Bloodshot is a 2020 American superhero film based on the Valiant Comics character of the same name. It is intended to be the first installment in a series of films set within a Valiant Comics shared cinematic universe. Directed by David S. F. Wilson (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer and a story by Wadlow, the film stars Vin Diesel, Eiza González, Sam Heughan, Toby Kebbell, and Guy Pearce. It follows a Marine who was killed in action, only to be brought back to life with superpowers by an organization that wants to use him as a weapon.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David S. F. Wilson|
|Story by||Jeff Wadlow|
|Music by||Steve Jablonsky|
|Edited by||Jim May|
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|Box office||$36.3 million|
Development of a Bloodshot film began in 2012, with Jared Leto originally in talks to star in July 2017. In March 2018, Diesel was hired to portray the title role, and the rest of the cast joined over the following months. Filming commenced in South Africa in August 2018, lasting through October.
Bloodshot was theatrically released in the United States on March 13, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing. The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $36 million worldwide. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic closing theaters across the globe, Sony made the film available digitally on-demand less than two weeks after it was released theatrically.
After leading a successful rescue operation in Mombasa, U.S. Marine Ray Garrison and his wife Gina travel for a holiday at an Italian beachside town in the Amalfi Coast. However, they are kidnapped by a group of mercenaries led by Martin Axe, who demands to know the source of the Mombasa hostage operation. Since Ray is not privy to this information, Axe kills him and Gina.
Ray is later resurrected by Rising Spirit Tech, a company that specializes in developing cybernetic enhancements for disabled US military personnel. The company's CEO, Dr. Emil Harting, tells Ray that he is the first successful candidate that they have resurrected using a special nanite technology. Ray is also introduced to Dr. Harting's other patients including former US Navy diver "KT", with whom he strikes up a friendship, and former service members Jimmy Dalton and Marcus Tibbs, with whom he gets on poorly.
After experiencing "flashbacks" of Gina and Axe, Ray escapes Rising Spirit's laboratory in Kuala Lumpur and pursues Axe, seeking to avenge Gina's death. Using the nanites to hack into computer databases, Ray tracks down Axe to Budapest. After trapping his convoy in a tunnel, Ray kills Axe's bodyguards before doing in the mercenary. He is later recovered by KT, Dalton, and Tibbs, who bring him back to Rising Spirit for reprogramming. In truth, Harting created false memories of Gina's death as part of a plot to eliminate rivals in Rising Spirit.
After his memories are wiped and reprogrammed, Ray is sent to kill Nick Baris in East Sussex, "remembering" him to be Gina's killer. Though Ray manages to kill Baris and his bodyguards, Baris has forced computer programmer Wilfred Wigans to build an EMP bomb, which is ignited after Baris' death, incapacitating Ray and severing communications with Rising Spirit. After "resurrecting" Ray, Wigans reveals that Rising Spirit planted false memories to turn him into a killing machine. Ray discovers Gina is alive but had left him five years ago and started a family in Cape Town, South Africa.
Growing disillusioned with Harting's exploitation of Ray, KT seeks Wigans' help in taking him down. Meanwhile, Ray is recaptured by Dalton and Tibbs following a pursuit. He is brought back to Rising Spirit's laboratory for reprogramming, but escapes with the help of KT and Wigans, who sabotage the reprogramming process and Rising Spirit's computers. Breaking free, Ray fights Dalton and Tibbs on top of an elevator. Dalton willingly lets Tibbs fall to his death before continuing the fight until Ray punches him down the elevator shaft, killing him. Ray confronts Harting, who manages to drain the nanites, but is killed when the second grenade he shoots at Ray is dismantled by the nanites and dropped directly at his feet. Ray is later rebuilt by Wigans and KT, and the three then leave in search of a new life.
