We Talk Atomic Blonde, a possible sequel and Deadpool 2 with David Leitch!

We all knew Charlize Theron could handle some serious action. But what happens when she hooks up with one of the fine gentlemen from JOHN WICK and 87Eleven? Well for this viewer, David Leitch gives this flick all sorts of kick ass action and fun. ATOMIC BLONDE is his solo feature film debut, aside from his “uncredited” work on JOHN WICK. And I’m happy to say that the stunt expert brings this thriller to life. The music is perfectly suited to the violence and the images are absolutely striking. I love this flick. I, along with several other Comic Con attendees, happened to catch Ms. Theron’s latest at Comic Con, and I liked it so much that I had to see it again. You can read our own Paul Shirey’s review here.

Recently, I spoke to Mr. Leitch about ATOMIC BLONDE. We started off chatting about one impressive sequence that is done seemingly in one take. The director also opened up about his inspiration for that particularly awesome moment. The filmmaker also expanded on how he got himself involved in the project. As a fan of his work, I couldn’t help but ask a little bit about the upcoming DEADPOOL 2, and whether or not we are going to see ATOMIC BLONDE continue in future films. David is one of the nicest guys in this business, and his impressive history with stunt work makes him one of the most exciting names in action today. Make sure you check out Charlize Theron and James McAvoy in ATOMIC BLONDE this Friday at a theatre near you.

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I want to ask. I got to get started on one specific scene. I think you probably know which one I'm talking about. That action scene that seems like one single shot is brilliant.

Thank you.

How did that come about and how difficult was that?

Well, it was something that had been floating around my mind for a long time in terms of ... I think there was some inspiration for it in ... you remember the Children of Men shot ... the Clive Owen walking through where the action is going on around him? I was like, "What if we could sort of re-do it, but she's actually deeply involved in the action?" So, you make a movie on, there's the price point where we made Atomic Blonde, and you want to figure ways that you can sort of stand out. Kelly McCormick, our producer, creative producer, was like, "What about this one shot you've been talking about for a while?" 

We wanted to do the fight scene with the Russians, but we never really thought we would be able to pull that off, and then when you realize you had an actress that could pull it off. We had a crew that was willing. You have your ... I had my best ... I'd bring stunt guys there, and I'm like, "Let's go for it." So, everyone involved was on board, and we went forward, sort of figuring out the pieces of the puzzle, because it was a big logistical achievement.

Yeah, how long did it take to actually shoot the entire thing?

That was about four days to get it out into the street, and another two and a half days in the street.

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Now you mention Charlize was up for it. Was she involved from the very beginning?

She was involved from the very beginning. The property's based on a graphic novel called “The Coldest City,” and she had it at her production company for a long time. She brought it to Sierra/Affinity, which is a point sales company where my wife was a producer. And my wife had it there. They were looking ... they met a lot of directors on the property, and she, in passing, handed me the script and said, "Hey, what do you think about taking this on and sort of making it, adding something world-building to it, as opposed to stuffy noir." I think that's where it started to transform a little bit.

Now, it does feel, as a viewer in watching and being a fan of the John Wick series, it does feel like it could exist in that same world perfectly. Was that part of the plan, or is that some way to make it connect at some point?

I don't think there was ever the plan to connect the two properties, but I think that ... there was a plan when I came on board that I wanted to make it slightly heightened, like we did with Wick and have fun with the genre, that maybe there's a little bit of wakening up. I mean there's sort of noir spy genre. You could use a boost of adrenaline and color and music and genre action. So, it's not unlike what we did with John Wick where he had this sort of 70's Revenge, sort of DEATH WISH movie, and we added the sort of flavor that we add to the films.

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Yeah, speaking of the music, man, I don't think you could have picked a better soundtrack.

Thank you. Thank you. I mean it came really early on in the process when I was working on a director's pass of the script. I started to put the needle drops in there really quickly, and moments in the movie were visually coming to life with the music attached. So, I spoke to Jonathan Sela, my cinematographer, and we were playing the music and we're talking about where the cuts were gonna be, and how we need to be setting set ups. We would play the clip on set, the music ... he comes from a music video world, so he was really helpful in that process as well.

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One thing I love about your work, with whether it's JOHN WICK, whether it's ATOMIC BLONDE, or even going in, hopefully going into DEADPOOL 2, I feel like you have this very trusting relationship with your leading actor/actress. What is that? How do you find that?

Yeah, I think a lot of the trust comes, in terms of the action, in that we've done it. So, it's kind of like, "I'm a stunt performer, I've been in that position. You need to trust me and know that it's going to be okay," or, "This is going to look good." I mean I shoot action for a living, outside of, before my career as a director, and it's like, "This is going to look good." You kind of already have that built-in trust with the actors, and they know your pedigree, which they do. So, when it comes to the action, you openly have that trust. Then, if you can deliver on that, it can lead to trusting you with the narrative, trusting you with their performance, trusting you with the story.

Well, that's one of the things I loved about Charlize in this. She's so perfect for it. It just seems like it was made for her.

It is amazing the work that she did in this film, and to really come in and create now an iconic character. We all set out to make something fun and provocative in this sort of crazy world of spies, but I think we came out the other end and we have another potential franchise. That's a lot of credit to Charlize, and her performance as Atomic Blonde. Making a character that you want to go on a journey with again.

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Now, I've got to ask, of course. A lot of the news coming out of Comic Con had nothing to do with what was happening at Comic Con, and that, a lot of the actors involved with DEADPOOL 2 are saying how funny it is. How hilarious this new one is. How is that process been to make it funnier than the first one?

I mean, you know you have comedic geniuses there, with Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, and with Ryan Reynolds, that they just understand the Deadpool universe. They understand the Deadpool tone. Then it's really fun working with them. So, I think we're finding something through that process that's like referential and deliver some of the original DNA of what Tim and the group did together. It was so successful, but also allows us to go on a new fresh journey, and he would with any episode of a comic. With Deadpool, that means you could probably go anywhere. There's nothing more subversive than Deadpool.

Yeah, it seems like you have a lot of room, whether it's going with the X-Men lore or working with a new villain, Josh Brolin. What can we look forward to with Cable? I mean, that you can tell us.

I mean I think people ... I'm so glad for the response. I know the people are as excited as I am that Josh sort of ended up as Cable, and I think they're going to love the chemistry that's on ... that's been ... I've been seeing on sets that I know that's going to be in the film, so I think they can look forward to a really fun and interesting Cable, but also have the gravitas of an actor worthy of, gravitas of an actor of Josh's caliber. So, for me again, I'm grateful that he ended up being our guy.

If ATOMIC BLONDE is successful, and I hope it is, because frankly I want to see more, have you thought about a continuation to the universe and going with part two?

I think all the creative involved want to do more adventures with Lorraine, and we're just hoping that the audience responds. I think it's all, at the end of the day, show business, so if people want to come out and see this movie and support the female protagonist and action movies with a woman lead, then maybe we'll get to make more of these. That's the hope, man.

Source: JoBlo.com



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