS A WEEK. It turned out great...but in this town, people like to pigeonhole you, and it's easier to get movies made in a genre you've had success in...hence 100 GIRLS and 100 WOMEN.

Prior to EIGHT DAYS, I had been a storyboard artist for John McTiernan, Ron Underwood, Les Mayfield. I worked on Ninja Turtles and Pee Wee's playhouse...I got to explore lots of visual cleverness on paper....much didn't end up on screen, but it helped , helped focus my desire to do clever action. I saw John Woo's HARDBOILED and THE KILLER and flipped out. It had this non-stop insane dance of violence. I don't remember the moment, but I thought the image of Chow-Yun Fat with a baby could be an idea for a whole movie.

It took me awhile to come up with a plot that revolved around the baby being the target. I also was embittered by some experiences in Hollywood that had literally made me the angriest man in the world. I infused this feeling into the Mr. Smith character. In 1989, I wrote a script about Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher, this liberated my writing into becoming more sexually frank. I would never have written the lactating ****e heroine for this script if I hadn't been influenced by my research on Kinsey.

I tried setting the film up as a big indie film with no luck. Finally, I gave it to Don Murphy of Angry Films. Don and I knew each other from USC Film School. We had kept up. I thought Don would get it since he had done NATURAL BORN KILLERS and LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Don has become my personal messiah. He's changed my life. He flipped for the script. He saw the animation and knew it would be a great sales tool to sell the project. He got it to Jeff Katz at New Line. Jeff is this amazing guy who will run a studio or be a huge producer one day...Jeff kept the project alive when a senior executive passed and took it to Cale Boyter...Cale shared Jeff's vision. They both loved it and waited for the right to time to bring it to Toby Emmerich. Whatever they did, along with Don, they got Toby excited. Toby is also a screenwriter, he wrote FREQUENCY, which I love. It's been a dream come true.

After struggling in the indie world and going broke, I finally have a shot. I feel almost embarrassed at the attention the project has received. I haven't done anything yet. I still have to make a great movie. Hopefully I will. I've got a lot of great people around me.

AICN: Again, for those out of the loop, what was the animation? What made you decide to pitch the film in this manner? How long did it take you to put it together?

DAVIS: I created 17 minutes of animation that is a shot for shot creation of how intended to shot and edit the film. It's like watching the movie but it is drawn. It is not just a great selling tool to show my vision, but it is great way to plan the shoot. Every department knows exactly what the final product should look like.

Also, since it took 17,000 drawings to complete, it also showed my passion and dedication and work ethic towards the project. I created the animation using iMovie on my Macintosh G4...I initially scanned in my drawings and saved them as pict files and then imported the picts into iMovie. I simply selected the number of frames hold for the drawing and instant animation. Later, because it takes the scanner so long to scan each drawing...I bought a Wacom tablet which allowed me to draw directly on screen. Saving the files was a matter of seconds...no tedious scanning involved.

I initially didn't plan on using the animation as a selling tool. I was just hobbying around on my computer. I started animating and it was a rush...it satisfied some of my hunger to make a film in between my feature work. I had so much fun that I just kept going, maybe three hours a night for six months.

AICN: What is the pre-production process like for this movie? What does it entail? How does it differ from the other films you've worked on?

DAVIS: Well, we're not officially in pre-production, but I am working on the project any way. I am meeting with actors... working with a great line producer to get the budget done. I've done screen grabs of my animation so I have traditional drawn storyboards on paper. My friend Joe Grossberg, a visual FX producer, is helping plan the CGI elements of the picture, he even did a cool test of face replacements so I can make it look like the baby is in the middle of the gun battles.

Pre-production is the same as the other films as I like to storyboard out the entire film. Often, I'll board a scene three different ways until I am satisfied, just as you rewrite a script - this is a way to rewrite the visuals - explore all of the possibilities of imagery. Most movies, the director is so crazy, he gets someone else to board the movie - often with only marginal input from the director - and the film really isn’t the true vision in his head. Also, by drawing and drawing the movie - it is my way of rehearsing - it helps me memorize the movie in my head - so I don't need to refer to my drawings as much.

