Though best known for his comedic roles in the sketch comedy series Mr. Show and Saturday Night Live, Bob Odenkirk blazed a trail for himself dramatically after starring as scumbag lawyer Saul Goodman Breaking Bad, and even leading the prequel spin-off series Better Call Saul. The Emmy winner is about to take another divergence in his career though and will rebrand himself as Bob Odenkirk: Action Star as he leads the cast and produces the upcoming action-thriller Nobody from Universal Pictures. What kind of action are we talking about? The film is written by John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad, produced by John Wick & Atomic Blonde director David Leitch, and directed by Hardcore Henry filmmaker Ilya Naishuller.
“I get the s--- kicked out of me in this movie,” Odenkirk told Entertainment Weekly who debuted the first look at the film. “I really wanted to go way far outside, like 180 degrees outside my comfort zone. Just commit to this guy, commit to his rage, and commit to his commitment to what he’s doing....It’s not a clean, vengeful narrative. It’s almost like collateral damage causes him more trouble than his initial problems.”
In the film Odenkirk plays Hutch Mansell, described as "an unassuming family man who cowers and folds during a home invasion" but is driven by his PTSD from the event to "summon a secret lethal skill set" as he seeks out the culprits. This doesn't go the way of John Wick though, with the outlet saying it backfires "spectacularly and puts his family in greater jeopardy."
Odenkirk revealed that the inspiration for the film came to him indirectly from his work on Better Call Saul, adding: “It started with an advertisement for Better Call Saul in China that my brother-in-law sent me. I thought, ‘Wow, they’re watching Saul in China! I wonder if I could do a film that could play around the world.’ Action-genre movies with strong, clear character drives and challenges play around the world. I’m in pretty good shape. I can get in better shape. They know me around the world as a character who’s striving, earnest, failing, getting back up again. It’s essentially an action lead without the fighting.”
To prepare for the part, Odenkirk trained for two years with stuntman Daniel Bernhardt, a frequent collaborator with David Leitch, whose credits include The Matrix Reloaded, Logan, Hobbs & Shaw, Bird of Prey, and naturally, John Wick. In their time together Odenkirk reportedly learned boxing, jujitsu, karate, and judo moves.
Currently scheduled for a February 19, 2021 release date, the film also stars Connie Nielsen (Wonder Woman), Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future), RZA (Ghost Dog), Gage Munroe, and Paisley Cadorath.