Michael B. Jordan on Without Remorse and How Tom Cruise Motivated Him to Do His Own Stunts

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With Without Remorse now streaming on Amazon Prime, I recently spoke with Michael B. Jordan about starring as John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. Directed by Stefano Sollima (Sicario: Day of the Soldado), Without Remorse sees Jordan take on the role of Sr. Chief John Kelly (known as John Clark in Clancy’s books), who must figure out who killed his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, while also trying to expose a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. The film was written by Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone) and Will Staples (Sweet Girl), and also stars Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Brett Gelman, Colman Domingo, Cam Gigandet, and Guy Pearce.

During the interview, Jordan talked about why he wanted to take on this material, how Tom Cruise motivated him to do his own stunts, what it was like going into a burning car and filming an extensive underwater sequence, and his thoughts on the film streaming on Amazon instead of being in theaters. In addition, he talked about why he wanted to produce the live-action Static Shock movie, how he’s getting ready to direct Creed 3, and those Superman rumors.

Check out what he had to say below.

COLLIDER: I’ve been asking everyone this first question during the pandemic, what TV series would you love to guest star on?

MICHAEL B. JORDAN: Ooh, that’s good. Oh man, I’ll split between Ozark and The Boys.

Very good choices. Who wins in a fight between John Kelly, Erik Killmonger and John Wick?

JORDAN: Oh man, it depends. Does Killmonger have a suit?

Maybe.

JORDAN: All right. I got to go Killmonger on that one.

Got it, okay. No debate. You think you’ve got John Wick in that fight?

JORDAN: With the suit? Without question. It’s not even close.

Michael B Jordan in Without Remorse

Image via Amazon

Yeah, you’re right. So one of the things that I think is cool about Stefano is that he wants his actors to do his own stunts. And that airplane sequence in this movie is pretty gnarly. So what the hell was it like when he told you about this sequence? And were you like, “I don’t know if I can do this,” or were you like, “Sign me up?”

JORDAN: Oh, no. That was definitely something that I looked at him and I let him know that, “Hey, listen, I’m doing all my stuff.” And he was ecstatic to hear that we were on the same page and like you said, he wanted actors that could rock out and do all their stunts. And I did the exact same, I felt the exact same way. So it was a match made in heaven when it came to that.

RELATED: Final ‘Without Remorse’ Trailer Teases Michael B. Jordan’s Next Franchise

Well, talk a little bit about breakdown, filming that sequence though, because you are actually holding your breath for a minute or two. And there were some cool camera moves, and it’s like a long oner at a certain point.

JORDAN: Yeah. I mean, that was probably one of the more intense moments that I had on set when it came to just the underwater training and stunts in those high, stressful situations. And being able to work through malfunctions and being able to really do that on my own. It was really incredible. But we had an incredible stunt team who kept us safe and work with this day in and day out to make sure we were prepared for what we were getting ourself into.

What was it about this character and this material that said, “I want to take this on,” and possibly do this as a franchise. Because if it’s successful, obviously you’re going to want to make more.

JORDAN: I mean, honestly, as a kid, playing Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, I think … And imagine myself in that role and playing that game for a long time. I think for things to come full circle and to be able to breathe life into this franchise and make it more representative of the world that we live in today, I think it was truly something I was looking forward to doing. Had all the bones of a great origin story, and it felt like the perfect fit.

Michael B Jordan in Without Remorse

Image via Amazon

Well, I’m curious if you justify to people in your life, “Listen, to get ready for this movie I’m going to have to play more video games, more Rainbow Six. I need you to leave me alone because I got to play some games.”

JORDAN: Hey man, listen, anything I can do to get more time on the sticks, it was … Yeah, had to do that.

So originally this is a Paramount release, and now it’s coming out on Amazon. Which I would argue is going to make it where more people are going to be watching it opening weekend. What does it mean to you to be coming out on Amazon and in the streaming world?

JORDAN: I’m excited about it. Honestly when the pandemic hit, when we got finished making this movie, it was really a question of when will things open back up, and when can we release this movie? When will people see it? So the fact that Amazon created this partnership to be able to release this movie on streaming, I think it was incredible. I’m happy that people are going to be able to watch this movie all over the world. And that means a lot, it means a lot.

What’s a day or two you’re always going to remember from filming this movie. Is it the day you went into a burning car?

