If it's crap ... We'll tell you
When you think of the current lineup of actors who routinely make waves in action cinema, one name that will be understandably absent is Sean Penn. The award-winning thespian has, since his breakout role as Spicoli in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High,' seemed far more comfortable in heavy dramatic roles than in anything of a blockbuster genre ilk. This is apparently something he's keen to change. Penn is currently in negotiations to star in 'Prone Gunman,' the film adaptation of the novel by French author Jean-Patrick Manchette. The story follows Martin Terrier, a secret agent who goes on the run after being betrayed by his own organization. The film is being produced by Joel Silver and financed by Studio Canal. There is the distinct possibility that the film could spawn a franchise. As of yet, 'Prone Gunman' does not have a director.
Sean Penn in an action movie? In his 50s? I just don't see it. Much has been made of the fact that age doesn't seem to matter anymore in action cinema, and certainly 'The Expendables' movies have shown one need not be a spring chicken to wield a massive firearm and wreak havoc. My problem with applying that argument to Penn is that the reason people like Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, and Sly Stallone are able to play convincing ass-kickers even into their golden years is because they've been doing so all their lives. Penn is jumping into a completely new, and physically demanding genre way late. I don't want to say it's impossible, and after the real life heroics he displayed in New Orleans and Haiti he more than deserves a shot at cinematic action hero status, but something about his filmic sensibilities have me wondering if this is a wise move. The fact that 'Prone Gunman' could lead to a franchise further casts doubt on this endeavor.
What do you guys think? Could Penn carry an action movie? A potential action franchise?