’re just weeks away from the release of Smokin’ Aces, the gonzo new Joe Carnahan shoot-em-up. I know a number of message board regulars have seen the film in the last couple of weeks, and the response seems to be uniformly “kicks ass.”

There have been a couple of cool updates in the world of Smokin’ Aces since we did our last Carnahan Q&A – the official site is up and running right here. And a site called Machinima is running the AssassiNATION contest – you send them video of your best video game kills and you can win a thousand bucks. And your mom said you would never amount to anything!

And check out Joe’s blog – he’s got an early version of the Smokin’ Aces script up, along with more awesome poster concepts, like the one to the right.

Keep your questions for Smokin’ Joe Carnahan coming – especially those of you who have been catching the movie at early screenings! Joe remains totally open and accessible – let’s take advantage of him! Email your queries to with SMOKIN’ JOE CARNAHAN in the subject line.

Was getting the script of "Narc" to Ray Liotta the first major step you took towards getting "Narc" produced? And how did you approach getting it to him? Directly through his agent? Or through your own? And how important of a role did "Blood Guts Bullets and Octane" play in attracting financing to "Narc"?

In my personal opinion, Narc was a seminal breakout film that I constantly reference in my own career pursuit. Great job and I can’t wait to see what’s next!



Ray was hugely instrumental and influential in getting NARC brought to the big screen. We happened to be sharing (and still do) an agency at that time, so it made it easier to get the material to him. BGBO was more of a detriment to getting NARC made because the tones of those two films were so radically different. I think it actually might have proven easier to put NARC together, had I not made BGBO. People in this business don’t exercise their imaginations regularly, so you wind up with these ruts where nobody can see outside this narrow little prism and recognize talents that may lie beyond a certain film or genre.

I’m glad you loved NARC so much. You will definitely dig SMOKIN’ ACES. It’s a lot different, but some recurring themes seem to still pop up.



Would you rather shoot on HD or film for a movie? So thrilled about Smoking Aces. I was very disappointed that you didn’t get to direct the Pablo Escobar movie.



Despair no further. KILLING PABLO will probably happen as soon as I wrap WHITE JAZZ. I am obsessed with that story and have absolutely no intention of letting it go. Don’t worry.

And in terms of HD versus film. I think the dawn of HD is upon us and as much as I love film, I think it’s rapidly becoming a horse-drawn cart in the dawn of the horseless carriage. We’ve got bold, brand new technology at our fingertips and it’s very, very exciting. Having worked with the Panavision GENESIS, I can say without equivocation, that what that format is capable of capturing in low light situations and particularly at night, is nothing short of stunning. I mean it is really incredible what this thing will do. So much so, that it almost makes up for the fact that it’s pretty flat in daylight and I think you can still make a compelling argument for using film in those situations.



Hello Smokin’ Joe,

I am more than impressed with your first two features and have returned to both films repeatedly.

My question is: from film fest hit with your first – to indie hit with your second – to now having a full plate of projects on your schedule – how have you been able to continually elevate yourself and your projects – post BGB&O, what were the steps for funding Narc? How were you able to bring Ray Liotta on board? I haven’t noticed any continuing producers on your projects – how hands on are you in terms of producing – and other than yourself and Tom Cruise (I understand he assisted in getting Narc on screens), who has been your biggest supporter in a business sense?

To be more precise, other than knocking each of your projects out of the park, what has been done behind the scenes that has given you the opportunity to move forward?

Hope that’s not too large an area to cover.

Thanks for any insight,


Jesus dude, that’s like fifteen questions, masquerading as one! I don’t know where to begin without turning this answer into a endless tome of boring anecdotes and self-congratulatory flagellation. BUT I WILL TRY!

Here’s what elevates projects…MONEY. The money draws the real professionals and makes sure they are fairly compensated. This is muy importante! Whatever shortcomings I have as a filmmaker (and they’re significant!) are easily remedied by having the top people in the business associated with my movie. Tom Cruise is a great case in point, since I believe he took NARC on his back and saved it from being relegated to the art house circuit and forced Paramount to open the movie, just like any other movie opening. This was huge and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to him today.

As I digress even further. No. I have no interest in working with the producers from NARC. I think they were basically decent (if not somewhat dishonest) people that don’t deserve another shot to screw things up so thoroughly.

Sorry. Life is far too short.



Joe, can’t wait to see Smokin’ Aces and really enjoyed Narc. And I find it super cool that you interact with us ordinary people like this.

I just have a couple of quick questions for you.

1) How has it been working with your brother Matt in your upcoming

2) Any plans to throw in some midgets on bass boats in any upcoming flicks?

Talk to you later cus’


I’m glad you dug NARC. It’s a film that’s obviously very close to my heart and remains as much today.

My brother is both princess and ponce and often refers to himself as’delicate’. He’s been a massive pain-in-the-ass all the way around and a meltdown of colossal proportions seems to be looming on the horizon for him….KIDDING!

My younger brother Matt is truly a genius. We bandy that word about like it doesn’t mean anything, but it does. It especially does when you really see someone who is gifted in ways that the layman can’t imagine. I think he’s something else and would, even if he weren’t my brother.

And anytime you combine both my love of angling, with a livelong fondness for midgets, you’re officially cooking with gas…I’M IN!