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Nicholas Maggio on His Action-Packed Film Mob Land with John Travolta


Writer/director Nicholas Maggio made the action thriller Mob Land for his 13-year-old self, inspired by independent films of the 1990s. Maggio was inspired to create the story after meeting guys in northern Alabama who were avid muscle cars fans and documenting their lives. John Travolta plays a beleaguered sheriff caught in the crossfire of a revenge-seeking mafia in the film, which pays homage to the American neo-noir genre.

Here’s a case for catharsis through creativity. Writer/director Nicholas Maggio made the new John Travolta action thriller Mob Land for his 13-year-old self. “I was 13 and in my friend’s basement in Pennsylvania, and we got a copy of the VHS for Reservoir Dogs,” Maggio admitted. “I remember having my mind just absolutely blown that this was all possible. I didn’t know that film because I grew up with my dad. We watched Ben-Hur and Lawrence of Arabia. We didn’t watch French Connection or Bullet. I had never seen this gritty kind of film before.

“That’s when I fell in love with filmmaking,” he quickly added. “I fell in love with what film could be, especially the independent films of the 1990s.” Decades later, Maggio has given birth to a gritty action-packed tale, which he co-wrote with Rob Healy.

The story takes place deep in the heart of Dixie, where a small town is struggling with a rise in addiction. An intrepid sheriff (John Travolta) keeps things in check as best as he can, but when Shelby, a frenetic family man (Shiloh Fernandez of Evil Dead) robs a pill mill with Trey (Kevin Dillon of Entourage), his reckless brother-in-law, things turn dire. The New Orleans mafia enters the picture, and the action kicks up. Nicholas Maggio shared more about the film with MovieWeb. Read on.

A Story Inspired By Real Life?
John Travolta Mob Land

Saban Films

Curiously, Nicholas Maggio was inspired to create the tale, thanks to an unconventional encounter about seven years ago. An avid muscle cars fan, he found several guys on Instagram who shared the same interest. They were located in the northern part of Alabama.

“They were all about driving these old beat up muscle cars and I had never met them. I didn’t know anything about them. So, I hit them up on Instagram, and said, ‘Hey, I want to come down and take photos of you guys.’ So literally, a buddy of mine in New York met me in Alabama, and we ended up becoming very good friends with these guys. And we documented their lives for four or five days.”

Maggio loved the area — both his parents were born and raised in Mississippi — and he found northern Alabama intriguing. “It wasn’t totally new to me, but it was a side I hadn’t seen before. And they were taking me to all these small towns where they’re from. So, I knew I wanted to write a story that revolved somewhat around these guys, and this idea of what the American Dream is, and what it means to them. It’s definitely fictionalized, and I ran with it. I mean, my buddies in north Alabama are not hooked on pills and run clinics. But it is something that, you know, they probably have friends who do.”

Related: John Travolta’s Best Movies, Ranked

John Travolta Caught in the Crossfire
Mob Land movie Saban Films

Between Paradise City and Die Hart, it’s been interesting to track Travolta’s career choices of late. Regardless, there’s a fascinating sense of ownership and power in what the Grease and Pulp Fiction star brings to the screen in Mob Land. Once the action gets rolling, audiences discover that the man fueling the New Orleans mafia twist here is a revenge-seeking brute (Stephen Dorff of Blade, Old Henry), who soon threatens Shelby’s wife (Ashley Benson of Pretty Little Liars) and daughter. Travolta’s beleaguered sheriff has to rise to the occasion.

“John read the script, and he expressed to me that it was something he could see himself doing,” Maggio says. “I had a couple of conversations with John and as a first-time director, I think some people grilled me a little bit, wanting to know things. I got very different questions from everyone. But John wanted to know what I was going to do with the film, and why I wanted to make it.”

He was pretty interested in not just the technical aspect of what I was going to do, he was more interested in why and what it meant to me, which is really fun. But once he was involved, I mean, we tore through it.

Related: The Most Essential John Travolta Moments in Movies, Ranked

Along the way, Maggio kept recalling his younger self, and why it was important for him to make a film that was, in some ways, a throwback to those 1990s action movies.

“That whole scene, the whole genre, all the great films that we got out of that era was incredible,” he said. “For Mob Land, I wanted to do not just a love letter to the American neo-noir genre, but to the independent film spirit. I wanted it linear, simple, you know… filled with great characters. I wanted it to be defined by its protagonists and antagonists. Brutal and poetic.”

Mob Land, from Saban Films, will hit theaters on Aug. 4.

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‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

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Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

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‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

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