Chadwick Boseman didn’t just bring Black Panther to life — he turned a character who was once considered a mid-tier part of the Marvel Universe into an icon. So, what does he do next? We’ve got the answer: Boseman stars as a police officer on the trail of cop-killing bandits, and the 300 kilos of cocaine they carry, in the modern-day thriller 21 BRIDGES, opening on July 12.
STXfilms premiered the first gritty, energetic footage from 21 BRIDGES at CinemaCon 2019 in Las Vegas. The summer release looks like a terrific cops and corruption thriller. AVENGERS: ENDGAME directors Joe and Anthony Russo produced the film, and Brian Kirk, who has directed episodes of “Game of Thrones,” “Penny Dreadful” and “Luther,” called the shots on the movie. Here’s why we can’t wait for 21 BRIDGES.
Boseman’s New Angle
In 21 BRIDGES, Chadwick Boseman plays a second-generation cop whose father was killed in the line of duty. That has turned Boseman’s character into a machine when it comes to tracking down anyone who commits violence against the boys in blue. The film begins with a cocaine heist that leaves eight policemen dead and 300 kilos of cocaine somewhere on the streets of Manhattan.
A ticking clock lends urgency to the story — Boseman’s character has only a few hours to catch the people responsible for the crime. His solution is unsparing and thorough: “Close the island. We’ve got 21 bridges in and out of Manhattan. Shut them down.” He wants to block every tunnel, train, subway and any other route in and out of the city, then “flood the island with blue.”
Populating a City
Taylor Kitsch plays Boseman’s partner, while J.K. Simmons, Keith David, Sienna Miller and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK breakout Stephan James also star. In fact, James (above) was brought in because of Chadwick Bosemen’s recommendation. Boseman acted as a producer on the film. On stage at CinemaCon, he said it was a thrill “to see a project through from beginning to end.”
From the stage at CinemaCon, Boseman also said 21 BRIDGES appealed to him as “a fast-paced action movie” that, in the end, is “a ride when you watch it.” In addition, the movie “took me back to my theatre days,” because it has “fast-paced language like in [plays and films by] David Mamet.” The actor referred to “that New York feel,” which is all over the trailer.
Crime and Corruption
We can’t wait to share the trailer for 21 BRIDGES, which crackles with the sort of excitement we love to see in a thriller. The story is more than just robbers and drugs — there’s a current of corruption running through the story. While this story looks pretty clear-cut at first, expect to see Boseman’s character making some tough decisions by the end. While the star referenced David Mamet’s work — immediately bringing to mind projects like GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS — there’s also the feel of knotty, tough thrillers like L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
In fact, Boseman said he did a lot of research with both the Los Angeles and New York police departments in preparation for this movie. He said it was “fun hanging out with them, and at times it was horrific — [things] they talked about and showed me put me right in the mind-state of the character.” The footage presentation in Las Vegas suggested that his character has a tortured past, and the actor said the cops he rode with “talked a lot about how the job affects them personally and takes over their entire lives. That’s an element we try to stay true to in the film. It was a life-changing experience spending time with them.”
21 BRIDGES is currently set to open on July 12.