The differences are simple. I will get more help. Hopefully, on some scenes, I will get a board artist to clean up my messy sketches. The last movie I found all the locations myself because the location scout was not good. There is going to be more time to plan. My producers are even more supportive than I have ever had before. The studio and I are in total synch. The actors I want to cast are their first choices too. The studio is going after them aggressively. It's great. As I said, it’s a dream come true.

AICN: For the final question, (aside from "never give up, never surrender") what advice do you have for any aspiring filmmakers out there?

DAVIS: My advice is to write and write. Read material that is good... don't read average scripts... they'll poison your own writing. Write with your own voice. Write something that speaks to you - something you feel compelled to write - and it will speak to others and be compelling to others. This doesn't mean you have to write a "personal story." SHOOT ‘EM UP is as genre specific as it gets... but the way I gave it my voice is this: I channeled all my anger at struggling in the film business into the character of Mr. Smith. I made him the angriest man in the world - he became a mouth piece for my angers at the world and the fates. In this way, I was able to write something very commercial - but at the same time, there was part of me invested in it. Also, aim high. Someone once said to me, "try to start out where you want to end up." I like this piece of advice better than this one, "you got to give head to get ahead."


Clive Owen Ready To Shoot-Em-Up

Brit actor will star in what could be the ultimate action movie
14 June 2005
Now that the double whammy of Closer and Sin City have made most people forget that King Arthur even existed, Clive Owen has been busily heading inexorably towards the Hollywood A-list – a fact confirmed by news that he is in talks to play the lead in Shoot-Em-Up, the hottest action script in Tinseltown.

The movie, to be written and directed by Michael Davis, has been hailed as the ultimate action movie, a pure distillation of the conventions of the genre into one explosive whole. Mainly influenced by Hong Kong action movies, the movie is about a mysterious man protecting a newborn baby from a gang of hitmen.

Davis, a who’s been scratching around in the low-budget arena for a while – his last film, the gore-filled monster truck horror flick, Monster Man, got a theatrical release here a short while ago - touted Shoot-Em-Up around Hollywood, along with his old friend, producer Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers, Transformers), with whom he attended USC Film School.

Studios apparently went crazy for the script, which features around nine pumped-up action sequences including a gunfight during a sex scene and another during a freefall, but only New Line were willing to risk the deal: buy the script on the proviso that Davis directs.

The decision was made somewhat easier by a presentation Davis and Murphy made, in which the former compiled a 17-minute tape of hand-drawn storyboards of the film’s action scenes (some of which were prefixed with the title card, ‘THIS IS JOHN WOO’S WET DREAM’). That – and the sheer giddy nature of the script – was enough to start an A-list frenzy for the lead role. It says a lot about Owen’s new status, following his Oscar nom for Closer and his hardboiled turn in Sin City, that he’s beaten off the competition to bag it. Well, actually he’s in final talks for a pay-or-play deal (short version: even if the film falls apart, he gets paid), but we’d be amazed if it didn’t happen now.

From everything we’ve heard about Shoot-Em-Up, including Davis’ sensibilities (he’s a huge fan of Evil Dead 2, which guarantees him a free pass round Empire Towers), this could be something truly special, if handled right. The movie is scheduled to start shooting early next year for a possible Autumn release. Needless to say, we’ll keep you posted.

Giamatti And Bellucci Aim For Shoot 'Em Up

Paul's the baddie, Monica's the mum
19 August 2005
In June, we brought you news that Clive Owen had signed on for Shoot 'Em Up, an action movie of jet fuel octane proportions, of which certain sequences have already been dubbed "John Woo's wet dream" by its creators. More great news today is that the cast is to be further populated by people who can really, really act. Amazing, eh? Who'da thunk it?

