With Atomic Blonde, John Wick director David Leitch crafts a retro-cool, stylistic action spy-thriller, led by a badass performance from Oscar-winner Charlize Theron.
As we state in our official Atomic Blonde review (see above), Leitch (who will next direct Fox's Deadpool 2) makes the refreshing distinction of directing an actual female-themed action movie, instead of a standard action movie with a gender swapped lead. His approach to both the action and espionage components of the film are unique and fun, resulting in the best "Female Bond" movie we've seen to date.
We here at Comicbook.com had a chance to sit down and chat with David Leitch about the making of Atomic Blonde - including the challenges of marketing a female spy movie that has an abundance of twists and reveals.
There are many great standout action and character moments in Atomic Blonde, including some wickedly witty dialogue moments between Charlize Theron and co-stars like James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones. Of course, fans are coming to the film primarily to see the epic action and stunt work; David Leitch being an icon in the movie stunt business, we imagine it would be hard to impress him. Naturally, we had to know if there was a moment in Atomic Blonde when the filmmaker impressed himself with his own work.
According to Leitch:
"Absolutely. There is a moment in the film that is absolutely pivotal. I remember being in the theater for the screening and it just sucked the air right out of the room. It's a moment that has the audience going through the 7 stages of denial and it comes completely unexpected. First they're like "oh crap," then they're laughing, but then the overwhelming "oh no what just happened" hits them, they laugh again and the moment resolves itself. Experiencing that was a thrill."
On the marketing front, Atomic Blonde had to find just the right tone to strike, to sell it to movie fans. It's not just enough to show a hard-hitting action movie with a female throwing the punches - the style and (forgive the term) swagger of Atomic Blonde's marketing is what helped to attract the interest of the larger moviegoing audience, male and female.
We asked Leitch about the difficulty of marketing the film's retro style, while also preserving its twists and secrets. According to Leitch:
"Putting together trailers is like a science. So much so that when we were filming fight scenes, there were some that we wanted specifically for the trailer. You have to put just the right amounts of action, dialog and drama into these otherwise it can go absolutely wrong on you. When putting together the trailers for Atomic Blonde, I was pretty involved in the process because we wanted to make sure we could tell the story of the movie without telling the movie's story. Thankfully Charlize, James & the others made it easy for me."