“All is Lost” is being hailed as a one-man triumph, a crowning achievement for one of the greatest careers in all of moviedom, for filmmaker-star Robert Redford, 77.
Harrison Ford is in the thick of the big-budget sci fi “Ender’s Game” — and says he is open to doing “Star Wars VII.” Han Solo is now 71.
Sylvester Stallone, who has his own old action guy franchise with “The Expendables” I, II, and III, last week confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that he will be playing Rocky Balboa again. The iconic movie boxer won’t be getting back in the ring (phew). It will be a drama. Nevertheless, Stallone assured, “I’m not giving up the action film.” He’s 67.
“Last Vegas,” described as “The Hangover” of the geriatric set, is hanging in there at the box office, with Robert De Niro (70), Michael Douglas (69), Morgan Freeman (76), Kevin Kline (66).
Have there ever been more old superstars in major features at the same time? One would almost think the march of time didn’t matter for these hoary dudes. Does it?
Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas spent a long time getting the fourth installment of their “Indiana Jones” saga together prior to its 2008 release. In fact, the trio was trying to get a suitable “Indy IV” screen play completed as far back as 1993. That was when “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” costar Shia LaBeouf was a mere lad of six years old. And when Ford was 50.
In May 2000, when it looked like the picture was heading for the cameras, Ford assured Marilyn Beck, “I’m still quite fit enough to fake it…It’s all smoke and mirrors anyway.”
The movie came out when Ford was 65, complete with asides about Indy’s age (“This isn’t as easy as it used to be!”) — and went on to collect $786,636,033 in worldwide box office. So Hollywood wags may have joked about “Geriatric Jones,” but Ford got to laugh all the way to the bank.
So can a clutch of other over-the-hill action heroes who continue to grind ‘em out.
Bruce Willis, 58, talked with Vanity Fair about his crop of action guys getting too old for the game more than a decade ago, then went on to make action films including “Live Free or Die Hard,” which came up with total international box office gross receipts of $382.1 million.
He’s also in “Red,” which came up with nearly $200 million in box office receipts despite its AARP-aged cast (inlcuding Freeman, still-sexy-at-68 Helen Mirren, 59-year-old John Malkovich) and the late Ernest Borgnine, who kept working almost to his death last year at 95. So far, the sequel has turned in $76 million at the box office.
Samuel Jackson, 64, continues to rack up action hits.
People rolled their eyes at the very thought of 61-year-old Sylvester Stallone making a sixth “Rocky” film 30 years after his first boxing flick. However, the 2006 “Rocky Balboa” made $155 million and his 2008 “Rambo” movie yielded $103 million worldwide. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who, in 2001, was quoted in Sweden’s Aftonbladet magazine saying he was done doing action movies. “Action movies to me are just explosions and noise.”
Of course, there is no shortage of hot young matinee idols luring movie goers to theaters — guys like “Thor’s” Chris Hemsworth and the aforementioned LaBeouf.
But they’ll have some work to do in order to attain the ultimate: critical and box office success. It has already been pointed out that Tom Hanks’ “Captain Phillips” performance is an Oscar contender — that will have to contend with Tom Hanks’ Oscar contender performance as Walt Disney in “Saving Mr. Banks.” He’s a mere lad — comparatively speaking — of 57. He is also the No. 1 box office champ in the world, with films to his credit that are on their way to amassing some $9 billion.