After a career full of dramatic roles, including Oscar-winning performances in Mystic River and Milk, Sean Penn is stepping into the action genre for the first time with The Gunman, as you can see in the first photo. Pierre Morel directs this adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette's novel about a spy who is double-crossed by the organization he works for, as he tries to clear his name throughout Europe. Take a look at this first-look photo, then read on to see what Sean Penn and producer Joel Silver had to say about the project.

The Gunman Photo

Joel Silver revealed that he had been trying to get the beloved dramatic actor into an action role for years before he signed on for The Gunman.

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"I've been telling Sean to make a movie like this for years. Sean just thought it was time."

While Sean Penn does concede that this is his first action movie, he's quick to point out there is a lot more to the story.

"Here's the funny thing. Calling it an 'action film' is kind of like calling Meryl Streep a sexy blonde chick. She is. But that really doesn't tell the story of what she is at all. I don't separate this in my mind from anything else I have done. It's a very human story that deals with the same things exploited in action films, like warfare."

Joel Silver also talked about Sean Penn's commitment to the role.

"Sean's been fervent in having the physique and the mental focus to be able to be this guy. When he commits to something, he really commits."

When asked if he sees the possibility for a franchise in The Gunman, Joel Silver had this to say.

"It wouldn't be lying if I said 'Wouldn't it be nice for this to become a franchise?' But we have to make the first one first, and we have to make it great."