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Where's 'Triple Frontier' At? Kathryn Bigelow Didn't Want Will Smith To Star; Paramount Balked At $80 Million Budget

by Kevin Jagernauth
December 20, 2012 10:36 AM
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Back when "Zero Dark Thirty" was known as simply a "black ops thriller," Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal had been brewing another movie, something called "Triple Frontier" (which in early stages was also known as "Sleeping Dogs"). It was an equally big project, described as a multilingual, "Traffic"-esque tale set in the notorious, crime-ridden border region between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay known as "la triple frontera." At one point, it was even being positioned to shoot in March 2011, but of course that didn't happen. So what is going on with the movie?

Well, THR recently caught up with Bigelow and Boal, and in the midst of the fascinating piece about their working relationship, a few details on what happened with "Triple Frontier" were revealed. The trade confirmed that Tom Hanks, linked as far back as 2010, was someone the studio had wanted to star. Who else? Will Smith. But Bigelow was so uninterested in having him involved, her agents reportedly had to press the studio to convince her to even take a meeting with the actor. Indeed, a number of high-profile actors were rumored, including Johnny Depp, Sean Penn, Will Smith, Javier Bardem and Christian Bale, for what was said to be one of two male lead roles. But why all the starry names?

Perhaps it's because the movie would have cost in the neighborhood of $80 million, a figure Paramount ultimately balked at. However, you can bet that the budget would be much easier to swallow if someone like Will Smith got involved. But as Bigelow showed with "Zero Dark Thirty," she's not particularly interested in A-list actors, especially if their presence might distract from the story she's trying to tell.

So after all this, what's the status of "Triple Frontier"? Unknown. "Zero Dark Thirty" is now in limited release, and even with a seemingly orchestrated backlash brewing, there is enough talk about the movie that when it goes wide in January, it could be a big hit. Certainly much bigger than "The Hurt Locker." And once all the Oscar stuff gets put away for the year, we hope "Triple Frontier" is still in the cards somewhere. Though considering it was already generating controversy before a finished story was complete, maybe Bigelow will want to chill and do something a bit lighter.

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  • wavettore | December 21, 2012 3:55 AMReply

    TV media and newspapers will never tell you that an Israeli firm had placed the explosives that brought down the 3 buildings in NY on 9/11. ICTS was the only security firm in charge for the twin towers and building 7 (most people still do not know about this building that fell without being hit by any plane or other). ICTS was also the security company in charge for all airports that had allowed the highjack planes on 9/11 to depart. The work force of ICTS was the only one people to have access at night inside the 3 buildings and to allow Israeli agents to place those explosives inconspicuously before 9/11. Israeli agents were in fact arrested nearby on 9/11 transporting large amount of explosives in a white van (Chevrolet 2000) but they were later released by the Bush administration.
    Not as a coincidence, the same day, on 9/11 2001, and at the same time a CIA operation called Able Danger, was reproducing a military exercise that was supposed to mimic an attack by few planes crashing on buildings. Now our thought goes to George W. Bush, son of a former head of CIA, George H. Bush, who still holds the line in that agency.
    But all this was never reported by the media although the future of all people depends on how 9/11 is intended.

  • Bob Roberts | December 20, 2012 7:33 PMReply

    Not an "orchestrated attack"...Three very prominent Senators (who even happen to be supporters of the CIA and the military) say that it is factually incorrect and appalling.

    Don't just treat this as just another movie if it apologizes for torture. (which didn't lead to the capture of OBL)

  • Mathieu Amalric | December 20, 2012 12:14 PMReply

    "So after all this, what's the status of "Triple Frontier"? Unknown. " Thank you for an "update" that provided no news or update whatsoever. But hey, if THR or another trade writes something of course you have write it too. --

    All I want for Christmas this year is the overhaul of all staff writing for Collider and Playlist.
    Or for someone to buy them OpenOffice and walk them through a specially designed tutorial for spell-check.

    P.S Apparently, you can't teach journalism, but just about anyone can pretend to do it!

    P.P.S It's even more depressing if you believe you've been taught how to write and still have no idea what makes an article interesting to read, or readable.

  • Hewston | December 22, 2012 6:36 AM

    Just because there hasn't been any progress on the film to report, that doesn't mean this isn't an 'update' you moron. It's pretty clear the update is that there has been no progress - I personally was wondering about what happened with this film the other day so I'm happy to get this update.

    If you hate this site so much, why do you keep reading it? Maybe you'll get a clue for Christmas and leave the Playlist staff to continue doing what quite a lot of us enjoy.

  • will smith | December 20, 2012 11:05 AMReply

    "So after all this, what's the status of "Triple Frontier"? Unknown. "

    Thank you for an "update" that provided no news or update whatsoever. But hey, if THR or another trade writes something of course you have write it too.

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