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Sean Penn gets in on the action in this first pic from Pierre Morel's The Gunman

07.16.2013

After a career of mostly non-action star type roles, Sean Penn is finally jumping into the fray with director Pierre Morel's (TAKEN) THE GUNMAN, based on the novel "The Prone Gunman" by Jean-Patrick Manchette. The story follows a former special forces soldier turned contractor named Martin Terrier (Penn) who works for a non-government organization and finds himself suddenly drawn back into his violent past. USA Today debuted the first image from the pic, as well as some tidbits from Penn and producer Joel Silver (LETHAL WEAPON, THE MATRIX).

"I've been telling Sean to make a movie like this for years. Sean just thought it was time," says Joel Silver.

Penn, who attended a special military training camp in Arizona where he mastered close-range fighting, handles many of the stunts in THE GUNMAN and has been rigorous in his physical preparation.

"Sean's been fervent in having the physique and the mental focus to be able to be this guy. When he commits to something, he really commits," says Silver.

Penn, of course, who has won two Oscars, is quick to make this not sound like an action film, even if that's exactly what it is, saying:

"Here's the funny thing. Calling it an 'action film' is kind of like calling Meryl Streep a sexy blonde chick. She is. But that really doesn't tell the story of what she is at all."

The film has a nice roster of co-stars, including Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, and Javier Bardem, who are in good company with Penn. Could this be the start of a franchise, much like Morel's TAKEN series with Liam Neeson? Silver is cautiously optimistic, saying:

"It wouldn't be lying if I said 'Wouldn't it be nice for this to become a franchise?' but we have to make the first one first, and we have to make it great."

THE GUNMAN does not have a release date as of yet, but is expected sometime in 2014.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Extra Tidbit: What other seasoned actors would you like to see take on an action role?
Source: USA Today

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12:14PM on 07/17/2013
I thought it was Dolph Lundgren at first sight. Will be nice to see how Sean Penn handles a straight-up action flick. That combination of supporting actors makes this sound like a more serious Expendables!
I thought it was Dolph Lundgren at first sight. Will be nice to see how Sean Penn handles a straight-up action flick. That combination of supporting actors makes this sound like a more serious Expendables!
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4:37AM on 07/17/2013
A nice roster of co-stars? I'd easily call that one of hell of a roster of co-stars.
Love when stellar actors take a break from the usual type of "serious" films to make something like this every now and again.
A nice roster of co-stars? I'd easily call that one of hell of a roster of co-stars.
Love when stellar actors take a break from the usual type of "serious" films to make something like this every now and again.
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+4
2:50PM on 07/16/2013

I mean, really?

Sean Penn has openly dismissed action movies and action stars for years. And he decides to break his moratorium against action pics with Morel? No disrespect, but while I enjoyed Taken for what it was it wasn't really a sophisticated movie. At all.

I can see him finally getting a paycheck for a film with Ridley Scott or Michael Mann or some og the better directors of action out there, but why Morel and Silver? Joel Silver? I always assumed Penn would spontaneously combust if he sat in the
Sean Penn has openly dismissed action movies and action stars for years. And he decides to break his moratorium against action pics with Morel? No disrespect, but while I enjoyed Taken for what it was it wasn't really a sophisticated movie. At all.

I can see him finally getting a paycheck for a film with Ridley Scott or Michael Mann or some og the better directors of action out there, but why Morel and Silver? Joel Silver? I always assumed Penn would spontaneously combust if he sat in the same room as Joel Silver.

I never understood his action movie prejudice to begin with. While a lot of it is mindless there are more than enough examples of quality to not write off an entire genre. Pretentious though he is, he is a very good actor and seems like he would make a more than capable action star. I'll check this out.
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1:34PM on 07/16/2013

extra tidbit

Bill Murrey and Jack Nicholson should team up for a balls-to-the-wall action comedy
Bill Murrey and Jack Nicholson should team up for a balls-to-the-wall action comedy
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3:46PM on 07/16/2013
I don't think Jack Nicholson is going do be doing much of anything. He's pretty worn out.
I don't think Jack Nicholson is going do be doing much of anything. He's pretty worn out.
11:25PM on 07/16/2013
both are out of shape and sarcastic, thats mostly why i wanna see it. The amount of humor they could bring to an action movie is endless
both are out of shape and sarcastic, thats mostly why i wanna see it. The amount of humor they could bring to an action movie is endless
12:08PM on 07/16/2013
Sean Penn is not who I think of when I think of action movies. However with the way dedicates himself to a role and the rest of the cast involved this film could be great.
Sean Penn is not who I think of when I think of action movies. However with the way dedicates himself to a role and the rest of the cast involved this film could be great.
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+9
12:03PM on 07/16/2013

That is one hell of a crew....

of actors, count me in on their talents alone!!
of actors, count me in on their talents alone!!
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11:44AM on 07/16/2013
Sounds like it could be a great movie. I just can't get on board with Hollywood these days though. Why does everything have to come down to franchise potential? I know Silver's comments are that he wants to make this one film really good, but does he need to look further down the line for hopes of a franchise? Why can't they just be happy with making one really great action movie and move on with their lives?
Sounds like it could be a great movie. I just can't get on board with Hollywood these days though. Why does everything have to come down to franchise potential? I know Silver's comments are that he wants to make this one film really good, but does he need to look further down the line for hopes of a franchise? Why can't they just be happy with making one really great action movie and move on with their lives?
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3:54PM on 07/16/2013
Because Hollywood is more often a business than an art form.
Because Hollywood is more often a business than an art form.
+13
11:44AM on 07/16/2013
So it's kind of like calling Sean Penn a bastard. He is but... no, he just is.
So it's kind of like calling Sean Penn a bastard. He is but... no, he just is.
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11:30AM on 07/16/2013
Wow, he attended a training camp in Arizona and mastered close-range fighting! We already have Tom Cruise. The world doesn't need 5'4" action hero.
Wow, he attended a training camp in Arizona and mastered close-range fighting! We already have Tom Cruise. The world doesn't need 5'4" action hero.
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1:28PM on 07/16/2013
Not everyone can be 6`1 with shoulders like bowling balls.
Not everyone can be 6`1 with shoulders like bowling balls.
1:34PM on 07/16/2013
You got me all wrong. I'm saying go smaller. I'd rather watch Peter Dinklage.
You got me all wrong. I'm saying go smaller. I'd rather watch Peter Dinklage.
11:07AM on 07/16/2013
I thought Penn was taking a long break from acting. But anyway, sounds like an interesting role and can't wait for the trailer.
I thought Penn was taking a long break from acting. But anyway, sounds like an interesting role and can't wait for the trailer.
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