The crew: five Special Forces vets played by Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal. The target: $75 million in cash belonging to a notorious South American cartel.
J.C. Chandor’s heist film Triple Frontier is a deep-dive into greed, following these men as they use the skills honed in service to their country to do a little lawbreaking — putting their own interests first after years of risking everything for someone else.
“We [wanted to] explore people under intense pressure and very great temptation,” Affleck tells EW. “[They] have a really strong set of morals but find those really tested in fire.”
Unfortunately for the thieves, what starts as a straightforward smash-and-grab soon goes south. Before long, the team has to figure out how to escape with their lives, the cash, and their ethical code intact.
“It’s ostensibly this heist film,” adds Isaac, “but it’s everything that happens after that. Once you do the thing, how do you get away?”
Chandor directs from a script he co-wrote with Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty), but the film has long been in the works: Director Kathryn Bigelow was originally attached to direct Triple Frontier for Paramount back in 2010, and over the years, actors including Tom Hanks, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, Channing Tatum, and Tom Hardy were all reportedly circling the film. Eventually, Triple Frontier wound up at Netflix with Chandor (A Most Violent Year) directing.
The actors met with real military experts and former Special Ops vets for character insight and weapons instruction, and they also underwent high-altitude training to prepare for some of Triple Frontier’s biggest stunts — like a scene where Affleck and Isaac dangle from a mountain. But once they got to set, they realized their training could only take them so far.
“That was one of those things where you realize the difference between professional soldiers and actors,” Affleck says with a laugh. “We were just on the side of a mountain for two hours, and all of us were like, ‘We’re cold and we want to go home!'”
Triple Frontier is now streaming on Netflix.