David Marconi the writer and executive producer of the 2017 movie The Foreigner starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan is a busy man. He did take some time out to talk about his movie and January 9th DVD release. He’s adapted this movie from a book and updated it to match the world we live in. Having Chan in a dramatic role is a bit of a risk for anybody in the business because the U.S. audiences aren’t used to seeing him that way.
“That’s been kind of a shocker for American audiences,” said Marconi. “This is a very serious role where he’s not doing tongue in cheek action kicks and wire work flying through and then smiling and cracking a joke. This is Jackie from Police Story and Karate kid.”
Chan has a lot of layers to his acting. He has audiences all around the world. This performance may get him out of the action star stereotype that American audiences have become accustomed to.
“In China, he’s an actor and a singer a multi-faceted artist. For people to now see him in a role of a grieving father may take some people by surprise,” Marconi stated. “We were very happy with the performance that Jackie put in. He wants to move away from the slapstick kicks and into real performances. He never stops working. The moment we wrapped this movie he was on a plane to work on another one.”
Brosnan is a welcomed addition to any movie but he’s not easy to get.
“Pierce has worked with director Martin Campbell. They had done Goldeneye together. Martin had a relationship with Pierce and Pierce is Irish. It made perfect sense that we’d get him to play the role. The movie is based on a book called “The Chinaman” that was made in the 90’s,” Marconi mentioned. “It was at the time there were troubles in Northern Ireland. As a writer, I had to upgrade it. See who was doing what. Really do the research.
“Pierce’s character is Liam Hennessy, a former IRA now an MP representing Northern Ireland for Parliament.”
The Netflix age has now opened the market for actors around the world. Previously, a lot of American viewers would never see much of their work.
“Absolutely. Countries are offering tax incentives which makes it kind of beneficial to shoot in these countries. Now you have tax benefits in English speaking countries, such as Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. You’re exposing a whole pool of actors to the U.S. market.”
Don’t look now but the United States could be losing its grip on having the largest movie going audience.
“The Chinese box office is starting to surpass what we’re used to seeing in the U.S. Studios are paying very close attention to China and are trying to foster a relationship. It’s a huge audience and they do love movies,” he added.
How long will DVD’s last. Are they now a dying breed?
“That’s a good question?” he pondered. “How long did VHS hang out? How long did BETA hang out? What’s next? How long will movie theatres hangout? Eventually the stuff might be beamed right into your head. Maybe a chip? I don’t know? We move in a fast-technological age. Where were we 50 or 100 years ago. Pretty soon we might have hologram movies or smell-o-vision,” he said, stretching the bounds of normalcy. Until I asked him about robot actors? Would he work with them?
“As long as they were good. Yeah, but they’d probably complain about their meal breaks, “he laughed. “They’d probably have an agent show up because you’re using the robot too long. I think it would be great but I do like working with real actors. They are fun and filled with surprises sometimes.”
At the end of the day human writers will always be in demand.
“I do know what we’ll always need are stories. People like to be entertained and have certain buttons pushed. It’s a great escape. There’s something kind of warm and fuzzy about movies.”
Learn more about the movie here: