Ever since he taught us to dodge, duck, dive, dive and dodge in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, director Rawson Marshall Thurber has shown a knack for tickling the funny bones and throwing in some tough action. Later works, including We Are the Millers and Skyscraper, continued Thurber’s development as an assistant that could craft comedy and big action films alike.
In a sense, Red Notice is the perfect marriage of those two styles. Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot star in a cat-and-mouse thriller that sees Johnson’s Agent Hartley slapped with a “red notice” by Interpol in search of two art thieves. It has already stolen hearts and broken records, beating Netflix’s previous record for the most-watched movie in 24 hours.
it means a very Those of you have already seen it – and might want to know just the way things have turned out, and importantly, what comes next. Us too — and that’s something Thurber detailed in our recent interview.
red notice spoiler There are Inbound, as well as The Division movie in the works, and a certain Ed Sheeran has an incredible cameo.
Here’s the full Q&A, edited for length and clarity.
GR: Part of the appeal of Red Notice is that you’ve got three of the biggest movie stars in the world in it. By now, everyone is aware of the strengths of Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, and Dwayne Johnson. Did he come up with something in the film that might surprise you too?
Gal Gadot certainly did. I had never seen him do such a thing before. She’s amazing as Wonder Woman—if you’ll excuse the phrase—but this is an opportunity to make her look a little more mischievous, a little more cat-who-ate-canary, a little more fun and funny.
I think the role she plays in Red Notice is so much more as a person; He is wickedly smart and deadly funny and it was a real pleasure to show the world that side of himself.
There are a few twists at the end of the film that set a new dynamic for a possible sequel. When you were writing this script, how did you envision that dynamic game? Can they trust each other now?
That’s a good question, Bradley: can they or not? As a writer-director, I can’t help myself thinking about what I want to do next. I love these characters, I love this world, I love the tone.
I have an idea of what they’re in for, but I guess when you put three thieves together, it can get tricky. Never trust anyone!
How much room for improv was there in the script?
I have an open-door policy on improv. I welcome it, especially when you have someone like Ryan Reynolds who is so talented, it would be a shame and a shame to not welcome that endorsement.
I would say the film is 85-90% written and 10-15% improv. That 10-15% makes all the difference in the world. I really don’t care if it’s my idea or someone else’s – it’s got the biggest laughs and the good news is I get all the credit in the end!
Can you point to one of those 10% moments that made it into the cut?
There comes a moment when Ryan takes out a watch and Dwayne asks if it’s his father’s watch and Ryan says, ‘No, it’s a Pulp Fiction watch.’ It made me laugh really, really hard.
I’ll admit the twist surprised me, with Bishop and John Hartley being an item…
Was that always there as a major component in the script?
Yes, of course, it was baked from the very beginning, from the very first pitch.
when i pitched [it to] Dwayne, we were having dinner and we were building a skyscraper. I told him the story of Red Notice and when I finally got the twist, he threw his napkin down on the table and said “I’m in! I’m in! Me too! Me too!”
How do you set up those breadcrumbs throughout the movie?
This is fine stitching. It’s really important and like the catnip of these twist endings and reveals. It is important that you do it right. do you No Want to deceive the audience, right?
When the reveal happens, if you get it right, they should slap their forehead and go ‘Oh, of course, it was there the whole time!’
And on a second look, you see we totally play it with cards. All these scenes are screaming to tell you what’s up, but almost everyone doesn’t see it coming because Dwayne Johnson is the greatest and he is Always good person.
I have to ask about the Ed Sheeran cameo! It was so amazingly surreal and one of my favorite parts of the entire movie. How did it come together?
This is actually my favorite part of the film as well. Ed, from the first pitch, was what I wanted.
When the time came, I had a mutual friend who kept us in touch and I emailed Ed – who NS The cutest person on the planet, by the way — and I sent him a picture of my notebook while I was writing the pitch, which contained his name, so he knew I wasn’t fooling.
Ed said, ‘The weirder, the better,’ and I said ‘I have something for you.’
You say the wacker, the better – how much was the idea of what we saw on screen? Was he pitching ideas back in the day?
Like I said, an open policy on views. I’m a ‘yes, and’ director, so he had some one-liners that he wanted to try and we struck a good balance.
Your career has been varied, starting with dodgeball and directing such films as We Are the Millers and Skyscraper. From Dodgeball to now, how do you think you’ve grown as a director?
I think I am a much better director than when I first started. I feel that my technical expertise has become much better. My understanding of production, what is hard, and how to plan properly, has gotten better. I think this is my best film till date, and I hope the next one will be even better.
Is there an update on The Division and how close can we expect it to be to the Games?
do you play
I’ve played the first two, yes.
Me and my friends play like a bowling league every Tuesday night. We play The Division 1, The Division 2. I waited in line for three hours at E3 in 2014 to catch a glimpse. I am a deep, deep fan.
I am very excited about it. We’re in the midst of the latest re-write and I think we’re going to start shooting [next year], This is my next movie, Jake [Gyllenhaal] and jessica [Chastain] Are fired up and ready to go. With any luck, we will film in 2022 and I am incredibly excited to film.
Of course, it would be based on the video game and honor that game. As a gamer, I couldn’t have made it without it, but I wanted to make sure that people who’ve never even heard of the game, let alone picked up a controller, can enjoy it. So, I think it’s my job, as a director, that you want to make sure fans are satisfied and feel like they’re honored for what you do, but you also have to include people like that. Those who just don’t do sports and want a good story.
Red Notice is now streaming on Netflix. For more from streamers, check out some of the best Netflix shows you can watch right now.