I can't figure Sean Penn out. The line between Sean Penn the artist and Sean Penn the Oscar-Baiter will forever elude me. I'm tempted to say I don't like him much, but then I think about last year's This Must Be the Place and how incredible he was in that. Suddenly I love the guy.
Sean Penn does seem a good candidate to take Liam Neeson's place as our new favorite old ass-kicker. He's grumpy, lumpy, and underweight enough to still look cool firing guns. Sean Penn appears to be aware of this, and he's going to try on the Taken role and see if it fits.
Taken director Pierre Morel, who did not direct Taken 2 but still must weather the retroactive taint inflicted by its apocalyptic bullshit, wants to do an adaptation of Jean Patrick-Manchette's novel Prone Gunman, with Sean Penn as Gunman.
What follows is Prone Gunman's Amazon synopsis. Read it carefully because nearly every sentence is a classic:
Martin Terrier is a hired killer who wants out of the game—so he can settle down and marry his childhood sweetheart. After all, that’s why he took up this profession! But the Organization won’t let him go: they have other plans. Once again, the gunman must assume the prone shooting position. A tour de force, this violent tale shatters as many illusions about life and politics as bodies.
There are a lot of negatives piling up regarding this property. Pierre Morel is one; that Amazon synopsis is another. Sean Penn's the question mark. I can't lie. I do sort of want to see him as an old action hero. He's just always so pissed off looking. It seems like a perfect fit.