A new franchise didn’t come together after The A-Team – but Sharlto Copley still wishes it got a sequel.
In 2010, Joe Carnahan pulled in Copley, Bradley Cooper, Liam Neeson, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for a big-budget reboot of The A-Team, the hit ’80s series with Mr. T.
This was a movie that didn’t take itself too seriously: Copley’s “Howling Mad” Murdock did a loop-the-loop in a helicopter; they fought the bad guys with shipping containers; and, most notably, they flew a bloody tank.
For critics and audiences at the time, the fun wasn’t enough; it has a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and only grossed $177 million from a $100 million budget. The director and all of its stars expressed interest in a sequel, but the salient fact is this: it didn’t make enough money. Yet, despite its apparent failure, Copley still talks about The A-Team all the time.
Sharlto Copley wanted The A-Team to get a sequel
Dexerto sat down with Copley ahead of the release of Beast, in which he stars alongside Idris Elba on a safari-gone-wrong, playing an “anti-poacher” who tracks hunters and protects the wildlife.
During the interview, we asked the actor how he felt about The A-Team looking back, especially given how many (lesser) franchises have flourished in its wake.
He said: “100%. I get that A-Team thing all the time. I still to this day can’t… I mean, it’s District 9 and The A-Team that I get all over the world in the most obscure places.
“Literally, four weeks ago, I met a woman who was the manager of a restaurant in South Africa, and she said, ‘I watched that movie over 80 times when I was growing up in high school.’
“I was like, ‘What?’ And she was like, ‘Yep. I used to watch it every day I came home from school.’ I really do wish that franchise worked, for sure.”
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Sharlto Copley praises “artistry” of Everything Everywhere All At Once
Considering The A-Team’s failure to launch and the long wait for District 10 – which is a “year-and-a-half” away from shooting, he told us – we asked Copley what he thought about the current state of pop culture, which is mostly dominated by sequels.
“For me, any movie that has any originality – whether it’s gonna become a new franchise or not – I just [think], thank goodness, you know? To see some artistry in a film,” he said.
“The other day I was watching Everything Everywhere All At Once… I’m just like, wow, there’s still some… there’s art to what’s going on, as opposed to like a computer algorithm could have made it.
“I don’t have anything against franchises but to actually see stories… I feel like we’ve hit a point where artists in our business are scared of their own shadow, so it’s like, ‘Well if I do this, maybe this person is going to be upset, or if I do this… can I do that? I don’t know.’
“Art was meant to be the opposite of that, for me. It’s like stepping out onto the ledge and saying, ‘Okay, let’s see what happens if we do this.’ So, hopefully we’re heading back there… hopefully audiences are gonna start going like, ‘Please, just give us something… something else, something with more substance or daring.’
Beast is in US cinemas now, and will release in the UK on Friday, August 26.