The prolific filmmaker David Ayer has two films coming out in 2014 and he’s already hoping the second one does better. Released just a few weeks ago, his action thriller “Sabotage” tanked at the box office and maybe have pegged the fact that audiences don’t really care about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action star comeback. After five weeks in theaters, “Sabotage” has grossed a pitiful $10 million domestically.
But Ayer has a better shot in the fall with “Fury.” Starring the pretty stellar cast of Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Jason Isaacs, Scott Eastwood, and Alicia von Rittberg, “Fury” centers on an army sergeant named “Wardaddy” (Pitt) and a five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines in the last few months of WWII in 1945.
“I set out to make the ultimate tank movie,” Ayer told People magazine who have unveiled two new photos from the film. While Pitt has done WWII before (see Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”), Ayer insists you’ve never seen him like this. “[Brad’s] playing this badass, hard, tough, intense guy. It’s a different kind of role for him.”
LaBeouf made headlines last year for unusual behavior on set that was said to perturb the other cast members, not the least of which was Pitt. But Ayer had only praise. “He’s insanely good in this thing,” the directed said. “He’s a joy to work with and I can’t wait to work with him again.”
Evidently the epic shoot on the film was 68 days long and much of that inside the claustrophobic setting of a tank. “I couldn’t tell you how much insurance this thing had on it – it was crazy,” Ayer said. “It actually ended up performing really well. It’s like the tank was happy to get out of the barn and run around. These tanks like to run hard. That’s what they’re built for.”
Ayer’s manly movies have mostly centered on cops or SWAT teams, and honestly they haven’t been that good. But thanks to strong performances by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, “End of Watch” turned out to be his best to date. So maybe he can forget “Sabotage” and take this one to the next level. To boot, the film has an Oscar-friendly November 14th release date. Ball’s in your court, David Ayer.