For a minute back in May of 2000, it looked like Barry Pepper’s career was on life support after starring as Jonnie Goodboy Tyler in the stillborn L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi mega-flop “Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000.” In the years since, John Travolta’s career has recovered (we’ve all seen and loved him in the rhyming double-feature of “Wild Hogs” and “Old Dogs”). Pepper has meanwhile established himself as one of the more reliable supporting players in movies, giving solid performances in films like “25th Hour,” “The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada,” and last year’s “True Grit,” to name a few.
Now Pepper’s lined up two new roles, including the Mark Wahlberg/Russell Crowe thiller “Broken City,” which is being directed by Allen Hughes (Where’s Albert? Allen’s usual co-director/brother, Albert Hughes, is at work on his own ‘City’ film, the Joel Silver-produced “Motor City”).
In “Broken City,” Pepper will play a mayoral candidate running against a powerful politician (Crowe). In the film, Crowe hires a Brooklyn detective (Wahlberg), who tries to identify Crowe’s wife’s lover, who is later found dead.
The other film on Pepper’s slate is the Dwayne Johnson-starrer “Snitch.” In that film, The Rock plays suburban dad whose son is sentenced to thirty years in prison thanks to draconian minimum drug sentencing laws. In order to get his son out earlier, he decides to go undercover and help bust a major drug dealer. Pepper will play a DEA agent who is Johnson’s boss while he’s moonlighting with the agency. Susan Sarandon also co-stars.
Both “Broken City” and “Snitch” are filming in Louisiana, which will be convenient for Pepper. Whether he’ll saddle up for the Johnny Depp/Armie Hammer/Jerry Bruckheimer/Gore Verbinski/Disney mega-blockbuster, “Lone Ranger” which he was attached to before it fell apart remains to be seen, but let’s hope so. [Variety]