Nimród Antal 's latest movie, Armored, boasts an impressive cast for a relatively unknown director. Antal was born in Los Angeles, but he got his start working on movies in Hungary. His Hungarian movie Kontroll, which he wrote as well as directed, earned him international acclaim and the directing gig for Screen Gems' Vacancy, his first American movie.
Armored is Antal's second movie for Screen Gems, and he recently told Coming Soon that he accepted the job without a cast attached. Because of this, Antal was initially star struck by the talent assembled for Armored.
I can't speak for their reasons [for starring in the movie], but Matt Dillon ... to me Drugstore Cowboy was a huge movie for me when I was a young guy ... or a younger guy, and obviously, from all the Luc Besson films, Jean Reno was ... I mean, La Femme Nikita, when he shows up as the cleaner, that's forever embedded in my mind. And then Laurence Fishburne, who I could just go on and on about as a person and as an actor. I so looked up to these guys, so to get the opportunity to work with them was just huge for me. I was a little bit freaked out on Day 1, but interestingly enough, you kind of get into it and you start blocking the shots and doing your thing, and the process is just the same with them as it is with anybody else, so I was able to calm down eventually. But yeah, the Film Gods definitely smiled down on me with that one. It was incredible that I was able to secure a cast of that caliber. Even the young guys. Skeet Ulrich is going to blow your mind, he's going to blow your mind. No one is going to see him coming.
Antal said that he is "completely influenced" by directors like Quentin Tarantino and Michael Mann, but that he attempts to "keep it fresh" and not "monkey off" of their movies.
Antal prepared for the heist picture by doing research into the armored car business, but said that it wasn't very helpful.
... we definitely wanted to speak to some people. We even got in with one of the bigger armored car companies, and they were being very helpful for about four days, and then they got robbed. When that happened, they shut us down at that point.
And it was a little underwhelming. You kind of envision this complex system of checks and balances and hi-tech security gates and satellite links and things like that, but it's very much not that.