Kevin: Mike I know you and I have previously discussed the news that the entertainingly sleazy (or sleazily entertaining) Gerard Butler heist flick “Den of Thieves,” which became a surprise hit earlier this year despite a distinct lack of geostorms, is even more surprisingly getting a sequel. Well since that article and our review of the film continue to be among our most popular posts of the last few months – and with the original available to rent or purchase starting today – I say give the people what they want, and obviously that’s more “Den of Thieves” talk! Plus we have additional info about the further adventures of Butler’s heroically hungover cop, thanks to an interview between writer/director Christian Gudegast and Screen Rant that a fan of both “Den of Thieves” and Tough Guy Digest sent us: https://screenrant.com/den-thieves-2-story-details/
(Spoilers to follow)
First of all, they really needed a better copy editor for this interview, because his answer to the question of whether he planned to do a sequel from the very beginning is really confusing. First he says “initially not,” and strongly implies that the demand for a sequel came from the studio after the first one was a hit. Then he says: “Thankfully, thank god, we’re all very fortunate that it did very well and now we’re going to do a sequel which is great.”
The lack of a comma between “sequel” and “which” is really unfortunate, because I can’t tell if he is already guaranteeing that the sequel will be great, or saying that it’s great that they are doing a sequel because, let’s be honest, that’s another paycheck for everyone involved.
Then he is quoted as saying “But that initially the plan.” WTF, they left out the most important word in that sentence, was it initially the plan or wasn’t it? Then he says this: “That’s just something that sort of you know as we were making it and we were feeling that the twist was working, and it setting up well for a sequel – if it performed, that we would do one. And it performed so, the sequel will be something that I have researched for years and years.” At this point I have no idea what the hell he is trying to say, other than that this sequel was either planned from the very beginning or was just decided upon yesterday, but it’s based on something that’s been in the works for years, unless the movie tanked, then never mind.
Then the interviewer does something very rare nowadays and asks a follow-up question based on the information he’s just heard, in this instance that since Gudegast has been working on this other story for “years and years,” obviously he must be much further along in the pre-production process than would normally be the case, right? Right? Well according to Gudegast: “The whole story is done. It’s not written, but the outline is completely finished. We’re now just waiting for all the deals to be done with the producers the stars etc. And once that’s all handled, I will write it. But it’s all … the hard work is done.”
“So yeah, this story I’ve been working on for years and years is totally done, except for the whole part of actually writing it down.” Man, could this kind of answer work for us in any of our jobs? “Yeah I wrote that report like five days ago boss. No, I mean I wrote it in my mind, I still need to actually put pen to paper, but yeah other than that it’s done, don’t sweat it.” By the way, I like that he is admitting that actually writing the script that will form the basis of the film is NOT considered part of the “hard work” of said film in his eyes.
Next he says what we have already known, that Butler’s cop character Big Nick will be hunting O’Shea Jackson’s fugitive bandit Donnie in Europe, while Donnie will be involved in a diamond heist, although this is the first we have heard about him being involved with the “Pink Panther” mafia, which has got to be the least intimidating organized crime nickname since the “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” mafia. I guess this means the not-exactly-svelte Donnie will be shimmying through some more air ducts, so hopefully he’s laid off the fish and chips while in London.
Gudegast also says there will be more than one twist this time, and that hopefully they will be very surprising. I’m guessing they won’t be, but I find it refreshing that – after acknowledging the first film’s Fort Knox-sized debt to “Heat” and “The Usual Suspects” – he has no hesitation about naming the movies he just watched on Netflix and which he will be stealing from for the sequel: “Gomorrah,” “Suburra,” “Sexy Beast,” and “Ronin.”
I also like that this procrastinating motherfucker hasn’t even written the script yet, but he already knows which European locales he wants to go drinking and whoring in with Gerard Butler on the studio dime: London, Belgium, Marseilles, Cote d’Azur, and Montenegro.
So Mike after reading this interview, are you even more excited about the obvious passion and creative vision that Gudegast has for continuing the rich and layered “Den of Thieves” mythology, which he wanted to do from the very beginning, although maybe not, but then because the studio wanted it after it made money, but he’s been working on it for years and he can’t wait to start filming, as soon as he gets around to filing his taxes, finally catching up on the last couple of seasons of “Nurse Jackie,” and then doing the easy part and actually writing the script?
Either way, when the sequel finally makes the transition from Gudegast’s brain to the silver screen, am I coming to New York to see it, or are you coming to Austin?
Mike: Before I answer, let me just say that so much of this article is utter horseshit, especially this: “Like the first movie, which was inspired by a real life attempt to rob the Federal Reserve in Los Angeles, Den of Thieves 2 will be based on a true event.”
