Jeffrey Dean Morgan Discusses The Losers and Red Dawn
04.15.10 by Ryan
Jeffrey Dean Morgan has been a workaholic since he finished playing The Comedian in Watchmen, and there seems to be no slowing down. Up next for Morgan is another comic book adaptation, director Sylvain White's The Losers, which Dean Morgan admitted to IESB is a project that he has been waiting to work on for years.
Yes, I was the first one cast. I had read this script four years ago. I was doing a movie called The Accidental Husband, at the time, which was a romantic comedy. The last thing I expected was to be doing anything like this. It was much before Watchmen. But, I read this version of The Losers that Pete Berg was directing. He had written the original script, and I just loved it. I remember saying, "Oh, I love this script. I want to have a meeting on it." And then, the movie fell apart.
Cut to two years later, they get Tim Story and he's going to direct it now, and I wanted to meet with Tim Story, but that fell apart. So, finally, Sylvain got his hands on it, and we met and had coffee, and that was it. Then, it was my movie and I'm super-happy about it. It really was the only project I can think of, that I followed for that amount of time, and just waited patiently for them to get the right director and everything together.
With Watchmen and The Losers on his resume, along with a publicly vocalized desire to appear in the comic book adaptation of Lobo, Dean Morgan is consciously trying to be involved in more comic book movies, since he believes "graphic novels have some of the most interesting, original characters that are out there right now." Yet, Dean Morgan says that The Losers is not your typical comic book fare.
The Losers is a great graphic novel. I think [comic book writer] Andy Diggle and [comic book artist] Jock are two of the most talented guys in this world that there are. But, Watchmen was this iconic Bible and, when we shot it, we didn't deviate. It was almost panel-for-frame conversion, and it needed to be that way. With this, there was much more room to play.
When I first read the script, frankly, I didn't know it was a graphic novel. It read like just a really fun, throwback movie. It was like a Joel Silver movie from the '80s, like Lethal Weapon or Die Hard. This fun, intense, high-octane action with a sense of humor is a world that Silver sort of invented. I don't think anyone has captured that in awhile. So, for me, this just read like a great movie. The fact that it was a graphic novel didn't matter. I love this world.
One particular sequence in the movie shows Dean Morgan meeting with Zoe Saldana lethal character Aisha for the first time in what would be become one of a White's favorites. In the scene, shown briefly in a recently released clip, Dean Morgan and Saldana flirt while trying to beat each other up in a Columbian hotel room. Morgan wasn't initially certain of the scene when he read the script.
At first, I remember reading it and being like, "Come on, man! Clay would kill a girl. He's a Special Ops. guy. There's no way that this 100-pound girl is going to have a fair fight with them." But then, as we started choreographing and playing around with this fight, I realized very quickly that Zoe was going to hold her own, and she did a beautiful job in doing it. We had so much fun. I know I keep saying how much fun we had, but we really did. That scene might be one of my favorites in the film. It's a super-hot scene. It was great.
Dean Morgan started work on the remake of 1984's Red Dawn, where he has said that he will play "the old man in it." Dean Morgan says leaving the Losers set directly for Red Dawn was an adjustment.
I was in Puerto Rico when I got the call and they said, "Hey, would you do this reboot that we're doing of Red Dawn?," and I was like, "Really?" And, I went and rented Red Dawn at the Puerto Rican Blockbuster and watched it one night, and I was just like, "Oh, man, I would regret it too much, if I didn't do it. I've gotta do it!"
It was a huge shock for me because I went directly from Puerto Rico to winter in Michigan, so I went from 200% humidity and 110-degree days to -30 wind chill and snow. That was a little rough on me, physically. But, it was awesome. It was a great experience. It's a fantastic young cast of actors that are soon going to explode on the scene [including Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth]. The director, Dan Bradley, was so adept at doing action stuff. He was a second unit director for all the Bourne movies and the Bond films, so he was amazing with that. It turned out that he was this really great communicator. He's going to be a hell of a director.
Up next for Dean Morgan is The Fields, which will follow Dean Morgan and Sam Worthington as "two cops in Texas City, Texas, where these horrific serial killers have been going on for the past 30 years." The movie is based on a true story and will start shooting in May. Dean Morgan described the movie as a "dark, heavy script."