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Action Star Scott Adkins Talks Max Cloud And More - Exclusive Interview

Undisputed franchise star Scott Adkins got his start in Hong Kong, working with martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung, which led to four different movies opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme and eventually, roles in bigger films like The Bourne Ultimatum. He doubled for Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson in the infamous pre-Deadpool clunker X-Men Origins: Wolverine and played a disciple of Mads Mikkelsen's villainous Kaecilius in Doctor Strange.

Adkins plays the title role in The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, a sci-fi video game-themed action comedy released at the end of 2020, written and directed by Owen Martin (Killers Anonymous). 

In this exclusive interview with Looper, the English-born actor and mixed martial artist talks about working alongside Lashana Lynch (No Time to Die) and Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy) in Max Cloud, balancing comedy and action, which video games he played as a kid, and the Marvel hero he'd love to have a chance to play. 

Why Max Cloud is more like Big than Jumanji

What did you learn making movies with martial arts legends Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung early in your career?

Well, I learned everything from that experience, really, because I was very fortunate that my first films that I worked on, action movies, were directed by the likes of those guys, because really they're the very best. Sammo Hung is arguably the best action director that has ever been. I mean, you could make that case. He's phenomenal at what he does, the way he moves the camera, the way he creates the fighting. I mean, a wealth of knowledge. I was able to learn from the very best, learn how it's supposed to be done in terms of, that's what it needs to do in order to make it look as good as possible, and I was able to take that through for the rest of my career with a full understanding of what it took to make a good fight sequence.

Were you a video gamer growing up? Any favorites?

I was into it. I've got a terrible memory [from] too many blows to the head. I'm trying to think of the games that I was into and I'm struggling, but I loved International Karate + as a kid and then Sonic the Hedgehog. That was a side scroller, but it was more ramped up at that point. I was into it. I used to play it a lot, but then I had to tell myself to stop because it was like the drink getting a hold of me. I wasn't getting anything done. I had to force yourself to never touch a video game again. GoldenEye 007, on the N64, I actually completed that on the very hardest level. Now that was when I took it too far. I was a lost boy at that point.

If you're ever up for James Bond, you should say that in your screen test.

Yeah. "No other candidate for Bond has completed GoldenEye on the very hardest level."

We don't have a lot of video game comedies out there. Jumanji comes to mind or Pixels. What's different about The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud?

When I read the script, it was before the new iteration of Jumanji had come out. So for me at the time, it was like, "Wow, this feels really fresh. Something I haven't seen before." I was quite intrigued to do it for that reason. It felt like Big, a movie like that from the outset [is] very whimsical. And obviously it's something most people can relate to, being into video games and being stuck in that game. It was a cool idea and obviously a lot of room for comedy, but also action as well, which is my bread and butter. So it was kind of like checking all the boxes that I was looking for at the time.

Often in action comedies, the action is what suffers. But this, having a performer like yourself at the helm, you can avoid that problem.

Yeah. I always made sure the action is good. That's my motto.

The Captain Marvel and Sons Of Anarchy stars in Max Cloud

What can you tell me about working with Lashana Lynch?

I don't think she'd done the 007 movie at that point. That came shortly afterwards, but she was good in Captain Marvel, fabulous actress, and it was great. I didn't get that much to do with her, although I did give her a good kick in the face at the end of the movie — not a real one, that's how I deal with the new 007. A nice quick jump, spin, kick to the jaw! But no, she's great. I mean, they're all great. Honestly, all the actors had an absolute ball and we all, obviously you can see from the movie, had a lot of fun playing our parts.

We know him in the States, of course, as the now President of the SAMCRO Motorcycle Club, Chibs. What can you tell me about working with the great Tommy Flanagan?

He's a force of nature. He's quite the character. He suited that character very well and we had some fun. I had a great time working with everyone.

What would you say was the most challenging action sequence to put together for this movie and what can you tell me about that process?

Andy Long [Andreas Nguyen] was there. He's a member of the Jackie Chan stunt team. And he's very experienced and very clever as a filmmaker, as well as a stunt performer. So I felt like I was in real good hands. I let Andy just take over and did what he wanted to do and yeah, it looked really good.

Deadpool, Doctor Strange, and the Marvel hero Scott would like to play

You're one of the folks associated with X-Men Origins: Wolverine who has had a sense of humor about it in subsequent years and of course you've gotten a chance to redeem yourself in the Marvel world with Doctor Strange. Is there another Marvel role that you would love to take on?

I mean, it's a funny thing because you get asked these questions and the truth is as soon as you put it out into the public that you want this part in a Marvel movie or DC thing and all the rest of it, people are ready to just jump all over you and tear you to pieces, but you know, whatever, here we go, you ready?


I think I would love, and I think I would do a great version of, the Punisher. I think that would suit me down to [the] ground, because it's a character that's been played quite a few times now and of course, Jon Bernthal has done a fantastic job, but that was always one where I thought, you know, I could see myself playing that, with the look, but also the intensity of the character and the brutality. And I don't know, I kind of like characters like that anyway. Spider-Man was always my guy growing up. I loved those comic books as a kid. I grew up on those comic books.

The Punisher made his first appearance in a Spider-Man comic, so there's a connection there.

There you go. Maybe I even read it. Because my grandmother would buy me these comic books and every weekend we would go to her house and there'd always be a new Marvel comic, mostly Spider-Man, but sometimes we'd have Thor or the Hulk or the Punisher or Daredevil and yeah, I grew up on that stuff. Loved it.

What do you hope audiences take away from Max Cloud?

I just want to entertain people. I want people to watch my movies and have a good time watching them and be entertained. I mean, I don't think they're going to take away any social messages or anything like that. Just want to switch your brain off. You know, obviously the times we're in at the minute, it's quite anxiety-inducing. It's just switch off, enjoy the ride, have fun and forget about your troubles and your strife for a bit.

Do you have anything you're working on now or looking forward to working on when things get going again?

Many irons in the fire, many projects that have been put on hold. Some of them will be easier to get off the ground than others at this point. I've got one film that I like to think of as COVID-proof, because there's hardly any actors in it and it's in one location. So more COVID-proof than say another one, that's got a load of extras and lots of locations. So we'll see, kind of just still waiting for it to work itself out a bit more, so it's going to be easier in the future, hopefully.

The Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud is available via video-on-demand services