Triple Frontier is a 2019 American action-adventure film directed by J.C. Chandor. Chandor and Mark Boal wrote the screenplay based on a story by Boal.
The film stars Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal as a group of former US Army Delta Force operators who reunite to plan a heist of a South American crime lord.
Private military adviser Santiago “Pope” Garcia, a former soldier, works in Colombia combating the drug cartels. An informant named Yovanna asks for his help with smuggling her and her brother out of the country in exchange for the whereabouts of a drug lord named Lorea. Yovanna tells Pope that Lorea lives in a remote house in the jungle with $75 million in cash. Pope travels to Florida to recruit his fellow ex-Delta Force operators, who are now retired, to seize the money under the pretence of working for the government: Tom “Redfly” Davis, a realtor; William “Ironhead” Miller, a motivational speaker; his brother Ben “Benny” Miller, an MMA fighter; and Francisco “Catfish” Morales, a pilot. Pope manages to convince the team to steal the money for themselves.
The team infiltrates the house while Lorea’s family attends church to minimise casualties. They subdue the guards but cannot find Lorea or the money. Pope realizes that the money is hidden in the walls, and they find far more than expected. Redfly fixates on the money, demanding that the team continue loading past their exit time until they convince him that they must leave. After loading the money in a van, they do a final sweep for Lorea. He ambushes them and wounds Ironhead, before Pope kills him. The crew tends to Ironhead’s wound, as the family returns with the rest of the guards. The crew eliminates the guards, burns down the house, and drives away with $250 million in cash while leaving the family alive.
They rendezvous with Yovanna and her brother at an airfield where Ironhead’s contact provides them with a Mil Mi-8 helicopter to reach the getaway boat off the coast of Peru. Catfish doubts that the helicopter can hold their weight with all the money and reach the altitude necessary to cross the Andes Mountains. Unwilling to leave behind any money, Redfly urges Catfish to proceed. They drop Yovanna and her brother off over the border where Redfly aggressively questions her knowledge of them, knowing she could link them to the robbery. Yovanna adamantly denies knowing any of the crew’s personal information. Before leaving, Pope gives Yovanna and her brother $3 million and visas to Australia. As the crew departs, an unsatisfied Redfly claims that Yovanna was lying but Pope talks him down.
As they attempt to fly over the mountains, the money’s significant weight causes them to crash on a cocaine farm. The farmers become hostile after mistaking the crew for DEA agents, causing Redfly to kill several of them. Pope compensates the village elder for the deaths while Catfish, Ironhead, and Benny prepare mules to transport the money through the mountains.
When they reach the top of the mountain and make their way down, a firefight takes place with two villagers seeking to avenge the deaths of their families. Redfly kills one before the second kills him; Pope subsequently kills the second villager. Disheartened, they proceed towards the ocean with the money and Redfly’s body. Benny scouts ahead and reports the getaway boat is still there, but the town is filled with remnants of Lorea’s crew waiting for them. They fill their packs with whatever cash they can carry and dump the remainder in a ravine. They attempt to quietly move through the town carrying Redfly’s body, but are discovered. After a significant car chase and various shootouts, the team makes it to the boat with $5 million and Redfly’s body.
Later, as the team sets up payment accounts, the guilt-ridden men each agree to give their shares to Redfly’s family. The team separates, and Pope plans to head to Australia to find Yovanna. Before leaving, Ironhead gives Pope a set of coordinates on a piece of paper: the location of the ravine.
- Ben Affleck as Tom “Redfly” Davis.
- Oscar Isaac as Santiago “Pope” Garcia.
- Charlie Hunnam as William “Ironhead” Miller.
- Garrett Hedlund as Ben “Benny” Miller.
- Pedro Pascal as Francisco “Catfish” Morales.
- Adria Arjona as Yovanna.
- Sheila Vand as Lauren Yates.
In October 2010, Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp entered talks to join the cast of the film, to be directed by Kathryn Bigelow from a screenplay by Boal with shooting set to commence in early 2011. In November 2010, Hanks officially was cast. Production lagged, and, in June 2015, it was announced that Chandor was in talks to direct the film for Paramount Pictures, while Bigelow left because she wanted to focus on her film about Bowe Bergdahl (ultimately dropped in favour of Detroit). Both Hanks and Will Smith were in talks for the lead roles. The film, alternatively titled Sleeping Dogs, would be produced by Roven and Alex Gartner through Atlas Entertainment. In September 2015, Chandor officially signed on to direct the film. On 20 January 2016, it was reported that Depp was again in early talks to star in it, while Hanks’ attachment was yet to be confirmed, and Smith had left due to scheduling conflicts filming Collateral Beauty.
