Taken Director Pierre Morel Talks About His New Film Freelance, Starring John Cena

Pierre Morel’s journey from creating an indie gem to Hollywood director.

Pierre Morel is a name synonymous with high-octane action and suspense in the world of cinema. His career trajectory has been remarkable. He started as a cinematographer and catapulted into the director’s chair with an unexpected blockbuster hit. Morel is best known for the iconic film “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson. That film cemented his place as a director with a knack for delivering intense, action-packed films worldwide. Check out our interview with him below about his new film Freelance.

Morel’s journey into filmmaking began as a cinematographer, collaborating with some of the industry’s most notable talents. His early work with Luc Besson on films like “Taxi,” Louis Leterrier’s “Transporter,” Nancy Meyers’ “Something’s Gotta Give,” and Jonathan Demme’s “The Truth About Charlie” laid the foundation for his eventual transition to the director’s role. His experiences as a cinematographer allowed him to understand the intricacies of camera work, lighting, and visual storytelling, skills that would serve him well in his directorial endeavors.

However, it was in 2008 that Morel truly made his mark as a director with the release of “Taken.”

This modestly budgeted French indie thriller took the world by storm. It grossed nearly $300 million worldwide and turned into a global phenomenon. The film’s success was astonishing, spawning two sequels and a television series based on the original storyline. “Taken” remains a prime example of how an indie film can break through barriers similar to John Wick. It became a massive franchise, ultimately grossing over $1 billion worldwide.

Morel’s directorial repertoire extends beyond “Taken.” It includes films like “From Paris with Love,” a French action-packed extravaganza, and “The Gunman,” an international spy drama featuring Oscar-winning talents such as Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, and Mark Rylance. Morel’s ability to craft thrilling and suspenseful narratives in various genres showcases his versatility as a director. In recent years, Morel continued to impress with “Peppermint.” It is a female-driven action thriller that grossed over $35 million domestically, proving his continued relevance in the industry. This success only solidified his reputation as a director capable of delivering high-quality, engaging films.

Now Morel has a new film to add to his impressive career, “Freelance.”

It is another thrilling addition to his filmography. Starring John Cena, Alison Brie, and Juan Pablo Raba, the film tells the story of an ex-special forces operative, Mason Pettits, played by Cena. He takes on a freelance security gig to protect washed-up journalist Claire Wellington (Brie) during an interview with the ruthless dictator Juan Venegas (Raba). When a military coup erupts, the trio must navigate the treacherous jungle and their interpersonal dynamics to survive.

Pierre Morel’s journey from a cinematographer to a director is a testament to his skill and dedication to his craft. With a track record of box office hits and a promising future, Morel continues to be a formidable force in cinema. His work exemplifies the ability of talented filmmakers to make their mark, regardless of their origins, and captures the minds of audiences around the globe. Read more News on Nerdtropolis and make sure to subscribe to our Channel.

Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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