COMIC-CON 2010: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren vehicle ‘RED’ brings in the disenfranchised from the cold

July 23, 2010 | 1:52 a.m.

Bruce Willis

One of the reasons comic books captivate so many is their ability to allow ordinary people to hurtle themselves into an imaginary world of extraordinary possibilities.

Such is the magic of “RED,” a 66-page graphic novel about Frank Moses, a former CIA black-ops agent who is thrown back into action after he becomes a marked man.

In the Hollywood version from Summit Entertainment set for release Oct. 15, Bruce Willis plays Moses as a retiree who lounges around the house in his bathrobe and has little more to look forward to than the next issue of the AARP magazine.

Willis’ aging costars include Helen Mirren, John Malkovich and Morgan Freeman as former CIA colleagues. The group gets back together to fight the forces of evil — a generation of young, smug-faced know-it-alls and all their fancy new gadgets.

“RED” producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura told Comic-Con attendees that the movie was about “the way society discards people of every age. We all feel a little discarded or pushed aside. This is a movie where you get back in” the action.

The film, set as an action comedy, departs from the graphic novel, which is much darker in nature. The decision appears designed to take advantage of Willis’ deadpan delivery, sharpened in “Die Hard.” Mirren, with her “Masterpiece Theater” demeanor, provides Willis with a refined counterpoint.

The transformation from literary noir to action comedy didn’t tweak the novel’s creators, Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, who appeared on the panel alongside Willis, Mirren and Karl Urban, who plays Willis’ nemesis.

“It’s an adaptation, not an imitation,” Ellis said of the movie.

— Alex Pham

Photo: Bruce Willis at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood in 2007. Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images.


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2 Responses to COMIC-CON 2010: Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren vehicle ‘RED’ brings in the disenfranchised from the cold

  1. MARK11 says:

    Looks cool.
    Prefer the darker, graphic novel version, 'cause guess what?
    Teens and college students and on up have no problem with the darker,
    graphic novel versions.
    They have no problem playing very dark and very violent video games.
    And as far as the older generation being tossed aside?
    give me some unknown but talented actors as opposed to
    these very rich and very successful stars…'cause guess what?
    I'll go for the story since there's no billion dollar movie star baggage
    to go with these choices.

  2. […] RED is short for “retired, extremely dangerous,” and the film is an action comedy about former CIA black-ops types based on a darker graphic novel. […]

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