A super soldier not just trying to get the bad guys, but trying to figure out if he can trust what’s in his own mind? That’s heavy stuff – and that was precisely the draw for Vin Diesel.
After creating unforgettable big-screen characters in such movies as the Fast and Furious series, xXx, and The Chronicles of Riddick, among many others – not to mention his vocal turns in The Iron Giant and Guardians of the Galaxy – Diesel was ready to sink his teeth into his first on-screen superhero role, and with Bloodshot, Diesel was drawn to the opportunity to create a character just as memorable.
Not to mention that bringing to life the most popular character in Valiant Comics’ lineup provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. With a wide readership of over 81 million comics sold, the Valiant books possess a diverse array of characters encompassing a wide variety of genres, tones, and demographic groups. Famed for presenting superheroes who are ordinary people in extraordinary situations, these heroes are complex characters that reflect contemporary society, politics, and diversity of the modern world.
In that way, Diesel says that Bloodshot is unique because while his powers are striking and fun to watch, it’s what’s going on inside that counts. “His mind has been controlled,” says the actor-producer. “He’s a badass soldier with unique abilities due to the nanites in his blood, but what’s fascinating about the character is that he’s motivated by something we’ve all been motivated by – the love he can’t forget. And what’s tragic about the character is how that love is manipulated into betrayal.”
For Diesel, a super soldier exhibiting a real Achilles’ heel feels very grounded – and the actor says that the character’s heroic side is just as grounded. “If you ask guys in the military who their favorite comic book character is, it’s Bloodshot,” he notes. “Ray’s core values are the core values of anyone that’s ever served.”
Because of that, Diesel says, the audience feels a deep empathy for the character that is completely unique. “I’ve never seen a character like this – someone who can be focused exclusively on the mission, but you in the audience are feeling for him, because you know that the company is exploiting him. His motives are good, so you just want to see him get what he wants.”
“This is a completely different character from anything Vin has ever played before,” says director David S. F. Wilson. “He is obviously as physically formidable as Vin’s other characters, but from an emotional standpoint, he is very vulnerable. He is being manipulated, he doesn’t know who he is, and he’s broken. Vin was genuinely excited about articulating that, so I knew he’d be perfect for the role.”
And that feeling of being manipulated – the injustice of it – is something that maybe we can all relate to, Diesel says. “I feel that anyone can identify with feeling manipulated,” he says. “As we watch the news in our daily lives there are so many moments that we’re feeling force fed or being manipulated. I like the idea of a hero with powers whose real battle is against that.”
In Philippine cinemas March 11, Bloodshot is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Connect with #Bloodshot and tag columbiapicph