7 and no end in sight! Joe Carnahan is counting down
the days until the release of Smokin’ Aces (January 26th!) by
answering the fevered queries of internet maniacs like you. You line em up, Joe
knocks em down.

Like I said, this is Round 7. Here are the first 6:


And when you’re done reading this, send in a question! Joe
is a voracious devourer of these things – I cannot send him enough to satiate
him. He even started just answering random questions on his blog. The guy is
like the Marilyn vos Savant of utterly cool film directors.

Send those questions to me at
with SMOKIN JOE CARNAHAN in the subject line so I can pick it out from the
Viagra spam!

Hi Joe, I loved your work on Mission: Impossible III. Especially the part where the film stopped and I was audited. Anyhow? Aces looks like a blast. If you ever want to screen it in Atlanta for real badasses, we’re up.

I¹d like to know what Friday night at Smokin’ Joe’s is like. I know you¹re a dad, but anyone who¹s able to suppress the sheer wattage of Affleck, Reynolds, and Liotta and survive has to be either brilliant, insane, or not really a Caucasian. BTW, thanks for changing your email address about 4 years ago.

Nick Nunziata


Are you an Original Thetan! You dog! Friday nights are kegger night at the Carnahan house. I like to eat raw steak and tap a pony of St. Ides before putting in ‘Titty-Titty-Bang-Bang’ on a loop. Then I release my cellar-kept Thai lady-boy and have him perform aerobatic stunts (sans safety wire) from the rafters of my vaulted ceilings. Two broken femurs and a Grade 3 concussion cost me Friday nights performance after he assured me he could go from a falling Phelps (triple somersault) and land in full pose Arabesque! Wrong! That little fucker came down like he had a grudge against gravity!

I get stuck with no beer buzz and an emergency CatScan bill. Back to Bangkok you little bastard!

You’re banished! That’s fifteen G’s in out-of-pocket medical! I’m going back to my normal Friday of slow-torturing small animals with old Polka standards.



Hey Joe,

First thing, I think your decisions to get out of MI3 and other projects that probably just weren’t feeling right is pretty cool. While others call it creative differences and bad personalities, I commend you on working on a film only when it feels completely right. Being the director, you have to love the material and the course of the production to make the best possible film. In that regard, I think you are first class, Joe.

Anyway, getting to the point, I loved Narc and have been waiting for Smokin Aces to come out. Honestly, when I heard Piven and Carnahan, I instantly forgot about every other upcoming release. Which gets me to the my first question.

I am a big fan of Piven and George Clooney, the star of your upcoming film, White Jazz. Do you decide to do a film based on the actor, or is it all story? What do you think Clooney will bring to the film? Do you enjoy working with great character actors like Piven, Ray Liotta, Jason Patric, Andy Garcia, and Peter Berg. How much interaction goes on between actors and directors on a live set? Do they just come with the script and go, or do you try to push them in a certain direction?

My last question is about writing. What is the best thing to do when you are in the middle of a script or story and you hit a huge roadblock? Is it good to write the ending or just wait?

Thanks for your time, Joe. I can’t wait for Smokin Aces, and soon after will be counting the days until White Jazz hits theaters.

Take care,

Dan Buffa

St. Louis, MO.


Glad you’re a fan bro, cuz’ FUCKIN’ DO I NEED ‘EM RIGHT NOW!


I love working with actors period, regardless of their fame, prestige, etc.

I’ve been very fortunate to work with some pretty amazing ones thus far and I hope this is a trend I can continue. In the case of White Jazz, George just really responded to the script. He was my first choice for Klein and if you’re familiar with the book, he’s pretty much pitch-perfect for that role.

He’s of equal age and demeanor and I think Clooney has wonderfully deep reservoirs of malice and rage that we’ve yet to see. I think he’s going to blow it up and I’m going to go for a visual style that is hopefully something we’ve not seen. At least not from these types of films. All actors are artists and and as such, you have to treat them always as peers and contemporaries and honor whatever contribution they bring. I am as open and available as I can be and welcome whatever they come into the process with.