In January 2017, it was reported that Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy were in talks to join the film, with Depp and Hanks no longer up for roles. In February 2017, Mahershala Ali joined the cast, with Tatum and Hardy also officially signed on. On 12 April 2017, a month before shooting was set to commence, it was reported that Triple Frontier had been dropped by Paramount, and Tatum and Hardy no longer would be a part of the cast, while Ali and Arjona were still attached to star.
On 01 May 2017, it was reported that Netflix was in negotiations to acquire the rights to the film with Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck in negotiations for the roles Hardy and Tatum vacated, with Ali and Arjona remaining on the project. Ben Affleck exited the film in early July 2017, for personal reasons. On 26 July 2017, it was reported that Mark Wahlberg was in talks to join the film in the role Affleck vacated, along with Hunnam, Hedlund, and Pascal, with Arjona still attached to the project. Principal production was set to commence in August 2017, in Hawaii and Colombia.
On 19 March 2018, it was announced that Triple Frontier would commence principal production on 26 March 2018, in Oahu, Hawaii. Ben Affleck had signed back on to star, cast with Isaac, Hunnam, Hedlund, Pascal, and Arjona. Ali had been forced to drop out of the project when production was delayed.
The film’s name, Triple Frontier, refers to the Tres Fronteras area of South America, which is known for its high levels of trafficking in drugs and contraband.
Disasterpeace composed the film score. The soundtrack was released by Milan Records.
The soundtrack is composed by Disasterpeace. Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich plays on some tracks.
The film’s world premiere was held in New York City on 03 March 2019. It was released in select theatres on 06 March, before its worldwide Netflix release a week later on 13 March. On 16 April 2019, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 52 million viewers on its service within its first month of release. On 05 July 2019, Netflix announced that the film had been viewed by over 63 million viewers since its release on the service.
- After Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum left the project over creative changes in the rewritten script, a month later, Ben Affleck and Oscar Isaac took over the respective roles.
- The baseball cap worn by Francisco “Catfish” Morales (Pedro Pascal) features the logo for Standard Heating Oil the company run by Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) in the 2014 film A Most Violent Year (2014) also directed by J.C. Chandor.
- Tres Fronteras (Portuguese: Três Fronteiras, English: Three Frontiers) is the Spanish name for an area of the Amazon Rainforest in the Upper Amazon region of South America.
- It includes, and is named for, the tripoint where the borders of Brazil, Peru, and Colombia meet. The upper Amazon River flows through the area.
- The Triple Frontier is actually a tri-border area along the junction of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
- Some of the cast were trained by real Navy SEALs to make the action appear more authentic.
- Shot on the ARRI Alexa 65, this is the first film to utilise the full frame sensor and 6.5K resolution in a unique 2.11:1 aspect ratio.
- The plot loosely follows the plot of the original Ocean’s Eleven (1960): members of a military unit, finding civilian life challenging, reunite to pull a heist; the heist is successful; they are hunted; one of their member dies; they ultimately lose the money, but they give what they have left to the ex-wife/family of their fallen comrade.
Production & Filming Details
- J.C. Chandor.
- Madison Ainley … associate producer.
- Robert Amidon … associate producer.
- Kathryn Bigelow … executive producer.
- Mark Boal … executive producer.
- Andrés Calderón … executive producer: Colombia (as Andrés Calderon).
- Neal Dodson … producer (produced by).
- Alex Gartner … producer (produced by).
- Anna Gerb … executive producer.
- Thomas Hayslip … executive producer.
- Andy Horwitz … producer (produced by).
- Helen Medrano … associate producer.
- Daniel Messier … consulting producer: Colombia Unit.
- Juliano Moreno … delegate producer: Dynamo Producciones, Colombia.
- Charles Roven … producer (produced by).
- John Wildermuth … co-producer.
- Mark Boal … story and screenplay.
- J.C. Chandor … screenplay.
- Roman Vasyanov … director of photography.
- Ron Patane.
- Acquire Entertainment Group (as Acquire Talent Agency).
- Atlas Entertainment.
- Netflix (2019) (World-wide) (video) (VOD).
- Netflix (2019) (Netherlands) (video) (VOD).
- Netflix (2019) (Singapore) (video) (VOD).
- Release Date: 06 March 2019 (limited, US).
- Running Time: 125 minutes.
- Rating: Unknown.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.