We really need have a better system in place for when you can use the phrase “Based on true events.” While I’m sure at some point someone did attempt to rob the Federal Reserve, I’m positive it wasn’t even remotely close to how they did it in “Den of Thieves,” which involved numerous murders, sabotage, double-crosses, intricate knowledge of ever evolving bank security systems and police response times, outrageous odds of success, and a healthy dollop of plain old dumb luck. The real-life event is about a janitor who shoved $5,000 down his underpants and tried to walk out with it. He’s doing 45 years in the state pen.
I also have to say that this question in particular stood out to me: “And what sort of stage of development is the sequel – congratulations on that by the way – what sort of stage is that in?” I’m glad the editors at Screen Rant felt the need to include the candid “congratulations on that by the way,” so that we – the humble readers – would know that SR isn’t just all about dollars and cents. They actually care about Christian Gudegast’s professional well-being!
Now let’s go back to his response one more time: “The whole story is done. It’s not written, but the outline is completely finished. We’re now just waiting for all the deals to be done with the producers the stars etc. And once that’s all handled, I will write it. But it’s all… the hard work is done. It’s all structured, it’s all outlined, I have the whole story. It’s just a matter of putting pen to page.”
“The hard work is done everybody! All I need to do is write it! I’m going to Las Vegas next weekend, I’ll write a bulk of it between Blackjack hands. It’ll be a piece of cake … the budget? I don’t know, maybe $375 million, no big deal. THE HARD WORK IS DONE, I’VE GOT THE OUTLINE!”
Actually I just came up with an outline of my own for the sequel, and it really wasn’t hard at all since it took about five minutes while I was on the toilet. I can’t wait to see how close this is to the actual movie:
– Big Nick lands in London, on a “hunch.”
– Donnie is casing the diamond exchange.
– Big Nick meets a bunch of Interpol cops, determines they are all “pussies,” and has L.A. County Sheriffs flown out to pick up the slack.
– Donnie recruits a team of his own. Mostly people he’s met through his bartending gig.
– Donnie and Big Nick fuck the same woman. We’re not sure who she is loyal to, but since she’s half-Spanish, she’s loyal to Donnie.
– Something goes wrong and Donnie is almost caught!
– Big Nick, unable to capitalize on Donnie’s mistake, is forced to go back to square one.
– Heist prep!
– Donnie’s crew sets up a diversion to confuse Big Nick. He’s not buying it, and instead goes with his “hunch,” but realizes too late that Donnie’s original diversion was just a diversion to the diversion. DOUBLE DIVERSIONS!
– Diamonds are stolen, while Big Nick is waiting in a parking lot somewhere else thinking he’s on the right track.
– Big Nick realizes his mistake, goes to the correct location, but is too late to stop the heist.
– Donnie’s girlfriend/woman-Big-Nick-already-banged throws a third diversion into the mix.
– Donnie fakes his own death.
– Big Nick almost dies, gets drunk instead.
– Movie ends with everyone unconcerned about the location of the billion-dollars-worth of stolen diamonds because one man is dead over it.
– Credits roll.
– Post-credit scene! Donnie is living in Japan, speaking fluent Japanese, and looking to rob a Yakuza crime boss, despite having $800 million in uncut diamonds. Because he’s in it for the RUSH!
Let’s also go back to the movies he listed off as “influences” for “Den of Thieves 2”: “Gomorrah,” “Suburra,” “Sexy Beast,” and “Ronin.” I’m pretty sure what he meant to say was: “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “XXX: State of the Union,” and the Mark Wahlberg remake of “The Italian Job.” Then again I could be wrong, but I’ll be the first to admit it if “Den of Thieves 2” matches or even surpasses the brilliant cinematic work of “Gomorrah.” It’s probably going to be really hard to tell the difference! One is a 30-hour operatic saga involving the Italian underworld, and the other stars Ice Cube’s son.
Now here is how it would go if I conducted this interview:
Mike: “It took Michael Mann, a genius, almost 25 years to finally get his vision of ‘Heat’ on to the screen. Do you think it’s fair to compare your film to his? Would you dare say you and Michael Mann are peers?”
Christian Gudegast : “Yes and …”
AT THIS POINT THE INTERVIEW IS CUT SHORT BECAUSE I SPIN-KICKED CHRISTIAN GUDEGAST IN THE FACE, KNOCKING HIM OUT COLD.
Kevin I’d love to come to Austin just to see this trash together! According to Christian Gudegast, he’s going to be done writing it any minute now despite the fact that he didn’t even start it. Then he’s just got the super-easy job of filming and editing the entire movie, so it should probably hit theaters in the next month or so.