Available on Prime Video, “Without any remorse” is an adaptation of the eponymous book by cult author Tom Clancy of spy literature. Director Stefano Sollima answers AlloCiné’s questions.
After many years in the Hollywood boxes, the film adaptation of Without any remorse, the book by Tom Clancy, finally arrives on the screens. It is the Italian Stefano Sollima, director, among others, of the series Gomorra and the rest of Sicario, who has the mission of transposing the novel into film with, in the first role, Michael B. Jordan. Meet.
AlloCine : Sans No remorse is adapted from the eponymous novel by Tom Clancy. How do you differentiate yourself from the book?
Stefano Sollima: What I liked about the novel was the emotional side of this story based on a protagonist trying to get revenge. It is a visceral and very simple story, that of a betrayal. I also like this subject of political conspiracy and its geopolitical context. The book is set in the seventies during the Vietnam War. I wanted to make the story more contemporary with a more recent war, while keeping the spirit of the novel. From now on, the intrigue takes place in Syria with, in the shade, the American-Russian conflict.
Also, we changed the character of John Kelly, who was a white soldier. Now he’s played by a black actor, Michael B. Jordan. The character of Karen Greer, played by Jodie Turner-Smith, was a man in the book. We thought it would be stronger and more fashionable to take a bad-ass woman like Jodie. I didn’t want to create an unnecessary romance between Jodie and Michael, just to show the deep respect that exists between them. The soul of the book is there, but the film is a modern take on what Tom Clancy envisioned. A film must reflect what is happening in our society in 2021.
Was it a challenge to recreate the action from the movie?
I don’t like action for the sake of action. I want her to be motivated by real emotions and to influence the psychology of the characters. We pushed the plug to the limit with some spectacular scenes. What’s different here is that the action is really seen through John Kelly’s vision. I asked Michael B. Jordan to be at the heart of all the scenes. It is as if the audience is with him throughout the film.
Obviously, when the scenes were too dangerous, we used a professional understudy, but Michael did most of his stunts. He trained to the maximum during preparation, almost military, in a boot camp under the direction of former Marine Buck Doyle. Everything took place in a framework of maximum security.
It is important to be realistic.
What is the movie really about?
The heart of the film is a reflection on the war and the motivations. How it affected the protagonists of the film and the tension on a global level. Again, it’s important for me to anchor the story in reality to make it as interesting as possible.
What was the most difficult scene to shoot?
Definitely the sequence when the plane is about to crash into the ocean. We really wanted to put the public at the heart of this crash. It’s like you’re with Michael B. Jordan. Technically, it was a real challenge to shoot this scene with a long upside-down dolly. It is important to be realistic. I think we got it right with this film.
Why did you choose Michael B. Jordan over another actor?
He infuses his character with real humanity. It is never wrong and you really believe it. You are with him, throughout, at the level of the action as at the level of his emotions.
A word to tell us about the video game adaptation project Call of Duty ?
Unfortunately, I think the project fell through. In any case, I am no longer involved in its production.
Interview by Emmanuel Itier, in Los Angeles, in April 2021.