Lionsgate has revealed the first trailer for The Protégé. This action flick has a ton going for it on paper. Not only does it feature Oscar-winner Michael Keaton (Birdman, Spider-Man: Homecoming) duking it out with Maggie Q (Nikita, Fantasy Island) but it's even got some Samuel L. Jackson (The Avengers, Pulp Fiction) thrown in there for good measure. Not to mention that it's directed by Martin Campbell, who previously introduced us to Daniel Craig's James Bond in Casino Royale. As we can see from the trailer, Campbell and the cast packed a whole lot of fighting and explosions into this one.
The trailer kicks off with Samuel L. Jackson's character Moody offering up some advice to Maggie Q's Anna. We then get a look at Anna's particular set of skills, which are impressive. She knows her way around a gun. These two have racked up quite the body count over the years and that comes back to bite in a painful way. Anna then begins carving up a path of revenge. Bullets fly. Blood is spilled. It doesn't look unfamiliar. It feels like an action-packed flick fueled by vengeance. But it appears to be well-executed. And the whole thing is set to a remixed Amy Winehouse track.
Martin Campbell is directing from a screenplay written by Richard Wenk. Arthur Sarkissian, Moshe Diamant, Rob Van Norden, Yariv Lerner and Chris Milburn serve as producers. Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Scorpion) is also part of the ensemble. As for Campbell, his career has been mixed, to be certain. While he directed two of the most beloved Bond movies, Goldeney e and Casino Royale, he's also got the much-maligned Green Lantern under his belt. This is his first feature since 2017's The Foreigner.
In The Protege, rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) and trained in the family business, Anna (Maggie Q) is the world's most skilled contract killer. But when Moody - the man who was like a father to her and taught her everything she needs to know about trust and survival - is brutally killed, Anna vows revenge. As she becomes entangled with an enigmatic killer (Michael Keaton) whose attraction to her goes way beyond cat and mouse, their confrontation turns deadly and the loose ends of a life spent killing will weave themselves even tighter.
Given the cast and several other factors, this has the makings of a possible sleeper hit. For one, it's coming at the end of a summer season that promises to be jam-packed following a virtually non-existent one in 2020. At the very least, it should benefit from people wanting to get back to theaters, especially as the situation in the U.S. continues to improve. This is also the same studio that brought us John Wick, so they know how to spin something like this into gold, assuming the audience is there for it. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The Protege hits theaters on August 20 from Lionsgate. Be sure to check out the new trailer for yourself.