Hi all --
Mark Hosack here, writer of Malone. It's great to meet everyone on the forum, and it's always encouraging to see positive feedback from these first few images rolling in, so thanks for sharing your enthusiasm. It means a lot.
Tim, I'm a big fan of your work and I really hope you get up here. Thomas -- You are Malone.
So a little history on the project, "Give 'em Hell, Malone" is a project I came up with when I first moved to LA six years ago. At the time I was an independent filmmaker -- I made small quirky dramas no one wanted, and I was told by every Ma and Pa in Hollywood to write an action film.
I said: "Okay."
The first scene that came out was of a guy at the end of a hallway, black and blue and bloody as hell, pistol up, pumping hot lead into a hallway of well-dressed Thugs, and an ominous voice-over grunting through the following opening line: "Getting shot isn't easy. The bullets tend to hurt."
I named this bloody anti-hero "Malone," and as the sun was coming up, and I was trying to go to sleep, the title "Give 'em Hell, Malone!" popped into my brain, and that was that.
Well, not really, I had to write the thing (it's always hard to "write the thing" no matter how many you've written) and after I finished it, another 4 1/2 years of Hollywood grind passed, I was told my Action film was too stylized, too bloody, and too "indie" to get made. Even though it has its fair share of bullets and blood, it's really a character piece, and too few Hollywood action films really care about their characters. Put the style-ized noir angle in, and I ended up with, as they say, "A lot of great lunches," but the studios didn't buy it as a spec.
But, a year or two later, one of the guys who read it got back in touch, said he had left his company, he loved the script, and he knew the perfect actor for the role. Thomas Jane. I think I said something like: "Hell, hurry-up-and-get-it-to-him, yes." Thomas read it, really liked it, and not too long after that, independent financing fell in place with Hannibal Entertainment, and we were able to really start dialing the script in.
We spent last August and September slavishly rewriting and we came up with a new third act that's much stronger. I guess we really didn't finish the rewrite until two days ago, a week and a half into production, Thomas and I spent the first week on set flogging this script between takes and after the shoot -- we're still doing daily dialogue tweaks. It's true: A writer doesn't write, a writer rewrites.
But watching this script come alive really is exceeding any and all expectations -- it's one thing to write "Malone shoots out the tires of a pink flower van. It smashes into a parked car and flips in a mess of oil and ripped steel," and to actually WATCH Malone shoot out the tires of a pink flower van. To WATCH that van smash into a parked car and flip over in a mess of oil and ripped steel. Stunt men are nuts.
Most impressive, though, is the acting. Malone really is a character film, and Thomas really does own this guy, from his tweed brown suit and felt hat (complete with a "near miss" bullet hole Thomas shot himself) to the cadence of his noir-speak. The rest of the cast are really knocking it out of the park too -- so we don't have Die Hard's budget -- but because it's a character piece, because of the actors already on board, we've got all of these great actors wanting to do it, regardless of money and the skimpy craft service.
So, prepare yourself for what's shaping up to be a highly stylized character noir film.
It's Bogart with blood. A lot of blood.