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A-Team the Movie: A Brief History

The original A-Team

Everybody knows the drill. A group of four soldiers–one you have to break out of an asylum, the other you have to sedate to get him on an airplane–drive around in their black and red van, writing wrongs for a bit of coin. Nobody ever really gets shot unless it’s an important plot device, proving that they all went to the G.I. Joe school of marksmanship. And at some point in the episode, the team will construct a fully functional M-1 tank out of a rusty mattress, a cheese grater, a Slinky, and ten heads of lettuce.

Before anybody gets excited about this happening–assuming that you are indeed excited–perhaps I could mean excited in a particularly apprehensive way if you enjoyed the original–I thought we should take a look at how we got where we are right now with the project. Which is, you know, effectively nowhere since nothing’s happening yet that ensures it’s going to actually happen.

This thing has been at Fox for pretty much the duration. Stephen J. Cannell, the creator of the original, has always been on board as a producer to my knowledge, any time there was anything to be on board. Back in 1996, Variety reported that Richard Hatem (Mothman Prophecies) had been tapped to scribe. This no doubt after another television show did so well at the theatrical box office–that being Mission: Impossible, of course.

[ad#longpost]Chances are it would have been the new A-Team, old actors in cameos ploy. Mel Gibson was at one point mentioned as playing the George Peppard role, Hannibal. Then nothing until 2000 when Variety reported that Top Cow Productions, with Marc Silvestri executive producing, was going to bring it to life. And…you see what became of that.

Now it’s reported that Scott Free (Ridley and Tony Scott) is producing with Cannell and Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces) is in talks to helm. This after apparently the last person on board was John Singleton, who left when the script wasn’t ready. However, Fox is confident enough to have slapped a release date on the table: June 11, 2010. Granted, they had a date on the table before, namely this year. Skip Woods is the scribe–and he wrote Swordfish. Now don’t groan–if you had read the original version of Swordfish you’d actually be intrigued.

They write as though the script was already in the can, which means if Carnahan comes on board, they’ll need to figure out casting fairly quickly if they want to make that date. If we start getting more announcements, then we’ll know they’re serious this time. If all goes quiet for a few months, you can expect the date to get pushed…or just nothing at all. We’re going to need a lot more to actually believe the film’s happening.

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