HOLLYWOOD – The new re-imagining of the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau classic Grumpy Old Men gets its first poster featuring stars Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington.
Famous for their more serious dramatic/action roles in films such as Malcolm X and Taken, Liam Neeson and Denzel Washington both expressed their delight at being involved in the Grumpy Old Men remake.
They spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec.
So what attracted you to the project?
Liam Neeson: We’ve both done remakes in the past. I’ve done The A-Team and Denzel did The Equalizer and…
Denzel Washington: The Taking of Pelham 123.
LN: Right. But we don’t get much opportunity to do comedy. People look at us killing people in our films and they don’t connect that with comedy for some reason.
DW: Cameron Crowe has been trying to get a remake of the film off the ground for years and the script has been circulating. I was looking for something to do with Liam because I’ve admired him as an actor ever since I saw Krull.
LN: For me, I became a big Denzel fan after watching Ricochet. That was one hell of a movie. I pointed at the screen and said ‘I want to do that’.
How did you divide the roles?
DW: Liam was already attached to play John Gufstafson, which was Lemmon’s role. But that was perfect for me because I’ve always seen myself more as a Walter Matthau man. I’ve got the same hangdog looks. So I took to the role of Max really well.
LN: When I was re-watching the original I noticed that John was kind of a handy man and I thought, I too have a particular set of skills. And so that made my mind up really.
How will the new film differ from the old film?
DW: No one wants to see a carbon copy. What’s the point of that?
LN: Right. In the original, John and Max are both basically bitter old men arguing about the affections of an attractive neighbor Ariel. They spy on each other and try to sabotage each other’s plans.
DW: In our version I’m ex-CIA.
LN: And I’m ex-Secret Service.
DW: And we both love Ariel, playing by Melanie Griffith.
LN: But terrorists have kidnapped her.
DW: We need to forget our differences and team up to kill the terrorists, evade the police commanded (as ever) by Forest Whitaker and save Ariel.
Wow. It doesn’t sound like a funny premise.
LN: Funny? Why on earth would it have to be funny?
Because it’s a comedy.
DW: Comedies don’t have to be funny.
LN: Look at This Means War.
DW: Or anything with Vince Vaughn in.
LN: He’s made hundreds of comedies and not once have I laughed.
DW: Good point Liam.
LN: Thanks Denzel.
Grumpy Old Men will be in cinemas in 2016.
Image courtesy of @ThePixelFactor