Word is, from extremely reliable sources, that Monica Bellucci is in negotiations to play a pregnant woman who gives birth – you guessed it – during a bullet ballet. She entrusts the wellbeing of the child to Clive Owen's character, who must fend off an army of very bad dudes and keep the kid alive.

The man calling the shots for the team wearing black will be Paul Giamatti. Yep, the nuggety little bloke who blew us away yet again with his work in Sideways is set to be the master villain, who would like to snuff out the infant.

Now, when you think people with enormous acting chops as villains in action movies, the first thing you think of is Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard - at least you should do. If the character’s right and it works on the day, this is going to be special.

Could this be Hollywood’s Hard Boiled? Actually, we’re hoping, if it's got good, well developed characters in it, it'll be better. We already know that studios were falling over themselves to fund the script’s high action quotient, but if acting talent like the likes of these guys (and gal) are getting on board, then the sky’s the limit. Here's hoping that screenwriter / director Michael Davis can keep control of the beast. For the meantime, we'll keep keeping a very close eye on this one.

Burrito Has Seen Shoot 'Em Up!
Date: September 14, 2006

By: El Mayimbe
Source: 8 inch Burrito

Yo! El Mayimbe here with a report from our new Latino spy "8 inch Burrito" lol (great name) who was in attendance at last night's first ever test screening of SHOOT 'EM UP!
We bought you the script review, now here is another first with his thoughts on the film...
Just got back from The Bridge at Howard Hughes Center here in Los Angeles. I was intrigued to see "Shoot ‘Em Up" after reading your script review and seeing the animatics. I mean, a movie about killing mother****ers, with Clive Owen and hot piece of ass Monica Bellucci who wouldn’t want to see that?
Like the script, the movie opens with a non-stop shootout scene as a woman is delivering a baby. "Shoot ‘Em Up" is true to its title and I can think of no better studio than New Line, the same studio that brought you "Snakes on a Plane," to distribute this hardcore assemblage. "Shoot ‘Em Up" delivers on its promise and we literally get an uncountable body and bullet count. They’ve got cajones for putting this out because it ain’t PC friendly and I’m very happy to see a return to see some real violence in movies.
While I enjoyed "Punisher," "Kill Bill," "Man on Fire," I’m tired of all those kill ‘em up revenge movies. "Shoot ‘Em Up" is completely different. It’s about a man who’s mysteriously forced to protect an innocent baby as all these crazies are trying to kill him and the little boy. He’s doesn’t know why they want to kill this kid but as the story moves along, we learn why.
I won’t ruin it with details but…
The sex scene is one of the hottest sex scenes ever. **** Basic Instinct or 9 ½ Weeks. Guns and sex…what else do you need to get you off? Clive Owen has bagged some of the hottest women in Hollywood on screen, but Monica Belluci is a goddess, and by far, the most beautiful and sensual woman on this planet. I would give a handjob to ugly ass film critics on other LAME film geek websites for a piece of that Monica Belluci ass for 5 minutes.
Let me tell you, some of the ways those bad guys get ghost’d is completely original. Me and the audience were like, “Holy ****! No ****ing way!” The riveting action sequences also keep you very engaged. You will finish that extra large popcorn and soda halfway through the movie and you’ll think you want to pee your pants from it, but it’s really the suspense that’s doing it to you. I was sweating like a Mexican at a car wash from getting so nervous.
As for the actors, Paul Giametti is the perfect choice as the man orchestrating the hit on the baby and the hero. Monica Belluci does a phenomenal job of just being her hot self and playing a maternal hooker. Let’s just say she even sucks cock and has her **** sucked to help the baby, trust me, it’s disturbing and cute at the same time. Clive Owen delivers a strong performance and is believable as a hero. The audience believes he’s a tough mother****er.
If you are looking for some realism, go **** yourself and watch some bull**** romantic comedy, maybe you will meet the love of your life on MySpace. But if you are coming to see some good actors take a different role, some nice T&A, some hardcore violence and want to have a good time, Shoot ‘Em Up is the movie for you.
Dumb self-aware title and I hate Don Murphy, BUT project sounds interesting.
what a wannabe tough guy is that reviewer...