JORDAN: That is a day I would always remember. Yes. Yes, yes, yes, it is. Yeah, man, it’s really hot. This is one of those things where you don’t really understand the intensity of the flames until you walk up on a car that’s burning, and it is intense. To the point your hair’s singeing up on you know, your eyelashes and eyebrows might get a little singe, but at the same time the adrenaline was rushing. I didn’t think about it too much. I think if I thought about it for too long, I might not have done it. So I just had to like, “All right, cool. Let’s do this. Gel me up, get me in there. Let’s do it.” And we got it done, so it was fine.

Michael B Jordan in Without Remorse

Image via Amazon

After this movie, because you did some great stunt work in this thing, do you look at someone like Tom Cruise and see some of the stuff that he is willing to do, and think I can do that? Because I think it is truly amazing what he is willing to do. I’m just curious what your take is on what he also does with stunts.

JORDAN: Yeah, that’s definitely the … I mean, he is the guy. In the sense of the type of hard work and dedication that he puts into his craft and his stunts, was definitely motivated me and inspired me to want to do them myself as well. So I’m all for building stunts and things that I can actually get in there and physically do myself, and also training for them specifically. I mean, he’s got to save some for the rest of us. I mean, because in his career, he’s checked off so many intense boxes and being able to come up with new and creative ways to push the envelope. And that’s why he’s the legend that he is.

Oh, completely. My jaw is on the ground for some of the stuff that he’s willing to do. When I heard the possibility of you playing Superman, I was like, “That’s awesome.” I’m just curious, is that something that’s actually possible? Is it something that you guys are talking about, or is that something just from the past that I’m never going to see?

JORDAN: I mean, I’m flattered that I keep coming up in conversation in these rumors to play characters like that. I mean, as you know, I’ve been rumored to play so many different characters over the years. I mean, at this point, it’s flattering, I’m humbled by it. And whoever ends up stepping into that role, it’s definitely one to look for.

RELATED: Michael B. Jordan Confirms ‘Static Shock’ Producer Status With a Single Tweet

I’m very excited about you producing Static Shock.

JORDAN: Oh, man. Awesome.

I want to know what was it about this material that said, “I want to be involved in this,” and can give people a status update as to where the project is?

JORDAN: Yeah. Right now we have a writer, Randy McKinnon, who’s putting together take and a draft right now, really excited … I mean, again, as a kid growing up, watching Static Shock, it was something that inspired me. And had that type of representation at a young age, it was really important to me. And I know it would be important to a lot of other kids today. So to be able to adapt the live action version of that, I’m really, really excited about. So no real timelines, and no, I guess no real updates or anything like that. But we’re in the process of building that out. And I can’t wait to have something more to tell you guys later.

Jodie Turner-Smith and Michael B Jordan in Without Remorse

Image via Amazon

Something that I am so excited for, because I grew up reading the comics, is What If…? And I know that you are a part of it. I’m just curious, what can you tease about being part of What If…?, and is it something that excites you or you’re looking forward to people seeing it?

JORDAN: I don’t think there’s anything I can talk about that. But I’m excited about that project in the sense of I can’t wait to watch it. You know what I’m saying? And see what they’re doing with it, but I don’t know if I can talk about that. I don’t know. I don’t know, I’m scared now. I feel like Marvel is just peek through the blinds and be like, “You know you can’t say anything about this,” so I’m going to just-

I get it. What’s coming up for you though this year, in terms of what are you getting ready to film? What are you excited about doing?

JORDAN: Right now I’m loose prep for Creed 3, directing and starring in that. Which I’m really, really excited about, just taking that character to the next level and pushing him forward in his story and his franchise. I’m extremely excited about talking and getting advice and wisdom from so many different directors that I respect and love and have worked with in the past. So I’m as ready as ever to step into that position, and I can’t wait to share that with you as well.

I could ask you a million questions, but my time is up. Really looking forward to you getting behind the camera and seeing what you’re going to do.

JORDAN: I appreciate it, man. Thank you, man. Always good talking with you and talk to you soon.

Have a great day, man. Thank you.

JORDAN: All right. Cool.

KEEP READING: Michael B. Jordan to Make Directorial Debut on ‘Creed 3’

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Steve Weintraub
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Steven Weintraub launched Collider in the summer of 2005. As Editor-in-chief, he has taken the site from a small bedroom operation to having millions of readers around the world. If you’d like to follow Steven on Twitter or Instagram, you can expect plenty of breaking news, exclusive interviews, and pictures of cats doing stupid things.

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