Seeing Red: Watch Out for Morgan Freeman, He’s the Wild Card

As you may have noticed, we’re dedicating some serious time this week to the upcoming Summit Entertainment release Red, an adaptation of the popular Warren Ellis comic about a former CIA hit-man who is targeted by the very agency to which he gave his life. You know by now that this isn’t the grim tale that Ellis and Cully Hamner put together in book form, but more of an action comedy with a strong focus on old timers who decide to put the band back together and make a comeback.

It’s a concept that I was initially skeptical of, but after seeing what the film is starting to look like, I’m starting to become a believer. With that, we continue our series of tales from the set and poster reveals with Joe Matheson, played by Morgan Freeman.

Matheson is another new character to the world of Red, one not transferred from the graphic novel. Lets face it — there are only really two characters from the comic that mattered, thus there are only two characters who made it through. Everything else around these two characters (Frank, played by Bruce Willis; and Sarah, played by Mary-Louise Parker) had to be added by screenwriters Erich and Jon Hoebner.

As for the character Joe, we still don’t know much about him. The day we were invited to the set didn’t include scenes with Morgan Freeman, so we didn’t get to talk to him. But we do know that Joe is one of the more well-adjusted retirees. He’s living in an old folks home being a delightfully pervy old man when he gets a visit from Frank.

But as we come to find out, Joe is one character who holds a key to Frank’s back story. “You get a little bit of back-story with Frank, you know?” describes producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. “You get a very clear what he was about and you get a very clear that he’s a…he was really good at his craft and then what we do progressively is discover new pieces about Frank as you go along. Usually through the relationship, you know? You’re surprised when he goes for help to Morgan Freeman and then he gets sort of like a father-son sort of…or older brother/younger brother sort of dynamic. So you discover a lot from a character point of view, not necessarily a back-story point of view.”

We’ll see how the rest shakes out when Red hits theaters on October 15, 2010. The Red panel at Comic-Con will take place on Thursday, July 22, 2010 from 2:15pm to 3:15pm in Hall H. As you might expect, we will be there. As part of our week-long preview coverage of the film, Summit Entertainment has released another character poster. This time we meet Joe. Click it to see the big version.

For more coverage of Red:

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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