Renegades (2017)


Renegades is a 2017 action thriller film directed by Steven Quale and written by Luc Besson and Richard Wenk.

The film stars Sullivan Stapleton, J. K. Simmons and Charlie Bewley, and follows a team of Navy SEALs who are asked to salvage Nazi gold stored in a bank vault in a submerged town at the bottom of a Bosnian lake.

Also known as American Renegades (US) and The Lake (US working title).


In August 1944, German forces decide to move captured paintings and about 25 tons of gold ingots from Paris to a safe location. The gold is then transported to the small Bosnian town of Bosansko Grahovo where it is put into the bank vault. German forces arrest all townspeople, while a little boy escapes.

In 1995 Sarajevo a team of US Navy SEALs disguised as journalists capture and extract Serb General Milić who is responsible for numerous atrocities. However, their covert operation is compromised and the team is forced to escape the pursuing Serbs in a tank, causing extensive damage through the city. Back in the base, the team is reprimanded for their actions and put on a three-day leave. A member of the team, Stanton Baker, has a romance with a local waitress Lara and goes to her place. Soon after that, some thugs led by Lara’s brother Milenko enter and demand something from her. Luckily, team leader Matt Barnes arrives to fight off the thugs and Lara then decides to reveal that the thugs were after the gold ingot she is keeping, worth about $150,000.

She explains that her grandfather was the only one who survived the massacre of civilians in Grahovo, stole a gold ingot and buried it before he was found by the Partisans who blew up the dam and flooded the town as revenge for the German massacre. She reveals that there were at least 2,000 gold ingots, worth at least $300 million which would greatly benefit the local people in a war-torn country.

The team decides to retrieve the gold from the vault, now well below the water. By using their connection inside the base, they get the necessary equipment and transport it to the lake which lies deep in enemy territory. Meanwhile, the thugs, led by Lara’s brother, search her flat, find the gold, and show it to the local commander of the Serbian forces who decides to stop the SEAL team. The SEAL team establishes the air pocket inside a church and manages to break into the vault only to discover that it contains only ten gold ingots instead of 2,000 as stated by Lara. However, they find a covered opening in a wall where the rest of the gold is hidden. They then transport the gold to the surface by using an air-filled cargo parachute. The helicopter arrives just in time to fend off the enemy forces and the gold is then safely flown into the base. Half of the gold is then returned to France while the other half is sold and money distributed to the team, with Lara receiving majority of the sum. However, the team members decide to give their shares to Lara and then head to the bar.


  • Sullivan Stapleton as Matt Barnes.
  • J.K. Simmons as Rear Admiral J. Levin.
  • Charlie Bewley as Stanton Baker.
  • Clemens Schick as Petrović.
  • Diarmaid Murtagh as Kurt Duffy.
  • Alain Blažević as Boris.
  • Sylvia Hoeks as Lara Šimić.
  • Joshua Henry as Ben Moran.
  • Dimitri Leonidas as Jack Porter.
  • Ewen Bremner as Navy pilot Jim Rainey.
  • Peter Davor as General Milić.


On 30 September 2014, it was announced that EuropaCorp had hired Steven Quale to direct the Navy SEALs action thriller The Lake from a screenplay written by Luc Besson and Richard Wenk. On 02 March 2015, Sullivan Stapleton was set to play the lead role. J.K. Simmons, Charlie Bewley and Diarmaid Murtagh were added to the cast of the film. Sylvia Hoeks, Joshua Henry and Dimitri Leonidas also joined the cast of the film.

Filming began on 30 April 2015.

The film received funds of €5 million, from the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), as well as €275,000 from the Bavarian Film Fund (FFF Bayern).


In March 2015, EuropaCorp set the film for a 15 July 2016, release. In February 2016, the film was pushed back to 20 January 2017. In May 2016, the film was pushed back to 27 January 2017, and again in early November 2016 pushed to 03 February 2017, and the title of the film was changed to Renegades. In January 2017, the film was pushed back again to 01 September 2017. In July, the film was moved from 01 September 2017 to an undetermined release date. Lionsgate Home Entertainment released the film on Blu-ray and DVD on 22 January 2019 under the title American Renegades.

Box Office

Renegades has grossed $2.2 million worldwide against a production budget of $77.5 million.


Renegades was panned by critics for its far-fetched narrative, script, lack of action and “gung-ho” themes. Several critics compared the film unfavourably to the 1980s action television series The A-Team. However, the performance of J.K. Simmons was praised.


  • J.K. Simmons is the only American actor in this movie.
  • Joshua Henry, although raised in the United States, was born in Canada.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Steven Quale.
  • Producer(s):
    • Raphaël Benoliel … producer.
    • Luc Besson … producer.
    • Fabrice Delville … co-producer.
    • Pierre Ellul … line producer, MT.
    • Christoph Fisser … co-producer.
    • Henning Molfenter … co-producer.
    • Michael Schwarz … line producer.
    • Christophe Toulemonde … co-producer.
    • Charlie Woebcken … co-producer.
    • Diego Zanco … line producer, Croatia.
  • Writer(s): Richard Wenk and Luc Besson.
  • Music: Eric Serra.
  • Cinematography: Brian Pearson.
  • Editor(s): Florent Vassault.
  • Production:
    • Studio Babelsberg (co-production).
    • Belga Productions.
    • Canal+ (with the participation of).
    • CB Films (in co-production with).
    • DCS (in co-production with).
    • Pakt Media.
    • Malta Film Commission.
    • Deutscher Filmförderfonds (DFFF) (with the support of).
    • Regional Fund Bavaria (FFF) (with the support of).
    • Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (with the support of).
    • Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA) (with the support of).
    • Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg (MFG) (with the support of).
    • Falkun Films.
    • Le Tax Shelter du Gouvernement Fédéral de Belgique (with the support of).
    • Belga Film Fund (with the support of).
    • EuropaCorp.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Asmik Ace Entertainment (2018) (Japan) (theatrical).
    • Belga Films (2017) (Belgium) (theatrical).
    • Cinejoy Movies (2018) (Switzerland) (theatrical).
    • Colossal Mega Films (2017) (Philippines) (theatrical).
    • EuropaCorp. Distribution (2018) (France) (theatrical).
    • Golden Village Pictures (2018) (Singapore) (theatrical).
    • Independent Films (2018) (Netherlands) (theatrical).
    • M2 Pictures (2017) (Italy) (theatrical).
    • STX Entertainment (2017) (USA) (theatrical).
    • Sabay MVP (2017) (Cambodia) (theatrical).
    • Signature Entertainment (2018) (UK) (theatrical).
    • Universum Film (UFA) (2018) (Germany) (theatrical).
    • Eagle Home Video (2018) (Italy) (Blu-ray).
    • Eagle Home Video (2018) (Italy) (DVD).
    • Lionsgate Home Entertainment (2017) (USA) (video).
    • NOS Audiovisuais (2017) (Portugal) (all media).
    • Prorom Media-Trade (2017) (Hungary) (all media).
    • Prorom Media-Trade (2017) (Romania) (all media).
    • Roadshow Entertainment (2018) (Australia) (Blu-ray).
    • Roadshow Entertainment (2018) (Australia) (DVD).
    • Signature Entertainment (2018) (UK) (DVD).
    • Universum Film (UFA) (2018) (Germany) (Blu-ray).
    • Universum Film (UFA) (2018) (Germany) (DVD).
  • Release Date: 31 August 2017 (Taiwan) and 05 January 2018 (UK).
  • Running Time: 105 minutes.
  • Rating: R.
  • Country: France, Germany, and US.
  • Language: English.

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