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SABOTAGE (in theaters March 28) – Photos from LA Premiere

SABOTAGE (in theaters March 28)  -  Photos from LA Premiere  37


Filmmaker David Ayer, acclaimed for his gritty and realistic portrayal of life behind the blue line in End of Watch, reinvents screen legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he directs Sabotage, an action thriller that follows one of the best assault teams on the planet, an elite special operations team of ten DEA agents.

The elite team executes what appears to be a tactical raid on a cartel safe house, which in fact, turns out to be an elaborate theft operation, pre-planned by the members of the DEA squad itself. After hiding $10 million in stolen cash, the rogue agents believe their secret is safe – that is until someone begins methodically assassinating members of the team, one-by-one. As the body count rises, everyone is suspect, including members of the team itself.

David Ayer directed and wrote Sabotage based on the original screenplay by Skip Woods. Financed and produced by QED International, Bill Block and Paul Hanson serve as producers. The action-thriller stars an ensemble cast of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Harold Perrineau, Martin Donovan, Max Martini, Josh Holloway, and Mireille Enos. Open Road Films has acquired U.S. distribution and worldwide sales are being handled by QED.


 John Breacher (Arnold Schwarzenegger) leads an elite team of undercover DEA special operations agents. “The ad hoc family,” as Ayer describes, “works together to go after big game in the drug war. Whether they’re taking out a Moroccan tier one trafficker in Paris, or a drug lord in the slums of a Colombian city, or Juarez, Mexico, there’s always someone on this team that can infiltrate a specific organization.”

Breacher leads his special-ops team on a raid, an extremely dangerous mission on a drug-cartel safe house in Atlanta. They arrive at the hideout and Monster (Sam Worthington), Sugar (Terrence Howard), Neck (Josh Holloway), Pyro (Max Martini), Tripod (Kevin Vance), Grinder (Joe Manganiello), and Smoke (Mark Schlegel) led by Breacher, storm the building.

David Ayer shares, “One thing that drew me to the story was it opens with this sophisticated clockwork raid against some cartel bad guys. There’s a saying in screenwriting that you have to open a script with a bang. I built upon that idea and thought that we’d have this theft, by the DEA agents themselves, be really daring and bold. I loved the idea that it would actually happen under the eyes of their supervisors.”

“I see these guys as the SEAL Team Six in the war on drugs. It’s like the 101st Airborne going in and kicking in doors in Fallujah. This is the sort of imagery that I wanted to bring to the screen. You see it right away: the training, the weapons, the gear and the entire look. Everything is very specific, very real and very state of the art.”

“One could say that Breacher and his team aren’t exactly morally centered,” explains Ayer. “It’s a complex story because there’s good guys, there’s bad guys, there’s antagonists and there’s protagonists, but it’s not necessarily clear who’s who and what’s what at any given point.

Ayer continues, “Each character is so strong and so specific and has a specialty. For example, there’s Monster (Sam Worthington), a guy who can go inside a skinhead gang or the Aryan Nation, infiltrate them and take guys like that down.

Any one of Breacher’s team members would be a rock star in any police department, so the idea is they’ve taken the superstars of law enforcement and undercover law enforcement and put them together. With Arnold’s character in charge of this ad-hoc family… they’d go out, get in, and take out the baddest of the bad guys. The problem, however, is no matter how bad you are, there’s always someone badder out there.”

“The building is very well protected. It’s obvious that the cartel is trying to safeguard something very important. Lizzy (Mireille Enos) leads the team through heavy fire to a room holding $200 million in cold, hard cash. One of the team members is killed in action, as the others secretly load ten million dollars into the sewage line under the house, while lighting the rest of the cash on fire. With their secret stash secure, the mission is seemingly complete.

Six months pass, and the team is under investigation by Internal Affairs. When the investigators are unable to prove any wrongdoing, Breacher is cleared to reassemble his team. The team believes that their secret is safe, looking forward to their big payday. However, soon, they are baffled and horrified as someone begins to methodically assassinate each member of the team — one-by-one.

Fear and paranoia sets in and starts to tear at the threads of the closely-knit family. As Schwarzenegger explains, “there’s tremendous betrayals in the story which makes it multi-dimensional. It’s very twisted, and interesting, and even horrific in some ways.”


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