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Earlier this year, Bloodshot hit theaters, and it was more than just the latest Vin Diesel-led action flick. It marked the first time a character from Valiant Entertainment’s comics library led their own movie, and there’s more to come from that. While Marvel and DC currently have the superhero movie market cornered in various ways, Valiant is aiming to get in on that action with its properties, which includes a Harbinger movie being made over at Paramount.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Dan Mintz, who runs Valiant Entertainment’s parent company, DMG Entertainment, and was a producer on Bloodshot, which recently returned to theaters after its theatrical run was cut short by the current health crisis. Regarding why Bloodshot was rereleased on big screens after already being available on VOD for several months, along with noting how the movie only got to spend around three days in theaters the first time around, Mintz also said the following:
… I think theaters were in a really interesting situation too, in the sense that they needed a big, really big film like Tenet to attract people, but the studios didn't want to put out big films too early because they wanted to wait until people were back. So part of that was a snake eating its own tail scenario. So I think there was an interesting opportunity to kind of go in and rerelease for a little bit.
It’s worth pointing out that Bloodshot wasn’t Dan Mintz’s first time working in the comic book movie realm, as he was a producer on 2013’s Iron Man 3. Regarding his experience on that Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Mintz noted that it was in development, The Avengers hadn’t come out yet, so Marvel Studios hadn’t hit the billion dollar mark yet and there were concerns that Tony Stark’s third solo adventure could turn “pear shaped.” Mintz also realized from both The Avengers’ success and his time on Iron Man 3 how “you can continue to see your favorite characters in films long after they can't support their own.”
Regarding what lessons Dan Mintz learned during the making of Bloodshot that will be applied to future Valiant movies, here’s what he had to say:
I think one of the things is obviously it took a long time. You’re going through a studio process that takes many, many years. And I think what we're really looking to do is get into the Marvel cadence where we're putting out films that are back to back, so to speak. And so I think understanding how to bring that forward a little bit faster is super important at this time. And there does need to be a singlemindedness to the filmmaking process, which doesn't mean you’re restricting creativity. It just means that you need to choose your canvas. And a lot of people don't always choose their canvas before they start painting.
Just like in the comics, Bloodshot followed U.S. Marine Ray Garrison being killed, then resurrected through experimental nanite technology and transformed into a super soldier meant to carry out the directives of a mysterious organization. Along with Vin Diesel, the movie starred Sam Heughan, Eiza González, Toby Kebbell, Guy Pearce, Lamorne Morris, Talulah Riley and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, among others.
There hasn’t been any official announcement yet on Bloodshot 2, but as mentioned earlier, there will be plenty more opportunities for audiences to see Valiant characters in a cinematic setting. Like most comic book movies, Bloodshot was rated PG-13, but content like Deadpool, Logan and Joker have proven that comic book movies have the potential to be commercially successful with an R-rating. When I asked Dan Mintz if we might see R-rated Valiant movies or if they would rest solely in the PG-13 realm, he responded:
If it's important to the story, I don't think that's going to stop us. I do believe that we’re a little grayer, a little edgier, a little more modern in the problems and solutions we present, and even sometimes the lack of solutions we provide in our stories. That naturally puts you in a little bit more of a gray area. But you don't go into something saying, ‘Oh, this is going to be R, this is going to be PG-13.’ What you try to do is say, ‘How can this story give that big adventure?’ Because as a filmmaker, you want it to be a big adventure too, right? But you also have to have that sense and sensibility in that voice that ensures the film resonates as a Valiant piece. And you know, [the ratings] seem to change a bit anyway, I wouldn't even know how they came up with that stuff half the time… So you don't start with a particular rating in mind necessarily.
Dan Mintz also clarified that along with the plan being for the various upcoming Valiant movies to connect to one another, the Valiant TV shows that are in development will also exist within the same continuity, just like what Marvel Studios is doing with its movies and Disney+ shows. As Mintz put it:
… I think that's the thing from the beginning. They’re connected. We're not going to build a whole thing and then having nothing to do with these guys there. I would think anybody would do the same thing. You kind almost go, ‘What took you so long?’ It's like, why would you not? It’s almost like this is a perfect opportunity to build that awareness and that comfort zone.
As things stand now, it looks like Harbinger will be the new Valiant movie on the docket, though it was also announced back in 2018 that a movie centered on Faith Herbert, a.k.a. Zephyr, is in the works. In any case, with a large catalog of characters that also includes X-O Manowar, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong and Ninak, there’s no shortage of possibilities where Valiant can go on both the big and small screens in the coming years.
If you weren’t able to see Bloodshot in theaters, the movie is still available to purchase on Blu-ray, DVD and digitally. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on what’s happening with Valiant Entertainment’s upcoming movies and TV shows, and keep track of what’s supposed to arrive theaters later this year and next year with our 2020 release schedule and 2021 release schedule.