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

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.

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



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