- Vin Diesel as Ray Garrison / Bloodshot
- Sam Heughan as Jimmy Dalton
- Eiza González as KT
- Toby Kebbell as Martin Axe
- Guy Pearce as Dr. Emil Harting
- Lamorne Morris as Wilfred Wigans
- Talulah Riley as Gina Garrison
- Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as Nick Baris
- Alex Hernandez as Marcus Tibbs
- Siddharth Dhananjay as Eric
- Tamer Burjaq as Mombasa Gunman
In March 2012, it was announced that Columbia Pictures had acquired the film rights to the Valiant Comics character Bloodshot, which would be produced by Original Film and Valiant Entertainment. Jeff Wadlow was hired to write the screenplay. In April 2015, Sony Pictures, Original Film and Valiant announced a five-picture deal to bring Valiant Comics' superheroes to the big screen, including Bloodshot. Chad Stahelski and David Leitch were hired to direct the film, from a screenplay by Wadlow and Eric Heisserer. Stahelski and Leitch eventually passed on the project. In March 2017, Dave Wilson was announced as the director of the film. Screenwriter Adam Cozad later contributed to the script.
In July 2017, it was reported that Jared Leto was in early negotiations to star in the film as Bloodshot, but in March 2018, it was announced that Vin Diesel would portray the main character. By May, additional cast members were announced, with Sam Heughan, Michael Sheen, and Eiza González. In June of the same year, Talulah Riley and Alex Hernandez were cast in the film to play the titular characters' wife named Gina, and member of a scientist team named Tibbs, respectively. Later, Toby Kebbell and Johannes Haukur Johannesson were both cast in villainous roles, with the former playing Axe. In August 2018, Lamorne Morris was hired to play a young scientist named Wilfred Wigans. In the same month, it was reported that Guy Pearce was in talks to replace Sheen, who had to exit the movie due to scheduling and family conflicts.
Principal photography began on August 6, 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, and in Prague, Czech Republic, with some filming taking place in Budapest, Hungary in that same month. Filming officially wrapped on October 25, 2018.
Bloodshot was released in the United States on March 13, 2020, by Sony Pictures Releasing, after previously being scheduled to release on February 21, 2020. It also opened in the UK, Ireland, India, and Spain on the same day.
On March 18, Sony Pictures confirmed that due to movie theater closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the film would be released digitally through Premium VOD in the United States and Canada on March 24, 2020. This was just two weeks after the film's theatrical debut and before the end of the usual 90-day theatrical run. Over its first three days of home release, Bloodshot was the most watched on Amazon Prime and fourth-most on iTunes. Despite the pandemic's affects on the film's box office return, Bloodshot was ranked number one on Digital Entertainment Group's "Watched at Home Top 20" list for the week ending May 9, 2020.
Bloodshot grossed $10 million in the United States and Canada, and $23.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $34 million, against a production budget of $45 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside The Hunt and I Still Believe, and was projected to gross around $10 million from 2,861 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.8 million on its first day, including $1.2 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $9.3 million, finishing third. The weekend was also noteworthy for being the lowest combined-grossing since October 1998, with all films totaling just $55.3 million, in large part from societal restrictions and regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the film's second weekend, due to the mass theater closures around the country, the film made $52,000 from 79 locations, mostly drive-in theaters.
After months of delays, the film was released in China on July 24, and made $2.8 million in its opening weekend.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 157 reviews, with an average rating of 4.52/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Bloodshot gives Vin Diesel a solid opportunity to indulge in old-school action that should satisfy fans, even if the end result is disappointingly mediocre." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 44 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, calling it ambitious but "intermittently entertaining" and "frantically overcooked, bursting with headache-inducing, rapid-cut action sequences".
Intended to be the launch of a new shared cinematic universe of Valiant Comics superheroes, Bloodshot was conceived to be followed by: a sequel, two films based on the comic book series Harbinger, and a culmination in a crossover titled Harbinger Wars. Though Harbinger was initially scheduled to be the first installment in the franchise, development was delayed in favor of Bloodshot. In September 2019, it was announced that Harbinger would be distributed by Paramount Pictures. Wilson stated that even though different film studios have distribution rights, Valiant still plans to build a franchise from Bloodshot, while acknowledging that Diesel will play a large role in the future of the planned film series. During the home video bonus features, Dinesh Shamdasani states that the film "plants the seeds" for the future franchise.
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