James McAvoy as Wesley Gibson
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Written By: Mark Millar, J.G. Jones (comic book series)
Release: 25 June 2008 (UK)
Genre: Action | Thriller | Crime
Co-Stars: Angelina Jolie, Morgan Freeman
The anxious, clumsy and abused office clerk Wesley Gibson has a hell and boring routine life: his obese boss humiliates him all the time and his girlfriend cheats on him with best friend during work. When he meets the sexy Fox, Wesley is informed that his father was a professional killer that belonged to an ancient organization called The Fraternity and killed by the skilled and powerful Cross, a hit-man that went rogue. Wesley learns that his anxiety actually is a manifestation of his latent abilities and he joins the society under the command of Sloan. Trained by Fox, he changes his personality and attitude, being prepared to face the dangerous Cross and find a hidden secret.
James McAvoy screen-tested for the lead role in early 2006 but was initially rejected, as the studio wanted a more “conventional” leading man. He was later recalled when the producers decided that his character was more “the runt of the litter”. The studio ultimately changed its mind and wanted someone geeky.
The graphic novel features superhero costumes worn by many characters but the film eliminates them, except the leather attire worn by Wesley and Fox.
James McAvoy worked out to improve his physique for the film’s action scenes, and suffered several injuries during shooting, including a twisted ankle and an injured knee.
When Wesley smashes his keyboard into his best friend’s head as he leaves the office, the letters that come flying off the keyboard towards the screen spell “FUCK YOU”.
Wesley: Are we gonna “bond,” now?
Fox: Would you like to?
Wesley: [after being scooped into Fox’s car] Oh my God! Oh my God! What the fuck just happened?
Wesley: Do you make sweaters, or do you kill people?
Wesley: [to Fox, while being chased by Cross] I think we lost him… I think we lost him. Can you let me off at the next corner, please?
Wesley: [while being chased by Cross] He’s fucking persistent, you know?
[Fox breaks windshield during car chase and climbs out]
Wesley: Get back in here!
Wesley: [voice-over] It’s my anorexic boss’ birthday. This means there’s a certain amount of inter-office pressure to stand around the conference table, eating crappy food and pretending to worship her. Acting for five minutes like Janice doesn’t make all our lives miserable is the hardest work I’ll do all day. My job title is account manager. I used to be called an account service representative, but a consultant told us we have to manage our clients, and to not service them. I have a girlfriend who I neither manage or service. That’s my best friend Barry fucking her on an Ikea kitchen table I picked up for a really good price. I’m finding it hard to care about anything these days. In fact, the only thing I do care about is the fact that I can’t care about anything. Seriously, it worries me. My name is Wesley Gibson. My dad walked out on my mom when I was seven days old. Sometimes I wonder if he ever looked into my baby blue eyes and asked himself “did I just father the most insignificant asshole of the twenty-first century”?
Wesley: Six weeks ago I was ordinary and pathetic. Just like you. Who am I now? An account manager, an assassin, just another tool that was mind fucked into killing his father. I’m all of these, and I’m none of these. Who am I now? This is not me fulfilling my destiny. This is not me falling in my fathers footsteps. This is definitely not me saving the world.
Sloan: Still trying to figure out how you are?
Wesley: This is not me. This is just a motherfucking decoy.
Sloan: Oh fuck.
Wesley: This is me taking control from Sloan, from the fraternity, from Janice, from billing reports, from ergonomic keyboards, from cheating girlfriends and sack of shit best friends. This is me taking back control of my life. What the fuck have you done lately?