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A-TEAM

About The Story
"The A-Team” was one of the most popular and successful television series to come out of the ‘80s. Created by Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo, the series focused on the exploits of a team of four Vietnam veterans who, sentenced by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, head underground and become soldiers of fortune. Led by a cigar-chomping Col. John "Hannibal” Smith, played by George Peppard, the team acted on the side of good, while trying to clear their names. The series garnered a large and enthusiastic following.

"‘The A-Team' series went well beyond being a hit television series. It was a phenomenon,” says series creator Stephen J. Cannell, who is one of the film's producers. "There were never leading men like those on ‘The A-Team' on television before. At its core, the series had a simple premise: four guys who are wrongly convicted of a crime decide to go out and help people who can't help themselves. The need to fight back against injustice is a great subject for a story and audiences responded to the show with fervor. Generations of kids grew up on the series and then a new generation got a chance to see it in reruns and got the same kick out of it.”

Acclaimed filmmaker Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smokin' Aces), one of the millions who grew up with the show, knew it had a devoted following and recognized the challenges in bringing THE A-TEAM to the big screen. "This was a coveted property and re-imagining a show I remembered as a kid was tough to turn down,” says Carnahan. "We wanted to be respectful of the series for the generation of fans who grew up with it but we also wanted to take THE A-TEAM into the twenty-first century.”

Although studio executives and industry watchers agreed the series' premise provided great foundation for a major motion picture, the film project gestated for almost a decade with the script going through a number of iterations as writers struggled to avoid the show's campy nature.

"We'd been trying to get the script right for a long time,” recalls producer and former Twentieth Century Fox senior production executive Alex Young. "If you want a modern movie you have to make it feel bigger and more muscular and make the action sequences compete with the best of today's blockbusters. Joe Carnahan has a very modern and muscular sensibility and his approach to the material was grittier and more real-world [than the series'].”

When Carnahan came on board, he and writing partner Brian Bloom redrafted the action to take place during the impending troop withdrawal from the Middle East. They drew on the camaraderie and humor at the heart of the series, but ramped up the action, drama, adventure and intensity. Says Carnahan: "The goal with THE A-TEAM was to make a compelling, inventive action movie, but to keep it as emotional, real and accessible as possible. There's no point in doing this kind of action and adventure if you're not going to elevate it.”

Carnahan and Bloom felt the material needed to reflect contemporary times and appeal to modern audiences. "The intention was not to abandon the television show and the characters that everyone loved so much, but to evolve and contemporize the story,” says Bloom.

"People are a lot savvier than they were 25 years ago when the show debuted,” adds Carnahan. "If you tried to put the series out today you wouldn't get away with what they got away with then. At the time, the campy aspect of the show was hugely entertaining but today's audiences are a lot more sophisticated, so to bring it into this time and this place, the tone and approach had to change to reflect contemporary sensibilities.”

While opting to contemporize the material and elevate the drama, the filmmakers agreed that if the A-Team's transition to the big-screen was to be successful, the camaraderie that was at the heart and soul of the<

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