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Dolph Lundgren on Directing and Starring in Wanted Man, Plus Aquaman and Creed IV


by Xtreme HD IPTV

In a world seemingly overrun by rising action stars, it’s always refreshing to revisit work by the veteran players. That includes Dolph Lundgren, whom the characters of FX’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia once agreed is “the most underrated actor of all time.” It also helps that the famed Swedish star, who rose to fame after playing Drago in Rocky IV, is still churning out popcorn movies to this day. Meet Johansen, the aging action hero in Wanted Man, which hits theaters, on demand, and digital platforms this week.

Lundgren’s Johansen persona is seemingly stuck in his old ways and quickly sent to Mexico to track down the witness (Christina Villa) of the recent murders of two DEA agents. The MAGA-type Johansen ultimately finds himself questioning his ways and the peers he thought he knew, as he protects the witness while navigating the border. We recently caught up with the actor again, following our chat with Lundgren last year for his film The Best Man, to learn more about his latest feature, plus a uniquely silly new show he’s hosting on Ryan Reynold’s Fubo channel and his thoughts on the Aquaman franchise.

Playing Someone Who’s More ‘True to Life’

In addition to starring in Wanted Man, Lundgren also co-wrote, produced, and directed the project. Sounds like a handful, perhaps? “It was challenging. It’s hard work,” he told us. “It was interesting creatively to play this character who’s not exactly likable. In the beginning, he has a lot of issues. And I’m trying to play the arc of somebody who meets people that changed his mind about a lot of things. So that was interesting. And then, on the ground, we shot in New Mexico, and we had a lot of issues there — the weather and, as usual, production. So it was challenging on a short schedule, trying to get it all done.”

Related: Dolph Lundgren’s Best Movies, Ranked

Now 66 years old, Lundgren is no longer trying to fool anyone that he’s any sort of up-and-coming star. A veteran with countless films to his name, it’s fun seeing Johansen in Wanted Man often trying to catch his breath and keep up with the younger villains at hand. “There was relief to play a character and not to have to pretend, that I can actually play my age and play injuries and things I have,” he said, adding:

They come with age, and if you live this life, whether it’s law enforcement, or movies, acting in action movies, it’s just gonna happen, you know? So I’m trying to do that now, in all my work, trying to be a little more true to life.

Opposite Lundgren in many of the scenes in Wanted Man is standout Christina Villa, playing the sex worker and witness to the murders Johansen is investigating. “She was great,” said Lundgren. “It was hard to find somebody who could deliver the performance and also speak fluent Spanish. And her family came from Mexico, so she was very close to the whole experience and had a lot of insight into it, and into the experience and what it’s like.”

“Some things in the script, certain dialogue, we changed because she said, ‘No, you you wouldn’t say that, I would say this,’ and so forth. But it was fun to work with her,” Lundgren continued. “And I think also, she hadn’t done any action movies, so it was interesting because she also was a bit surprised how hard work it is. It looks easy when you watch the movie, and then when you’re actually going to do it, you have to do a lot of it yourself, even if you use doubles.”

Another recognizable performer in Wanted Man was Frasier himself, aka Kelsey Grammer, who already had something in common with Lundgren from the get-go: They’ve both starred in at least one Expendables film. In Wanted Man, Grammer plays Johansen’s more senior colleague and mentor of sorts. “I knew him socially, and somebody suggested him,” said Lundgren. “I thought it was a good idea because he has a different personality… And also, it’s almost like we look a little bit like brothers. In the movie, it’s almost like Johansen has this guy who’s just a big brother, who he kind of listens to and builds trust and so forth.”

Flip a Cöin with Dolph Lundgren

Lundgren has kept busy with projects outside the scripted realm as well. A little known celebrity by the name of Ryan Reynolds has his own channel on Fubo called Maximum Effort, which has a new show debuting this week. Lundgren is the host, the show is called Flip a Cöin… and you’ll never believe the concept. He attempted to explain:

“It’s kind of a different little bizarre project,” he told us. “It’s huge in Sweden, it’s coming to America now. And it’s about me flipping a coin for 30 minutes each episode. And they basically thought, ‘It’s weird, but either it’s gonna be great, or nobody will get it.’ So, still not sure. I think it’s pretty well put together, and it’s funny. I guess a lot of people who bet on different things are going to use it for that.”

Related: Exclusive: Bruce Campbell Talks Hosting New Series Discontinued for Ryan Reynolds’ Channel

Aquaman and Creed IV

Dolph Lundgren in Aquaman as King Nereus
Warner Bros.

Besides this “bizarre” show and Wanted Man on the horizon, Lundgren is looking ahead with a couple of passion projects of sorts. “I’m working on the script, it’s a dark comedy shot in LA and something I want to direct probably,” he said. “It’s different than anything else I’ve done. It’s a bit lighter. And yeah, I’m working on that now… I’m also doing a documentary that they’ve been shooting for two years about my life. And we’re editing right now. So we’ll see how that turns out. It’s just loosely called Dolph right now.”

And what about the future of the Aquaman franchise? Lundgren has played a supporting role in the last two films, starring as Nereus, as fans already know. He told us he’d definitely do another DC project, but this particular superhero story is a bit complicated at the moment. Says Lundgren:

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen with Aquaman. I’ve heard Jason Momoa thinks it’s just his last one, and he wants to do something else. I just heard it through somebody else. But it’s hard to know what’s going to happen in the future, except I just thought they had a great script, and they had a great director and good cast [for the second film]. And I guess he got spooked with this Amber Heard situation and the fact that people weren’t gonna see the movie because she’s in it. I always thought that was overrated. I mean, I think when you make a movie, you got to stick to your guns a little bit… So I personally wish they stuck with the original because I thought it was quite good.”

Meanwhile, cinephiles and Rocky fans have probably already heard that there’s been an Ivan Drago spinoff film in development. “They were developing a script at MGM about Drago and his son coming to America, and kind of working that in as part of the Creed universe,” said Lundgren. “Then, Creed III made a lot of money, and they’re doing a Creed IV now, so I don’t know what’s happening now.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, from Quiver Distribution, Wanted Man hits theaters, on demand, and digital platforms Friday and is a delight.

Wanted Man

Wanted Man

Follows a police officer who must retrieve an eyewitness and escort her after a cartel shooting leaves several DEA agents dead. Dolph Lundgren stars.

Release Date
February 1, 2024

Not Rated

1hr 25min

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