Anyway movie sounds fun.
How is he a wannabe tough guy? :confused:

Anyway, i'll never miss a movie where Monica Bellucci sucks cock. I'm so in.
Shootout in the middle of sex had me sold. :dry: Sounds incredible, where's a trailer?
The guy reviewing sounds kind of obnoxious but the film seems like it's gonna be a surreal action fiesta which should be fun :up:
I really hope it's filmed slick. A lot of weaving in and out. Sort of like Running Scared's opening. That'd make it the number one movie in my top 10.

Exclusive Set Visit Part 1: Shoot 'Em Up!
Date: September 18, 2006

By: Kellvin Chavez
Source: Latino Review

Back in March I had the opportunity to visit the Toronto set of "SHOOT ‘EM UP," a city that has that cosmopolitan feel and look. A very nice city. Now this wasn’t your ordinary set visit where the studio chooses you to you spend a few hours with the talent, along with a bunch of other online/print outlets. Although, that’s fun at times, in the end everyone ends up with the same stuff. What was great about this set visit is that the producers and the director invited me personally. I didn’t only spend a few hours on set; it was more like a few days. Although there was another site on set during my visit, but I heard they were onset just a few hours and we never crossed paths. Immediately after checking into my Toronto hotel, I got a call from producer Don Murphy telling me that a driver was picking me up to take me to the set. I didn’t even have a chance to take a freaking leak.
It was day 28 of the 55-day shoot. We approached 74 Dundas St E where an exterior set of a Korean grocery store was built. There was Clive Owen, standing next to a phone booth. Don Murphy, Susan Montford and Director Michael Davis greeted me. I sat with them by the monitors, checking out the scene being shot. I couldn’t help noticing a can of fruit on top of the monitors. The can read COCK MANGO, which you can see here with posing with producer Don Murphy. A moment later Clive Owen came by to say hi. I met Clive a week before at the New York junket for INSIDE MAN. At that junket, I mentioned to Clive that I might be visiting the Toronto set a few days later, so he said its was good that I did get the chance to make it up.
Back to the scene. Director Michael Davis yells out, “Cut. Do it again!” Michael turns to me and shares something interesting. He mentions that one of the reasons Clive Owen took the part of Mr. Smith was because anamatics he saw, which you can view by clicking HERE.
Davis and I chatted a bit more about the movie. “This film is an American John Woo action movie about the angriest man in the world who’s stuck with a baby in a life-threatening situation.” Davis, who wrote the original screenplay added, “What I find very interesting is that it’s about all the imaginative and clever thing you can do with a gun fight.”
Before I get more into the scene, let’s recap the “SHOOT ‘EM UP” story. The film follows a lonely outsider, Mr. Smith, living in the shadows of his tragic past who rescues a baby from certain death and finds himself embroiled in a nefarious government plot. En route, he “hooks up” with a prostitute who specializes in lactation fantasies who helps Mr. Smith feed and care for the orphan baby. Together they take on trigger-happy gangster-politicians. In a cinematic homage to Serge Leone, John Woo and Jean Pierre Melville shoot ‘em up’s, they bring down the Government, saving the day. Along the way, through all the wreckage, they find they’ve accidentally created a fractured, yet functioning family.
