Robert Lorenz’s newest movie The Marksman is set to hit theaters January 15, 2021.
The Marksman follows Jim Hansen, a rancher who lives on the Arizona border and following a tragic run in with a Cartel becomes the unlikely and reluctant protector of a young boy, Miguel. Jim and Miguel race across the country to try and escape the Cartel assassins who are continuing to pursue them.
The film is written by Robert Lorenz, Chris Charles, and Danny Kravitz. The Marksman is directed by Robert Lorenz and stars Liam Neeson, Katheryn Winnick, Juan Pablo Raba, Jacob Perez, and Teresa Ruiz. The Illuminerdi was able to speak with him about working with Liam Neeson and the character’s arc though the movie.
The Illuminerdi: I thought the movie was very cool. I grew up watching Westerns and this felt like a modern take on that cowboy or Western story could you talk a little about that?
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, that was exactly what appealed to me about the script. The first draft that I received was the idea that it was a sort of Western about this guy’s a rancher protecting his property and the villain comes to town and then there’s a showdown. Except of course in this case it’s the bank that’s trying to take his property and the villains are cartel assassins. I love Westerns and that definitely appealed to me and I also liked the fact that it was sort of a thriller and a road movie all those things are kind of fun to play with as a director.
ROBERT LORENZ TALKS ABOUT WORKING WITH LIAM NEESON
The Illuminerdi: Can you tell me a little bit about what it was like working with Liam Neeson?
Robert Lorenz: Liam is great. I thought it was such a coup to get him to play the lead in this movie. And I wasn’t really thinking in terms of Taken or any of those movies I was thinking more in terms of what a good actor he is in so many great films, Schindler’s List and so forth and because I really wanted somebody that could deliver on this character and the performance.
The character is a guy that is sort of preoccupied with his own problems, his wife has died and is losing his house and so forth and so he’s sort of indifferent to the plight of this young boy. But then along the way he starts to realize that his salvation lies in his being selfless and helping others and that’s become sort of the purpose of his life which is I thought a kind of a cool idea and I guess Liam did too.
The Illuminerdi: Yeah, it really seemed like in the movie when the priest said to him that the mother must have trusted him a lot, had a lot of faith in him that really hit him hard and was kind of a turning point for him.
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, exactly that was kind of the moment where he realized that the things he was searching for in life could be found by helping someone else basically. It gives him purpose that he was lacking in and so that’s the final drive to the end of the movie then is he has a purpose.
The Illuminerdi: Yeah, in that last fight it almost turned into a fight for Miguel, the boy’s soul between Liam Neeson’s character and the cartel member, can you talk a bit about how it flipped from a this is a big battle sequence to a fight for his soul?
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, that was kind of the point there, glad it hit. Yeah, Liam’s character, Jim Hansen, wants to give Miguel a chance to make the most of his life and so he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. We see that reflected in the villain too who didn’t get a chance to make the most of his life. So, this was trying to set up the contrast between Miguel’s youth and the choices that these guys have made in their lives.
The Illuminerdi: The villain seemed very, kind of, obsessed with this idea of being a soldier and when he took the silver star and was staring at it, why exactly was that his main focus?
Robert Lorenz: Well, I had this idea, which I discussed with Juan Pablo beforehand was just that this guy, as is revealed in the end, he never really had a choice to what he was going to do with his life. He was stuck on this journey and he was making the most of what he had. He was all in on being the best at what he is.
He saw himself as a soldier as following the orders of someone else and he wanted to be the best soldier he could be and so he’s obviously offended when Liam says in the early scene that he’s not really a soldier. So, it’s something he covets and he wants to prove himself by the end of the movie that at least if nothing else he was good at being a soldier, but of course, it’s a flawed goal for him.
The Illuminerdi: Was there anything you learned from working on Trouble With The Curve that you brought into directing The Marksman?
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, well I’m always learning, I’m always trying to get better at it and, I can’t point to anything specific. ButI wanted to keep the pacing moving and, in terms of the flow of the movie. So I guess I don’t know if there is anything specific there. You just sort of gain confidence with each movie that you do and you get better at it just like everything in life and I try and take all the hard lessons with you and improve on them. And I guess if anything, it’sperseverance, just sort of the key to this business is just sticking with it and knowing that you can do better keep at that.
The Illuminerdi: What was the message that you wanted to send with this movie?
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, well first and foremost I just thought it was an entertaining story and I really wanted people to be entertained. So, I wasn’t setting out to send a specific message other than I thought was a nice theme which is selflessness. That’s what Jim’s character, comes to understand that gives meaning to his life is helping someone else rather than being focused solely on his own problems.
The Illuminerdi: You also wrote the movie?
Robert Lorenz: Well, I co-wrote it, these writers Chris Charles and Danny Kravits had written a draft and there were a lot of things about it that really appealed to me. It was the western, it was a road movie and all that. I had sort of a different take on the characters, so I went in and rewrote them to try and bring in a different dimension to them. It was a different kind of collaboration, but I’m very proud of, I enjoyed working with these guys, they had come up with a great concept to kick it off with.
The Illuminerdi: It must have been very cool to bring something that you had written then actually direct it as well?
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, it is kind of a surreal experience to see somebody saying the words that you write and having them up on the big screen it’s a lot of fun and, yeah I enjoyed that part.
The Illuminerdi: Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me.
Robert Lorenz: Yeah, thank you for this.
The Marksman hits theaters January 15, 2021. Will you be seeing Robert Lorenz’s The Marksman? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.