A first look at the new A-Team cast reveals an eclectic mix of actors rivaling the original: Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quentin “Rampage” Jackson are set to helm Joe Carnahan’s film adaptation. Or in other words, a veteran award winner, an up and coming star, an almost complete novice, and a certifiable lunatic. More on each after the jump.
Liam Neeson plays Col. John “Hannibal” Smith. He wasn’t known for splashy action movies until spring’s Taken became a surprise hit. The A Team and Clash of the Titans continue this change from his more somber early work.
Bradley Cooper, who plays Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck has just recently become an A-lister (A-? B+?) with the success of The Hangover and a rumored relationship with Jennifer Aniston. Before that, he was mainly known for supporting parts in Wedding Crashers and He’s Just Not that Into You . We liked him the most in Wet Hot American Summer.
The last two members of the A-Team really set themselves apart. First we have Sharlto Copley playing Capt. “Howling Mad” Murdock. Sharlto came on the scene after District 9‘s critical and commercial success. He was cast in the film because director Neill Bloomkamp was a long time friend. In fact, he secretly screentested Copley even though he had no experience as an actor aside from a small indie film they’d done together.
The last and most controversial member of the new A-Team is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who’s playing B.A Baracus. Rampage was a Pride Fighter and UFC Champion before appearing on The Ultimate Figher reality show. Few outside of mixed martial arts knew of him until he was arrested for evading police in a dangerous high-speed chase in Costa Mesa, California. The day after Rampage was institutionalized for depression and not eating. Needless to say, he brings some baggage into his role as B.A. Baracus.