Clive Owen portrays the homeless character Mr. Smith. He’s got a short fuse, but his ingenuity and gun skills help keep his makeshift family alive while on the run. The beautiful Monica Bellucci plays the prostitute who helps care for the baby and whose life is threatened by mystery assailants. Paul Giamatti's character goads the endless henchmen into relentlessly pursuing the trio with the intent to kill.
As I mentioned before, the scene was taking place in front of a Korean grocery store. Clive Owen’s character Smith is talking to Secret Service agents about the baby on a pay phone.
Clive talks into the pay phone, “Hello information. Washington D.C. The number for the Secret Service.”
Clive starts to chew on a carrot that he pulled out of a pile in front of the grocery store.
Now connected to the Secret Service, Clive says, “I don’t know how you can direct my call, but tell whoever is protecting Senator Rutledge that there’s a man with a baby calling.”
Enter irate Korean grocer yelling at Clive, demanding payment for the carrot. Clive tells the grocer not worry and pays for it.
Clive is connected to the Lone Man, played by Greg Bryk. “Nice job covering up your baby hatchery downtown. Not a word about it in the news. Not even a blog on it. Only you guys in Washington have that kind pull. So, can you fix it for me to see the Senator?”
Greg Bryk is behind the camera, reading the Lone Man’s lines. He tells Clive, “He’s leaving for North Carolina. The primary is in three days. You can fly with him. Runway seven in two hours.”
Clive response, “I see anything I don’t like, I’m blowing this party big time.”
Clive hangs up. Director Michael Davis likes what he sees and wraps it up.
We then took an hour break so the crew can set up the next shot, which is to take place in the dead end of an alley on 104 Bond Street. The crew built a fake wall about 15 feet high with a 30 foot Technocrane Motocam on the other side of the fake wall. Just a bit after 11pm, the crew was ready for the next two scenes, which were both being shot here.
I was given a headset to cover up the gunfire from the next scene. The scene had no dialogue. It was Clive unloading a barrage of bullets into the fake 15-foot wall. They did two takes and on to the next scene, which had a bit of dialogue.
Clive kicks open a building door and dashes around a corner into the alley. The Lone Man (Greg Bryk) and a half-dozen of his crew are charging down the alley. Greg yells, “Stop Smith! We’re on the same side!”
Clive doesn’t stop. He just turns left into the alley, which leads to the same 15 foot brick wall. It looks like he’s trapped.
Greg yells, “Don’t make me shoot you!”
Clive doesn’t break stride, dashing towards the dead end wall. He fires his gun at the brick wall, with every shot, aiming higher and higher.
They run the scene again but this time with Clive attached to wires. Now as he runs toward the wall firing, he uses the divots he shot out of the wall as toe holds to scale the wall.
The scene is shot a few more times. It’s now around 1am and there is enough of a break in the action to where I can have a little chat with director Michael Davis and Clive Owen.
Click HERE to read my on set interview with Director Michael Davis.
Check back later for my on set interview with Clive Owen.
Stay tuned for my second day report on Shoot ‘Em Up!
Exclusive Set Interview: Davis Talks Shoot 'Em Up!
Date: September 18, 2006

