By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 16, 2013 at 9:18AM
After a string of arthouse and prestige pictures—"The Tree Of Life," "The Must Be The Place," "Fair Game," "Milk"—it looks like Sean Penn is ready to get paid. Earlier this year, he hammed it up in the glossy studio gangster flick "Gangster Squad," later this year, he's set to drop in on "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty" and now, he's notching an action flick under his belt with "The Gunman," and this is what he looks like in it.
Co-starring Javier Bardem, Idris Elba and Sam Riley, the movie earns some literary points, serving as an adaptation Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel, with the movie finding Penn playing an international operative named Martin Terrier, who goes on the run after being betrayed by his organization. But don't you dare tell Penn this is just some dumb genre movie. "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," he told USA Today. "I don't separate this in my mind from anything else I have done. It's a very human story that deals with the same things exploited in action films, like warfare."
Yet, no matter how much artistry Penn is bringing to the game, this is still a movie that has hopes that it will essentially become Penn's "Taken." Yep, it could be the first in a series. "It wouldn't be lying if I said 'Wouldn't it be nice for this to become a franchise?' " producer Joel Silver said. "But we have to make the first one first, and we have to make it great."
So, we'll leave it to director Pierre Morel to deliver the greatness. "The Gunman" hits theaters next year.