Director Renny Harlin, who made headlines yesterday when it was announced he would direct the Jackie Chan action-comedy, “Skiptrace,” admitted how grateful he was that the producers who hired him had not seen the last nine films he directed. Harlin credits his agent for getting him to meet with the producers after convincing him that like most of America they probably never saw or even remembered the Finnish auteur’s last nine films, “The Legend of Hercules,” “Devil’s Pass,” “5 Days of War,” “12 Rounds,” “The Cleaner,” “The Covenant,’ “Exorcist: The Beginning,” “Mindhunters” and the 2001 Sylvester Stallone racing film, “Driven.”
“The producers did see the four episodes of ‘Burn Notice’ I directed and were very impressed,” Harlin told Hollywood & Swine. “This is why I find it extremely absurd when female directors complain about how hard it is to get work in Hollywood. If the guy who made ‘Cutthroat Island’ and ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ can still get hired to direct movies, it proves anyone can.”
The producers of “Skiptrace” stand by their hiring of Harlin, claiming they went through an extensive director search after the film’s original director, Sam Fell, dropped out. In the end the job came down to the two most qualified candidates: Harlin and director Joel Schumacher.
“Unfortunately for Joel, the producers had watched some of the recent films he directed so he didn’t get hired,” Harlin said. “But the good news is, he can take over for me as warden at the Renny Harlin Correctional Institute, otherwise known as Director Jail, while I’m off filming.”