Credit: Michael Muller

Mr. T is nowhere to be found in this movie adaptation of the tongue-in-cheek ’80’s action series from director Joe Carnahan (Smokin’ Aces). But if stars Liam Neeson (Col. John “Hannibal” Smith) and Bradley Cooper (Lt. Templeton “Faceman” Peck) have their way, this version will still be mui macho.

“When my agent said, A-Team, I said, ‘oh, please,'” recalls Neeson, who, after the success of Taken and an upcoming role as Zeus in Clash of the Titans, has unexpectedly hit the action hero phase of his career. “Some of these films can be so empty and bland, but this was riveting. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into it and it had a wonderful camaraderie between the guys.”

Filling out the rest of the A-Team’s van are former wrestler Quinton Jackson taking up where Mr. T left off as Sgt. B.A. Baracus and District 9‘s Sharlto Copley as Capt. H.M. “Howling Mad” Murdock.

“If this movie works, it’ll have the feeling of older buddy action movies like Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop,” says Cooper, who spent two months enduring fierce workouts and following a Hugh Jackman-like regimen of dry chicken and rice to buff-up for the role. “It’s always been a dream to do an action movie. I love sports and I love pretending to fight.”

For more on the new A-Team, check out this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

Photo Credit: Michael Muller