By: Kellvin Chavez
Source: Latino Review

Director Michael Davis wrote the screenplay for "Shoot 'Em Up," the sixth feature film he?s both written and directed. An accomplished illustrator, he personally storyboards his films entirely. Davis recently made the horror thriller "Monster Man," which premiered at the Sitges Sci-Fi film festival in Spain and was released by Lionsgate in the United States. I suppose one of the reasons I was invited to the set of "Shoot 'Em Up" was due to El Mayimbe's script review and the animatics we posted. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I get a lot of ****? I'll re-phrase that, I GET LOTS OF BULL**** because of El Mayimbe and his script reviews. Certain studios have titty-fits about. That's why I have to hand it to Jeff Katz over at New Line Cinema for his support in embracing the power of the Internet!
Michael Davis was also a good sport about the whole thing. I had a chance to talk to him while on the set of his upcoming, what I'll call, romantic action movie SHOOT 'EM UP. We spoke about how the film came about and how, if all goes well, we might see a new franchise character.
Here is what director Michael Davis had to say:
Latino Review: How did this movie come about?
Davis: It came about because I was a big fan of the John Woo movies. 'Hard Boiled.' When I was a kid growing up I was a big 'James Bond' fan and I ended up writing my own 'James Bond' novels when I was in sixth grade. One was called 'Masquerade of Death' and the other one was called 'Spear Head.' So I've been dreaming about doing an action movie my whole life, and when I was saw 'Hard Boiled' and I saw the scene with Chow Yun-Fat and the baby in the hospital I thought that there was a bigger idea that could sustain a whole movie. You take the most hard boiled hero and stick it with the most innocent thing in the world. I thought that was a great idea, and then I had this idea of a gun fight while in the middle of a baby delivery, and I said, 'Wow. That's a great idea. Now lets just bring it together with all of the cool things that you would do with a gunfight.' I'm more interested in doing things like that because I'm tired of seeing big, gigantic buildings blow up or big car explosions or whatever. I'm more interested in sort of making the action more intimate. When you're in the heroes head or something and it's like, 'Oh, ****, I'm stuck. How am I going to get out of this bad situation?!' 'Oh, cool! That's how he does it.' I'm more interested in the traveling, would be hero rather than the big spectacle background. It's what he does. It's like tonight you're here and he's cornered in the dead end alley and ends up shooting out the wall and starts to climb up the holes in the wall or just trying to have the hero use his mental power as much as his physical powers to get out of situations, and so that's sort of how the idea evolved. It was all the cool things that you could do with a gunfight without making it go so gigantic that it would overwhelm the hero.
Latino Review: It seems like Mr. Smith, Clive's [Owen] character, makes Bond look like a wuss.
Davis: Well, added something to the script that you read. Should I give away the joke? You can decide. At the very beginning at the movie when he's delivering the baby during the gunfight his gun jams and it's a Walther PPK and he goes, 'Piece of crap!' [Laughs] But we have talked about during the prepping of this movie him being very much an anti-Bond in that James Bond lives in this jet setting world where everything is glamorous and he has a lot of support and money and gadgets. Mr. Smith is the opposite. He's homeless. He has no gadgets. The only thing that helps him get out of situations is his pet rat and sometimes this carrot that he munches on to keep his eyesight good. So he's derelict. Bond is in a jet setting world. It's the anti-Bond or we like to call him a blue collar Bond.
Latino Review: I was reading the script, the early one, and it had a sort of gun control element to it because of the Senator. How do you satisfy people when there is so much violence in the film?
Davis: Well, I don't want to give away that. You have to decide how you're going to use the information because it gives away some of the plot points, but in general the movie is supposed to be about entertainment, and everything that I like when I write scripts should support the concept of the movie. If the movie is all about guns there might be an issue about the gun industry or it has a baby in it, and who would be the perfect heroin in it? A lactating ****e who can actually feed the baby. So it's more actually about making all the different elements – the characters, the settings, whatever – support the high concept. I don't like movies that just become random. So since it's a guy with a baby, a lactating ****e as the heroin, because the movie is about gun fighting there is the issue of – you know what I'm saying.
Latino Review: What makes Paul Giamatti a good villain?
Davis: Oh, let see –
Latino Review: And how did he come to get cast in the film?
