Exclusive: Guy Ritchie on How He Got the Idea For ‘Wrath of Man’
Guy is known for films like 'Snatch', 'Swept Away', and the Sherlock Holmes franchise.
Wrath of Man is directed by Guy Ritchie and stars Jason Statham in the lead. Co-written by Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies, the film follows a new security guard hired for a cash truck. After his co-workers see his extensive heist skills firsthand, they're forced to wonder if he isn't who he says he is. As the film proceeds, the 'innocent' security guard's true intentions are revealed as he sets out on a path of vengeance.
Wrath of Man was released in several countries on 22 April, in the USA on 7 May, and is scheduled for a UK release on 23 July. The release date for India hasn't been finalised yet.
Director Guy Ritchie talks to The Quint about his journey with the film and what the audience can expect from it.
How did you come up with the idea for Wrath of Man?
Guy Ritchie: The idea came to me over 10 years ago after watching the French movie Le Convoyeur, and then one day I decided to stop talking about it and go ahead and make it.
Then what happened?
I wrote the script and called Jason Statham, who is my mate, and we ended up having a lovely time making it together.
Your career as a filmmaker took off precisely with Jason Statham on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. And although you haven’t worked with Statham for quite a while, was it easy to fall back into the same dynamics you had with him years ago?
Guy Ritchie: Oh yes, it was just like the old days. We are all a bit older now, and probably not any wiser, but it’s always fun to work with him.
How similar is your movie to Le Convoyeur?
Guy Ritchie: That film represents only about a quarter of what this one is, which is basically just the premise of how the guy finds out who the inside man is. In the original movie he was an ordinary man that had no skills, but here there is some irony involved in the investigation and a reason for whom he is and why he was where he was when the first robbery happened. And I think it’s fun.
So, how would you explain the plot of Wrath of Man?
Guy Ritchie: Well, it’s a revenge action movie with some interesting hooks in it that I like quite a lot. There are different layers that reveal themselves during the process of unpacking this particular narrative. So, the story twists and turns to the point where you realize that nothing is what it first presented itself to be. And precisely those twists and turns are what interest me the most about the story.
It seems like it is one of your more dramatic films to date.
Guy Ritchie: That is true. Actually, I am trying my hardest not to laugh or make it funny. I just hope it feels fresh to the audience, because that’s how it feels to me at the moment.
The mysterious man working at a cash truck company known as H – the main character played by Jason Statham – reminds us a bit of those great 70’s antiheroes...
Guy Ritchie: I agree, I think he has a 70’s tacit antihero feel to him; although I believe H has a bit more to say in this final incarnation of the script, now that we are more into it. And that’s because I like to pretty much let these characters come alive on the day, rather than overworking them before. Jason is definitely the right man for this job.
How have you seen Jason Statham evolve as an actor over the years since you started working with him?
Guy Ritchie: Well, as we can all see, Jason has star quality. People just love him and relate to him. Quite a lot of those lads from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels have cracked on.
But did you already see that star quality in him back then?
Guy Ritchie: Yes, I did. Jason is structured like an old-fashioned leading man, and there are not a lot of those around.
Have you ever thought of directing yourself?
Guy Ritchie: Not really, because I like being on the side. And I think you ought to be clear about that and not be ambiguous, because to me it’s just a different world.
After making a movie of the size of Aladdin, you are now shooting Wrath of Man for a much lower budget. Do you enjoy working on all kinds of genres with different budgets?
Guy Ritchie: I like trying different things and never want to feel I’m stuck in a genre. And the budget doesn’t affect me, because I always know what I am getting into. I like expensive and inexpensive movies, the same way I like foul-mouthed and family friendly movies. In the end what you want to have as a filmmaker is a broad experience of genres.
But what movies or genres inspired you growing up?
Guy Ritchie: I loved Spaghetti Westerns and all those Clint Eastwood movies. And I actually have his kid Scott in this film. He has a proper role as quite a naughty boy.
Music plays an important role in your films. Should we expect another unique soundtrack for Wrath of Man?
Guy Ritchie: Yes, I hope so. I am looking forward to doing something interesting with it.
Your movies also have a cool look and style to them.
Guy Ritchie: It’s hard for me to be objective about either what my style is or what is stylish. I can only put things in there that are aesthetically pleasing, but I can say that every movie I make is one I would like to watch, although you are always nervous before a film comes out because you want to be able to make the next one.
Are you more nervous while you are shooting the film or after you have made it?
Guy Ritchie: Always after I have made it because every movie has three components: the actual movie, the marketing and the day it is released, and I can only really control the first one.
(In India, Lionsgate will release ‘Wrath of Man’ in theatres subjected to Covid 19 guidelines)
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