Valiant Entertainment has been trying to get a Bloodshot movie made for many years. This is especially true for Dinesh Shamdasani, the company’s former CEO & Chief Creative Officer who left and formed the TV and film company Hivemind a few years back. Shamdasani has been developing a movie since 2010, as well as the comics since 2012, but things started to come together for the project as it was joined by director David Wilson, best known for his short animated film “Sonnie’s Edge” from Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots anthology series, and then Vin Diesel.
When you think of Diesel playing mobster Angelo Mortalli, wielding guns and a jacked-up body filled with nanites that help him use them, you might be thinking of some mindless and violent action movie. Apparently, there’s a lot more layers to unpeel from what the filmmakers are trying to do with the movie.
The Beat had a chance to sit down with Shamdasani and Wilson at New York Comic-Con yesterday. While we’re saving the full interview for later, it’s probably worth sharing that the people behind the movie are doing their darndest to make sure Bloodshot hits theaters with a PG-13 rating.
This might seem odd to anyone who has read the first year of Duane Swierczynski‘s run on the Bloodshot comic book, which is quite violent and gory. In the time since those stories that greatly informed the film were published, R-rated comic book movies like Deadpool, Logan and this weekend’s Joker have flourished at the box office, but that hasn’t dissuaded this plan.
“It is a PG-13 film,” Shamdasani confirmed, “Beyond hearing that it’s PG-13 vs hearing it’s R, I don’t think when anyone goes and watches this movie, they’re going to feel that there’s a gear that wasn’t there. There’s some intense stuff in this movie, but I think Dave and Vin and the whole team have built a movie that is very much…” (At this point, he turns to Hivemind VP Brand & Content Strategy Hunter Gorinson for someone else’s description of Bloodshot as “a house on fire rolling down a mountain of dynamite.”)
He then continued, “There are intense moments that feel very much like that. I can say that personally for me, there’s no regret of, ‘Oh, I wish we had R. We could push it a little further.’ I think this is the movie we intended to make.”
“Technically, it’s R-rated now,” Wilson quipped, hinting at a possible later edit that may be released on DVD or Blu-ray with an R-rating, as often happens.
Another noteworthy part of Bloodshot‘s cast is one Guy Pierce, and that’s no coincidence either. The Beat was told that some of the primary tonal influences for Bloodshot were ’90s action films like Paul Verhoeven‘s Total Recall and Robocop, as well as James Cameron‘s original The Terminator …. and Christopher Nolan‘s early film Memento. That last movie might seem like one of those Sesame Street “One of these things is not like the other” things, but the filmmakers did discuss that aspect of the movie with Pierce when he came onboard.
“There’s two sides of the film and there’s a sincerity that I really felt I wanted to own in the movie,” Wilson told us when asked about the film’s tone and the amount of humor. “There’s a difficult portion of the film that can’t be funny because of inherently what it is, so that drives a lot of it being very sincere. As we peel back the layers of the film, more energy and humor starts to make its way into the movie. At the end of the day, sitting there in the theater when you see it for the first time, people want to go to some big communal cinematic experience. These are fun, action movies and we definitely lean into that, but there’s a sincerity that I wanted us to own in the film that I thought was inherent to what’s in the comics.”
Even before sitting down with the Bloodshot creatives, I had been hearing rumors that the Bloodshot trailer might debut in the next few weeks. Although at first I thought it might be in front of Sony Pictures’ upcoming Zombieland 2: Double Tap, it’s now looking more likely that the first Bloodshot trailer will be in front of Terminator: Dark Fate. That would be apropos both for the tone, genre and subject matter of Bloodshot, but also because Dark Fate is directed by Wilson’s old Blur Studios mate, Tim Miller. (Apparently, those twoextra weeks are so that Wilson can get the visual FX on that first trailer just perfect, since that is his background.)
Maybe when that trailer debuts we’ll get a lot better idea of what Wilson and Shamdasani are referring to. We’ll also have a lot more from our interview with them very soon, including what’s happening with the planned shared Valiant movie universe that might have been scuppered by Paramount picking up the rights to Harbinger from Sony a month back. Stay tuned!
Bloodshot is due out on February 21, 2020.