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The Covenant: Jake Gyllenhaal Says Guy Ritchie Wrote Scenes On The Fly

Jake Gyllenhaal's next project is a starring role in "The Covenant," an action thriller film directed by Guy Ritchie (who also co-wrote the screenplay with Ivan Atkinson and Marn Davies). The film is set during the War in Afghanistan and focuses on U.S. Army Sergeant John Kinley (Gyllenhaal), who returns to the war after coming home in order to save Ahmed (Dar Salim), an interpreter who once saved Kinley's life.

If you've seen the trailer for the film, then you have a general idea of what to expect when you go to see "The Covenant" — which just so happens to be more than Gyllenhaal could have said while he was on set filming. During an interview on the podcast "Armchair Expert," hosted by actor Dax Shephard, Gyllenhaal revealed that Ritchie actually wrote scenes on the fly. Gyllenhaal said, "You come to set and [Ritchie] tells you, 'Don't memorize your lines for the next day' ... [The scene] gets written on that day."

Gyllenhaal describes Ritchie's writing process

On the podcast, Gyllenhaal revealed that Ritchie, with whom he's been friends for years, often starts off with scripts that are a mere 50 pages long because he plans on fleshing them out as he goes along. With this method, many scenes are written the day that the actors shoot them.

Gyllenhaal provided an example, recalling a major speech that his character gives, which was written a mere 20 minutes before they shot it. He continued, "It came from a conversation [Ritchie and I] had that morning. I had some idea I wanted to say, he had an idea he needed to put in." From there, they rehearsed the scene, then discussed more ideas, then the camera rolled. Gyllenhaal described it succinctly: "We run it, more ideas, go out and shoot it. So the movie was made like that."

"The Covenant" will be released to theaters on April 21, 2023.