Based on Jack Carr’s book, “The Terminal List” marks the second project Fuqua and Pratt have teamed up to follow “The Magnificent Seven,” a 2016 Western action film.
Fuqua and Pratt were chasing Carr’s book, but their busy filming schedules kept them from talking to each other.
The filmmaker, known for the films ‘Training Day’, ‘Southpaw’ and ‘The Equalizer’, said it was ‘divine order’ that brought him together with the actor for the upcoming show.
“I believe in divine order. It’s just sometimes the stars align that way. He was just chasing the book, I was chasing the book. We’re friends, we talk. We didn’t mention the book because we were around when I was filming, maybe ‘The Equalizer’ and he was maybe filming ‘Jurassic World: Dominion.’ So we were in different places,” the 57-year-old director said.
PTI in a Zoom interview from Los Angeles.
When Pratt found out that Fuqua was also interested in bringing the book to the screen, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star suggested they team up on the potential project.
“My buddy told me about the book, Chris’s guy told him about the book. And Chris called me and said ‘I heard you were looking for that book too. So maybe we can do it together.’ We worked on ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and we had a lot of fun together, we became friends… My favorite part of ‘The Terminal List’ was working with Chris again,” a- he added.
“The Terminal List” follows James Reece (Pratt) after his entire platoon of US Navy SEALs are ambushed during a high-stakes covert mission.
“Reece returns home to his family with conflicting memories of the event and questions about his guilt. However, as new evidence emerges, Reece discovers that dark forces are working against him, endangering not only his life, but the lives of those he loves,” reads the series’ official plot.
Calling the show a “thrilling” ride that explores the theme of humanity, the director said audiences will witness some superb performances.
“It’s not just an action show, it deals with real human struggles, real emotions and has great acting,” he said.
With ‘The Terminal List,’ he wanted to honor his friends, many of whom are Navy SEALs, he said.
“I wanted to pay tribute to them and a lot of them worked on the project with us. It’s important to always give these guys purpose and work, and show how much we appreciate them too.”
Fuqua, who began his career directing music videos featuring Toni Braxton, Stevie Wonder and Prince, said film was his “first love”.
“My first love would be movies,” he said, adding that streamers have changed the small screen experience forever.
“Television has changed because everyone has a big screen, their own home theater. Streamers obviously make it possible to have a big show like this, eight episodes. It’s like a big, long movie in terms of is about me,” the director, also known for the critically acclaimed documentary “What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali,” said.
It was “difficult” for him to adapt to the long storytelling, he admitted.
“There’s a difference just because it’s broken down into these little episodes. It’s hard, because you have to focus on that. Sometimes I find myself filming these long cinematic shots and I’m like, ‘Uh, I’m going to have to cut that’ because it’s never going to be part of the show.”
Fuqua also praised writer-showrunner David DiGilio for retaining the “essence” of Carr’s novel while adapting it.
“David DiGilio did a great job. Also, Jack Carr was involved throughout, he was a partner. We didn’t change anything, we made sure we stayed true to the book and the characters,” he said. -he declares.
“The Terminal List” explores mental health issues such as survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through its characters, and the director has repeatedly said viewers don’t want to hear what the artists had to say on these sensitive subjects.
“They just want us to entertain them. Sometimes part of our job is to smuggle in those important topics through entertainment. And that allows those conversations to happen. The idea that with film or any other form of art through a proper platform you can see PTSD or mental illness in different forms we have to learn to identify it it’s not always like a guy running around like crazy and talking to himself himself,” he added.
Citing the example of his films “Training Day” and “The Guilty”, Fuqua has said for some time that it’s easy to call someone with “an illness” a criminal.
“But sometimes something goes wrong. We have to explore what it’s like. Sometimes someone who’s just sitting in the corner and seems like the nicest person in the world is doing something unspeakable. So, in movies, television, or any other format, you can address or highlight an issue through entertainment and hope someone talks about it.”
“The Terminal List” is produced by Pratt and Jon Schumacher through Indivisible Productions, Antoine Fuqua through Fuqua Films, DiGilio, Carr, and writer Daniel Shattuck.
It also stars Constance Wu, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Riley Keough, Arlo Mertz, Jai Courtney, JD Pardo, Patrick Schwarzenegger, among others.
The series premiered Friday on Prime Video.