Michael Peña is one of those great character actors whose always just short of finding the project to break him into larger roles. He’s been slogging it out in films like “World Trade Center,” “Observe and Report,” “Lions For Lambs,” “The Lucky Ones,” “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done,” “Shooter” — all stuff that was probably great on paper but just didn’t translate onto the big screen. Even this year, he’s appeared in “World Invasion: Battle Los Angeles” — savaged by critics — and “The Lincoln Lawyer,” mostly noted for not being terrible and being the rare movie in which Matthew McConaughey keeps his shirt on. He’s got a few more movies on the way this year (he’s been busy): the low key Will Ferrell indie “Everything Must Go,” the Ruben Fleischer comedy “30 Minutes Or Less” and the ensemble Brett Ratner thing “Tower Heist.” And while we don’t expect any of those projects to break him out in any big way, this one just might.
Variety reports that Peña is negotiating to star opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in yet another David Ayer police movie, “End of Watch.” Not much is known about the film except that it will focus on the friendship between two longtime partners within the force.
Having penned the overrated “Training Day,” “S.W.A.T.,” “Dark Blue,” “Street Kings” and “Harsh Times” you would think Ayer would be tiring of the genre. Guess not. And while we’d like to be more excited about this, most of Ayer’s resumé is pretty mediocre standard police fare. But if “End Of Watch” provides something truly different and compelling, the pairing of Peña and Gyllenhaal could certainly be a potent one. No word yet on when it might go in front of cameras.