James McAvoy has described his upcoming thriller Welcome to the Punch as “f**kin’ rip-roaring, emotionally powerful entertainment”.
The actor plays a put-upon detective in Eran Creevy’s (Shifty) British gangster thriller, which follows ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) who is forced to return to London when his son becomes involved in a heist gone wrong.
McAvoy’s Max Lewinsky sees his old adversary’s return as an opportunity to finally catch him, but the pair are ultimately forced to work together to uncover a conspiracy.
“The script didn’t feel like it had the humility and humbleness of a British film,” McAvoy told Empire. “Don’t get me wrong – I love British film and I love gritty, British drama.
“But we’re not trying to go, ‘This is the real world’. We’re going, ‘Here’s a f**kin’ rip-roaring, really emotionally powerful piece of entertainment’, you know?”
Strong emphasised that the film would bear little resemblance to The Sweeney or other familiar British crime films of its type, explaining: “Whenever we came across a line that sounds a bit geezer-ish or gangster-ish, we just got rid of it.”
Andrea Riseborough, Peter Mullan, Daniel Mays and David Morrissey round out the cast.
Welcome to the Punch will be released in the UK and US on March 15.