When Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan had their first opportunity to collaborate on a film, things didn’t exactly work out so well. Said film was Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, and while the two actors had the chance to play a pair of iconic roles – The Thing and The Human Torch, respectively – the whole project is recognized as notorious due to stories from behind the scenes, critical reception, and box office performance. Six years after the release of that movie the two stars are back together working on something much better, namely Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, and apparently Bell’s big takeaway from the reunion was a hefty dose of admiration.
Speaking with Jamie Bell earlier this month during the virtual press day for the upcoming Amazon Prime release, I asked him about what it was like getting back together with Michael B. Jordan again following the Marvel Comics adaptation they made together. Bell said that he had seen his co-star socially on occasion in the years between the two productions, and that he did have some worries that incredible success would lead to an inflated ego… but it turned out that his concerns were totally unnecessary:
I think I've seen him maybe socially a couple of times in between. But you know, certainly between that movie and this movie a lot has happened in his life, and he's become like a global, stratospheric movie star, through great choices and, and great work of course. But a lot can change between a person from that point and this point. So I was always kind like a little trepidatious to be like, 'God, I hope he's still chill. I hope he still like a good guy. I hope he still cares about it, cares about what he's doing.' And what I discovered was that this is a man who has doubled down on his dedication and his commitment.
Michael B. Jordan had definitely made a name for himself prior to working on Fantastic Four, with film and television projects like The Wire, Friday Night Lights, Chronicle, and Fruitvale Station, but there is also no questioning that his career took off like a rocket after that movie’s release. Creed hit theaters a few months after the superhero flop, giving the actor his own franchise as the titular lead, and he then got his second shot in the world of Marvel delivering a brilliant turn as Erik Killmonger in the worldwide box office smash Black Panther. And not only is he doing amazing work on camera, he is also getting more and more active behind the scenes – both as a producer and as a director.
While there are many, many stories in Hollywood history about this kind of success ruining personalities, Jamie Bell was relieved to discover on the set of Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse that Michael B. Jordan is not one of those clichés. Rather than disengaging from the work and coasting, Jordan has apparently only started to work harder, and it’s an ethic that Bell wants to replicate in his own career. He said,
He's really a man who raises up people around him, and he's a man who does it with his own identity. And he's an inspiration to me, I've got to say; he's doing things that I want to do. He's directing films. I really look to him as an inspiration. And you know, if he called tomorrow and said, 'I've got something else for you,' I would jump because he's a great person to work for and to be in a scene with. And he's just an overall great guy. So I'm very, very proud to know him.
In Without Remorse, directed by Stefano Sollima, Jamie Bell and Michael B. Jordan both play major characters from Tom Clancy’s books – namely Robert Ritter and John Kelly. In the story, the latter returns home following his final mission as a Navy SEAL, but quickly finds everything ripped away from him due to consequences from his work. A CIA Agent who had a hand in orchestrating Kelly’s last military outing, Ritter tries to slow Kelly’s mission to get revenge on those responsible, but there’s only so much a person can do when dealing with someone with the protagonist’s skills and resources.
The action-heavy film, which co-stars Jodie Turner-Smith, Guy Pearce, and Lauren London, is arriving on Amazon Prime this Friday, April 30, so be sure to mark it on your calendar – and to find out about more awesome stuff playing on the streaming service, check out our Amazon Prime Video guide for April 2021.