by Kit Bowen 01 May, 2021
The latest Tom Clancy big-screen adaptation Without Remorse stars Michael B. Jordan as John Kelly, an elite Navy SEAL, who goes on a path to avenge his wife's murder, which leads into a deeper international conspiracy
When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his wife in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Kelly pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy. Directed by Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), the film also stars Colman Domingo and Guy Pearce.
At a recent virtual press conference, here are few things we learned about making the action thriller:
Star Michael B. Jordan on being a producer of the film:
Michael B. Jordan: Just being involved from the absolute beginning to the end I think it was very hands-on in a way of how to build out stunts, what the process would be and having experienced producers like Akiva [Goldsman] and other people who have been through the process before that worked on high stakes action movies and really following their lead on how to package together. Like, we’re going to do this intense airplane crash, working with the visual effects supervisor to work out that sequence and how exactly we are going to practically shoot it. Are we going to use the crane on this shot? We need water tanks and this and that, it was just going through the process of building that out, it was a learning curve for myself. I walk away from this movie with more knowledge and experience of how to put those sequences, movies together. I know when to shut up and listen and learn, I was a sponge on this one, I think we walked away with something we can be really happy about.
Director Stefano Sollima on keeping the story based in reality:
Stefano Sollima: When you work in a war zone area you have the responsibility to report the reality you are living in a truthful and respectful way. Most of all, I think that you cannot dirty the reality with your own point of view, you don’t want to judge what you are experiencing, this is up to the audience that is going to judge on their own. This is the period of objective reporting, I feel, in the movie, it translates in the same way. I need to inform, to study a lot, to know everything about the war that I am going to portray. When I put together, work on a character, I don’t want to judge him, so I try to leave this pleasure to the audience. It’s a way to be close to the story and to your character but at the same time to be respectfully a step ahead.
Jordan on being able to hold his breath for a long time:
Jordan: It’s one of those things where your breath and breathing is definitely a trained thing, it’s an exercise. If you stop training and you stop exercising that muscle, you can lose it. Underwater training is something we spent a lot of time in; we knew we had these sequences earlier in the script. Stefano would be like, “Mike, you know you’ve got to do all these right?” I was like “Yeah, yeah course, easy, easy, no problem.” We hooked up with some military divers and spent time in the tanks and put us under stressful situations where we would have to problem solve, work through malfunctions, gear failure work through military re-breathers. I don’t know how many pounds they would weigh but they were so heavy. You would have a flotation bag which you would have to manipulate the pressure of so you could be buoyant enough to stay underwater but not buoyant enough you would float to the top. I could hold my breath during filming for about 3 minutes or so, something like that.
Jodie Turner-Smith on being pregnant when she made the actioner:
Jodie Turner-Smith: First of all, I was pregnant at the time that added levels of intensity to it that I didn’t even myself anticipate. I’m used to feeling OK I’m a strong person, I’m an athletic person, I can push my body to the limits to do this and that and to jump into this, I have a little bit of background in this genre being that I started on a television show on TNT called The Last Ship, that was my first big role on television and that was all about running around after the bad guys, getting exploded, so I thought, this was something I was certainly ready to throw my body into but to add that really unique, nobody tells you what your body is going through. It’s funny… I have trained for many things in my life, but what was required of my physically while carrying the baby during this film was unlike anything that I have ever experienced. In terms of what was it like, it was intense, obviously, I worked with a trainer as well. Michael was so gracious to let me borrow his trainer sometimes.
Colman Domingo on how the themes in Without Remorse will resonate with audiences:
Colman Domingo: It sounds like things we are wrestling with now, right? What I love about the film was at the center of Michael’s character you see he’s just a man who is trying to do good in the world. Who believes in country, who believes in family, who has a spiritual core and then you like at what happens when all that is taken away from this person and what they have to do. Sometimes, I feel that’s these are the arguments we all have. What happens when you can’t play the race card anymore, that’s been taken away from you, you’re like what do I do to try and right the wrongs in society? What access do I have, what agency do I have? What am I up against? I think it’s just a great moral conundrum we have in the center of the film. I think that Michael’s character and the way he portrays it so beautifully is what he is dealing with, so you get behind him.
Jordan on having the film stream on Amazon Prime:
Jordan: I think it’s giving access to films that wouldn’t have an opportunity to go and see. Certain films are obviously intended to be shot and played in a movie theater. We are in an evolving time where the pandemic this last year helped everything with the shift. We were victims of that as well in the sense of trying to figure out where we were going to pivot how we would get our movie out to the masses, so everyone had the opportunity to watch and see it. Luckily enough we were able to land on a place like Amazon to house this film. I think it’s an evolution; it’s going to be a healthy balance between the two. There is something to be able to sit at home and being able to have instant access to the movies you want to see, but then I think there is something about going to the theater and having that movie theater experience as well, so it’s going to be a nice healthy balance in the future.
Without Remorse is now streaming on Amazon Prime... watch the trailer below!