'2 Guns' Premiere: Mark Wahlberg, Writer, Director on Making Deals and Action Movies
Mark Wahlberg was accompanied by his longtime agent Ari Emanuel at Monday night's premiere of 2 Guns in New York.
But it was Wahlberg who played dealmaker with this movie, recruiting both director Baltasar Kormakur and co-star Denzel Washington to the project.
"I had been attached to the movie for quite some time, and I had a great time working with Baltasar on Contraband, and I recommended him," Wahlberg tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I slipped him the script, and he had a great take on the movie. He had a really smart take, and he figured out a way we could make it for a price. We wouldn't have been able to make it for the original amount we wanted to make it for, and not a lot of filmmakers can do what Baltasar does. So, he had a great take and he did a great job pitching it to the studio and then [to] Denzel. Denzel liked our first movie, so it worked out."
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Financier Emmett/Furla quickly signed on, and the movie went into preproduction 90 days later, producer Randall Emmett estimates.
Kormakur liked the tone of the film and the challenge of doing something more fun, and his past work with Wahlberg helped with this production, he says.
"I knew what he could do. I knew his talent of improvising, for example," Kormakur tells THR. "And as I was getting to know Denzel and understanding him, I didn't have to worry so much about the relationship with Mark."
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Writer Blake Masters says the film's focus on characters separates it from other movies this summer that are more special-effects heavy.
"There are a lot of movies out this summer that are big, huge $200 million movies that are basically all computer generated and very serious," he says. "This is a movie that knows it's supposed to be fun, and the audience will love the experience of being with these characters, and they'll say, 'This is why I fell in love with the movies!' "
Meanwhile, as for when audiences can expect more fun at the movies with an Entourage film, Wahlberg says it's "really close" to happening. "Those deals are not easy to make," he comments. "We've got the script; we've been negotiating for quite some time … Hopefully in October when everyone's available."