Hollywood – Director Mike Gunther’s highly anticipated action trilogy “Rogue Warfare” is in the last stages of post-production. The buzz is building about the upcoming action-fest starring Stephen Lang, Will Yun Lee and Chris Mulkey to be released in spring 2019.
Set in a War-Torn Middle East
Detailing the mission to take out an exceptionally violent terrorist movement by an elite group of Special Forces soldiers recruited from around the world. The film is set in a battleground wearily familiar to all – the Middle East.
Having just come off of Paramount’s hugely successful “Bumblebee“, the desert war series also offers a different set of challenges for the veteran man of action.
“The movie has almost zero CGI effects in it. It’s all practical action,” Gunther adds, “And I think the grittiness of the desert lends itself perfectly to that. The story and action is as hard as the landscape.”
Relevant And Timeless
The director also acknowledges the fact the various desert conflicts have been in the news for decades now.
“Yes, of course. The seemingly endless war over there has been in the news for the last twenty years,” Gunther says, “So, the story is both familiar and relevant to audiences today at the same time. The challenge is to keep it fresh and I think we’ve done that.”
Set For Early 2019 Release
The first installment of the action trilogy will be released world-wide in spring of 2019 and has already begun generating a ground-swell among action aficionados. Be sure to be on the look-out for “Rogue Warfare”.
(It should be noted that “Rogue Warfare” was also produced and designed by Gunther’s own production company 5150 Action. A “go to” action company employed by the majors for all their blockbuster films of the last fifteen years.)
Hollywood – Director Mike Gunther took time out from his duties on Paramount’s Transformer’s action franchise spinoff “Bumblebee” to answer some quick questions he’s received from fans on film making.
On whether of not he’d ever consider shooting in Black and White:
“Yes, I think it would be very cool. The market is not at all friendly to features in Black and White. You’re looking more at an art house type release, rather than a mainstream feature. But who knows?”
His preferences for lenses:
“A long lens makes everything pretty. I would prefer mainly to shoot on long lenses. It is very much more of a dynamic feel to shoot action on a long lens. 75mm – 85mm is the sweet spot for me.”
Does he prefer film or digital?
“If I had the budget, I’d shoot film. Digital looks great, it is getting much, much better. You certainly have a lot insurance to get the shot and increase your coverage – but I just love the old school look and feel of film.”
And lastly, does he prefer shooting his own shots or working with a DP?
“I like shooting my own shots. When it comes to action I’d much rather shoot it myself because I know where the next punch or move is going to be. I know the dynamic of the sequence.”
Bumblebee is scheduled for a summer 2018 release. Mike Gunther will be directing the action trilogy “Rogue Warfare” after he completes production on the Transformer’s spinoff.
Hollywood – In town working on Paramount’s “Bumblebee”, a new entry into the massively successful Transformer’s franchise, Mike Gunther sat down and shared some thoughts on his approach to action design:
On action in general – “It has to fit the story, the tone of the film. Cartoon or serious? The action has to flow within the film’s approach both visually and in intensity.”
On fight scenes – “It has to tell a story within the action, it shouldn’t be just a bunch of signature moves strung together. It should be like music, a melody, beginning middle and end. Rhythm and pacing to it. Depending on the genre, if it is comic I go for more comic book moves, if serious, a more street and down and dirty feel/look. It always has to fit the tone of the script.”
Mike Gunther is one of the industry’s top action directors and designers. With worldwide grosses on productions he has been responsible for approaching over $3 billion dollar’s in revenue, there’s a reason all the major studios turn to him to design and provide the jaw-dropping action fueling their flagship franchises.
Hollywood – In town working on Paramount’s Transformers spin-off “Bumblebee”, Director Mike Gunther sat down to give a few thoughts on the state of today’s independent film, something he is encountering while prepping his indie trilogy “Rogue Warfare”.
“As always, a good story is a good story,” he says, “which is the most important thing because today a big star does not guarantee a big opening. Look at the current box office. And audiences are still into small films even if the major’s are not.”
And what does he find the hardest thing about launching an independent film to be?
“The money. Always the money. Financiers still want that big star and almost don’t seem to care about the concept. So you have the money people who want the star, and the audience who just want a good story. But it can be done (getting independent financing) it just takes an enormous effort and belief in your project.”
“Rogue Warfare” is set to begin production spring of 2018 with two other titles to follow.
Hollywood – Director Mike Gunther is currently back in Hollywood finalizing the casting for his eagerly awaited 2018 feature action trilogy “Rogue Warfare”. Joining star Sung Kang (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6) will be Stephen Lang (Avatar, Tombstone) adding to the film’s high octane profile. Director Gunther is quoted as saying that the film’s premise is best described “As a raw, underground look at the inside of Special Forces operations. Gritty and real.”
Additional cast will be announced soon as well as individual titles for the two remaining features being produced under the “Rogue Warfare” banner. Stay tuned.