Lastly, in terms of your writing, whenever I’m stuck, I really try to read as much as I can. Books, periodicals, etc. I get some of my best inspiration from reading. It’s always helped me push past those blocks in the past.

Hope that helps.



Hi Joe, I’m a big fan of yours! I love NARC, and I’m really looking forward to SMOKIN’ ACES. But what can you tell me about FACELESS — what happened, what went wrong? I’ve read the script and seen the pilot, and I absolutely fuckin’ loved it. FOX really blew it, that’s for sure. But, would you consider doing another tv pilot?



I know man. It bums me out, no end. They also didn’t treat Sean Bean with what I consider the necessary TLC. They didn’t appreciate that this was a major film actor, basically responding to material and agreeing to commit to a series that may have been on the air for five to six years. Dario Scardapane wrote an amazing piece of material and they just went out of their way to fuck it up.

The original script and my original director’s cut were, I felt, fantastic. It was this wildly intercut story told one year apart but edited as though it were happening simultaneously. I wish you could see that one brother. It was something.

I actually just finished a script that Joel Silver and I are producing called ‘TheDouble’ that I want to get on the air STAT! Very exciting police procedural stuff and it returns me to my ‘Narc’ wheelhouse which I feel comfortable in.



Hey Devin (And Joe. Eventually. Hopefully.)

Very excited about "Smokin’ Aces", can’t wait to see the end-product. Love the blog, and – being a designer myself – definitely love all the posters that have shown up over here. It all looks very promising and sexy and violent and awesome.

Got a question for ya: What sort of soundtrack can we expect for "Smokin’ Aces"? Will it be a collections of songs (Maybe in the same style we’ve heard playing in the trailers..?), or will there be an instrumental score? Or a mix of both?

Hoping to hear from you soon,



Brother if you frequent the blog, just look at the left margin when you scroll down. Every song there is a part of the soundtrack. It’s a pretty eclectic collection of stuff. Old R&B and Funk. Rock. Hip-Hop. Punk. We’ve got something for virtually every sonic taste out there.



Dear Mr. Carnahan, or informally, Joe,

As a gigantic fan of comic books, particularly because of their emphasis on dialogue driven stories and action, I always wondered what your stance on the medium was, and if you ever had any intentions to do a comic book film.

The Punisher seems like a film that would have benefited greatly from the Joe Carnahan treatment, and if you have free time, they’re still looking for a director, I believe…but I digress. Other than that, what’s in the pipeline in the future? Have you explored writing other mediums, like a novel, or maybe taking a character and working him over? I mean if Richard Donner can breathe life into Superman, I’m sure you could rock the shit on someone else. Anyways, those are my questions, and I just wanted to let you know that your work is some of the freshest and well put together that I’ve seen in some time, and that I’m looking forward to Smokin’ Aces more than any movie in this year or the next.



I just wrote all six stories for the ‘Smokin’ Aces’ comic which should be available shortly in print and are available online and hopefully here at CHUD very soon.

I’m a HUGE fan of the medium and grew up reading everything from ‘Iron Man’ to ‘Rom’ and ‘The Micronauts’. I was into the ‘Avengers/West Coast Avengers’ and personally own all twelve issues of Marvel’s SECRET WARS series from back in ’84. The best comic in my collection is Fantastic Four ‘Thing Vs The Hulk’ which is way back. I wish I had better stuff. I tried to get my buddy’s 1st mint issue of ‘Silver Surfer’ but he wouldn’t part with it…even after I offered oral sex. KIDDING!

Jesus, it’s probably the only thing I WOULDN’T do for that comic. All in all, I’m kind of opposed to doing a comic book film, especially since my favorite ‘Iron Man’ has been taken off the market by Jon (Elf) Favreau. Unless you’re doing something like Snyder is doing with 300 or what Rodriguez did with ‘Sin City’ it seems like a moot point right now. There’s a proliferation of comic book stuff and at some point, it’s going to overstay it’s welcome.