Davis: Well, you know what, I decided to cast Paul Giamatti to go against type and the thing that I've been really impressed by is that he's scary and he's creepy and I just wanted something that was fresher. Everything in the movie is so exuberant whether it's the opening right with the baby delivery and the gunfight – the action is great. Mr. Smith is this great hard boiled guy and so the villain has to be as good as Mr. Smith and I needed a great actor, and actually Jeff Katz at New Line who is one of the executives who really got the ball going, he said, 'How about Paul Giamatti?' I hadn't thought about that, and he started going, 'Paul. You should go with Paul.' I started thinking about it and I warmed up to the idea and I thought, 'You know what, this is way more interesting than if I could have any other heavy in the world.' And he has brought something to it and he's made me better because I rewrote the part once I cast him. So he actually made the script better because - well, hey, if you're going to have Paul Giamatti the writing needs to be better.
Latino Review: And is it a dream come true with Clive as Mr. Smith?
Davis: Oh yeah, it's beyond a dream come true. I wrote the script seven years ago and I finished it the summer that Colombine High happened. So I couldn't do anything with it and during that time I saw 'Croupier' and I thought, 'Man, this guy would be fantastic as an action hero.' He's handsome. He's tough. Women love him. Guys love him. And then I saw him in the BMW shorts and you just go, 'Wow. Straight up.' This film definitely has a similarity to that character that he had in those BMW films, but I was making all of these super low budget movies and there was one point when people were contemplating making 'Shoot 'Em Up' like a $5 million movie and scaling it back. That's sort of the world that I was in, and at a certain point, you know, when you struggle through your career you get tired of being angry and saying, 'Hey, why am I not a big shot director? I should just be happy that I'm getting to write and direct movies anyway in my own voice.' So you get into this headspace that says, 'I'm just lucky to be here.' So when we were contemplating making the movie for like $5 million I was saying, 'You know what, I'm never going to get this guy. It's going to be a smaller movie. He's my dream actor.' But then when the whole thing exploded and New Line loved it and the town loved it, they said, 'Who do you want as Mr. Smith?' I said, 'Clive Owen. He'd be fantastic.' And fortunately that was the studio's first choice, and fortunately he had decided not to do 'The Poseidon Adventure' which was going to be a conflict, a scheduling conflict with us and then he responded to the script. He responded to the script and responded to the animation. He could see the movie. We met and we hit it off and I have to tell you that he is the greatest guy in the world. I mean, he's very easy to work with. He has great ideas. When he wants to change a line or change something in the script it always makes it better.
Latino Review: How much adlibbing is in the script with those jokes?
Davis: Not too much adlibbing, but we have altered some of the lines based on some of our rehearsals and some of our meetings and sometimes he comes in and says, 'You know, I think that it can be stronger if Mr. Smith says it shorter.' So basically, in some ways he's working as an editor of my dialogue. He says, 'If it's this way it's stronger and less verbose.' And he's a great collaborator. I would love, love, love to make a ton of movies with him.
Latino Review: Do you see Mr. Smith as a franchise character?
Davis: You know what, time will tell. I would love to do it as a franchise. As a kid, like I told you, I wrote those 'James Bond' novels and my hope was that if I could just create one pop culture hero that people loved my life would be complete. So Clive and I talked about maybe doing another one. I know that New Line signed him to a deal on this movie that they fixed a price on him for some sequels. They're hoping that it will go that way, but you can never predict success. I'm just trying to make the best movie that I can, a movie that I would love to go see. We'll just see what happens. If I did do sequels I would frame it as a trilogy. I think that sort of boxes people into a way of thinking or even their storytelling where they expect the three movies to have an arch like 'Star Wars' or like 'The Matrix' archs. I would like if I did do a sequel to 'Shoot 'Em Up' to try and make them stand alone, that it didn't have to relate to any of the other movies, and if you only saw one 'Shoot 'Em Up' movie you would still feel like you were introduced to this cool character and he stands alone in his own cool movie.
too badass for words. can't wait.

when does it come out?
JackBauer said:
too badass for words. can't wait.

when does it come out?

Jan/Feb 2007 is the tentative date i read
That's kind of like a dumping ground for movies you know. At least it usually is.

Doesn't Christian play like a secret service agent to the senator or something?

The movie sounds interesting, sort of in a similar vein to Crank, a very amoral, intense, unapologetic and violent action/shooter movie.

Owen seems like he's basically playing The Driver from the BMW shorts.

The stuff Monica Bellucci sounds kind of nasty and like something out of a bad Japanese hentai anime.

But the impression I'm starting to get is that the movie is just a bunch of various shooting scenes with no competent or cohesive story to speak of.

Say what you want about John Woo and classic action movies but they had the ****ing plot where it counts. Something today's usual crap doesn't have.

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