Getting the The A-Team movie off the ground has been as challenging as getting Mr. T’s character, B.A. Baracus, on a plane. Now, with the release date set and a new director and scriptwriter in place, the project’s finally coming together.
The A-Team, a hit TV show for NBC that ran from 1983 to 1986, stars George Peppard as Col. John “Hannibal” Smith; Dirk Benedict as Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck; Dwight Schultz as Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock, and Mr. T as Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” (Bad Attitude) Baracus. The group of ex-Vietnam vets are constantly on the run for a “crime they didn’t commit” while trying to help those in need.
Rounding out the cast in varying seasons are Melinda Culea, Marla Heasley, Eddie Velez, William Lucking, Lance LeGault, Carl Franklin, Jack Ging, and Charles Napier, with series narration by John Ashley.
Plans for the A-Team film version have been in the works since the ’90s, but with varying directors, scriptwriters, and producers bowing out over the years, the movie has never gotten off the ground.
Now, there are renewed hopes for a successful franchise.
Casting has not yet been set for the revived A-Team movie, but Twentieth Century Fox recently announced it has chosen Joe Carnahan to direct, replacing the previous director pick, John Singleton. Brian Bloom and Carnahan will also help to polish Skip Woods’ script.
Stephen J. Cannell, one of the TV series’ creators, will co-produce the movie version, along with brothers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott of Scott Free productions.
The A-Team movie will be updated with a Middle Eastern theme, but production team members say it will retain the sense of fun that characterized the original series.
Rumors that Ice Cube would play Mr. T’s character, B.A, Baracus, have circulated for several years but he hasn’t been officially signed. Other casting rumors have included Woody Harrelson as “Face,” and Bruce Willis as “Hannibal.”
While Cannell has indicated he’d like to have the surviving castmembers appear in cameo roles, Mr. T has said that he’s not interested in playing any character in an A-Team movie but B.A. Baracus.
Although the show was frequently criticized for its cartoon-like violence and “same old, same old” plotlines, The A-Team and its theme song became a part of American pop culture in the ’80s and beyond.
Carnahan told Variety, “This was a coveted property, and reimagining a show that I remembered as a kid was tough to turn down… Fox hired me to make it as emotional, real and accessible as possible without cheesing it up.
Will the new film measure up? We’ll have to wait until the June 11, 2010 release date to find out.
Image courtesy NBC.