American Made tells the (mostly true) story of pilot Barry Seal, who was hired by the CIA in the 80s to fly guns into South America. Not content with being a CIA gun smuggler, Seal decides to add a lucrative return trip to his schedules, hooking up with Pablo Escobar to bring cocaine back into the US.
It’s quite the departure for Cruise, playing an anti-hero covered in coke, but we’re going with him on this one. Both he and Liman have a good grasp of the comedic elements of the script, and the story is mad enough to require very little embellishment.
Indeed, as Liman told HeyUGuys, “It’s the most incredible story, full of outrageous things we couldn’t possibly invent.” “It’s not a movie about drugs. I’m not interested in that. It’s about this guy at the heart of the story and the decisions he makes.”
Predictably, Tom Cruise did his own flying in the movie, something that made Liman a little nervous, particularly when the actor was required to leave his cockpit to dump ‘drugs’ out the back of the plane.
“We’d be flying alongside Tom in a helicopter, and he would wave, and then disappear to the back of the plane to do the shot. And nobody would be at the controls.”
Intriguingly, Liman’s father was the prosecutor at the heart of the Iran-Contra scandal in the 80s, so he knows a thing or two about dodgy arms deals. “My father gave immunity to Oliver North after the Iran-Contra scandal. It was serious. It was a huge deal, breaking of the constitution by a sitting president. My father would come home, literally laughing at some of the crazy things he’d seen that day.”
We certainly believe the script is in the right hands. American Made also stars Sara Wright, Jesse Plemons, Domhnall Gleeson and Caleb Landry Jones, and is released on 25 August. Watch the trailer right here: