The Story Behind The A-Team

It’s been more than a decade, but the movie based on classic ‘80s action/comedy TV show The A-Team finally looks like it’ll happen.

We’ve seemingly been through more script drafts than episodes of the original show and a wide variety of dream and (occasionally solid) casting choices have come and gone.

So with more casting rumours swirling, we thought we’d take a look back at the long, tough road through development hell these soldiers of fortune have taken so far…

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Next: Into the Fox hole


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Next: Back In Action?  


Next: Singleton Out!  


Next: Carnahan In!


Carnahan In!

In January this year, things finally did seem to be coming together – though you’ll excuse us if we don’t believe it until someone calls action and the cameras start rolling.

But Fox, desperate to patch up work on the film and meet that 2010 deadline, moved quickly to find a replacement director.

What they actually got was a whole team, comprised of unexpected players.

With Stephen Cannell clinging on for dear life as one of the producers, Ridley and Tony Scott stepped up to help out, with Scott Free productions backing the project.

"Tony and I feel that marrying this Scott Free project with Joe’s sensibility will result in a fast-paced, exciting franchise, one we hope will be around for years to come," Sir Rid told Variety.

And just who would swing the megaphone? Narc/Smokin’ Aces director Joe Carnahan.

"This was a coveted property, and reimagining a show that I remembered as a kid was tough to turn down," Carnahan told the trade mag. "Fox hired me to make it as emotional, real and accessible as possible without cheesing it up.”

According to the new director, the plan is to switch the team’s back-story to soldiers in the first Gulf War, which will allow for younger thesps and more relevance, apparently.

"You can make a film that reflects on the real world without losing the great sense of fun and the velocity of action in a classic summer popcorn film.”

Oh, and the script’s been through yet more changes. X-Men Origins: Wolverine contributor Skip Woods wrote a draft, but Carnahan and Smokin’ Aces actor Brian Bloom have since polished it.

And, with a director in place, the cast could once more start to assemble. Hopefully this time, the choices will stick…

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Sadly for Cube, Singleton passed and he hasn’t had much input since. But he could still be considered – hell, he even volunteered to wear a Mohawk…

Up next, Tyrese Gibson (above), who was also a Singleton alum. He looked to be a solid lock for the project (at least according to him), and told CHUD he’d been hitting the weight room to be ready. That, and learning double Dutch… There’s no word on whether he might actually make the final cut, but he’s not a bad choice given Bradley Cooper’s casting.

Hot on the heels of Terminator Salvation, Common also expressed an interest… "Yeah that would be something cool, but, I mean, let's see, I can't speak on it yet until we know what's going on but that would be an incredible character to play," he told IESB about rumours he might take the role.

He just wasn’t so sure about loading up on gold chains. "It's a new day, you just got to give it something new. The kids don't know that B.A. so you wanna bring something new to it and you want to pay respect to B.A. and the way B.A, was created too.

“I believe there is a way to find a combination, I have certain similarities to Mr. T already. We are both from Chicago, we are both rebels in our own way. I could really get that, I could really get that."

And finally, the latest contender – The Game. What is it with rappers-turned-actors vying for the part? Must be the bling…

Joe Carnahan plans to start shooting in August – let’s hope the Carnahan Curse (two films are already lodged in development hell) doesn’t strike again and we finally get this thing on screen…

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Freelance Journalist

James White is a freelance journalist who has been covering film and TV for over two decades. In that time, James has written for a wide variety of publications including Total Film and SFX. He has also worked for BAFTA and on ODEON's in-cinema magazine.