Ben Affleck learns Indonesian fighting style for ‘The Accountant’

Ben Affleck stars in Warner Bros.’ action-thriller The Accountant as Christian Wolff, a specially trained assassin who happens to be a math savant suffering from Asperger’s Syndrome. Director Gavin O’Connor knew that Christian should have an idiosyncratic fighting style, forged by his childhood training and his personal penchant for order.
O’Connor maintains, “I wanted to approach the action through character, with the thought being when Chris got into a situation that required violence, he would eliminate the threat as quickly and economically as possible. It’s math. It’s ‘How do I make my move and get them off the chessboard?’”

Conferring with stunt coordinators Sam Hargrave and Fernando Chien, the director explored various types of martial arts. Nothing quite fit the bill until they showed him an Indonesian method that is less widely known, called pentjak silat. “I immediately said, ‘I want that,” he recalls. “I’d never even heard of silat before, but it’s incredibly efficient, so it served our purpose in a very cinematic way. We honed in on that form and built the action around it.”

Hargrave and Chien, together with their stunt team, started training Affleck, keeping in mind O’Connor’s desire to mirror Chris’s persona in the action. Chien confirms, “His style needed to be almost surgical—very linear and direct. He wouldn’t bounce around like a boxer. We mainly focused on silat, but because of how dynamic Ben needed to be in his fights, we also taught him judo, jiu-jitsu…everything from the ground up, but extremely stylized.”

the accountant movie

“This martial arts technique hasn’t been seen in too many movies before so it felt fresh and new,” Affleck says. “I loved the style, so I dove into training as hard as I could. I spent months ahead of filming learning elaborate fight choreography, which involved a lot of flips and throws. Performing almost all of the action myself was difficult and demanding, but, luckily, I had the benefit of some really strong coaches and stunt performers who came up with some cool and unique stuff for me to do. It was very intense, but when it all came together and was done right, it could be beautiful and elegant, even though it was brutal.”

Chien acknowledges that Affleck, who came into the film right after portraying Batman, was already in fighting shape—just not in the same way that Christian had to be. “For that film, he became really buff and muscular, but this character needed to be slick and more quick—very direct and explosive—so we did more martial arts conditioning with a lot of dynamic movements.”

Hargrove adds, “We had a small gym where we would go for about two hours a day. Fernando and I put him through his paces, making drills out of the choreography and having Ben practice them over and over again until every move became like second nature to him. We sometimes drove him to the point of exhaustion, but Ben never gave up. He put in the work and came back stronger every day.”

O’Connor observes, “Ben had to travel different paths in making sure we got both the physical and emotional aspects of the character right, which was vital. He was working out every day and getting all the choreography down because he was doing most of it himself. In just a short amount of time, he had to look like he’d been studying his entire life, so it was a crash course for him and I think he did an amazing job.”

Opening across the Philippines on November 2, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

Inventive script adds up talented cast for ‘The Accountant’

The cleverly constructed screenplay of Warner Bros. Pictures’ new thriller “The Accountant” drew the film’s impressive acting ensemble, led by Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman), Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), Jon Bernthal (TV’s The Punisher), Jeffrey Tambor (TV’s Transparent) and John Lithgow (Interstellar).
“It kept me guessing until the very last page,” Affleck states, “and I thought it was very smart, rich in detail and in character depth, and inventive in its evolution.”

“Part of my job as a director,” Gavin O’Connor says, “is surrounding myself with people who are really good at what they do—people who are going to constantly lift up the material and make me better and make the movie the best it can be. All of these actors are of that caliber.”

In “The Accountant,” Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

Anna Kendrick plays Dana Cummings, a junior accountant who uncovers a problem in a robotics firm in which Christian was called in to fix. “She’s intrigued by him because he’s sort of a dorky accountant, but there’s something mysterious, too, which becomes even more obvious when things take a frightening turn. Basically, nerding it up with Chris is the most exciting thing that’s ever happened to her,” she laughs.

J.K. Simmons plays Ray King, head of the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, who is determined to find the identity of the underworld numbers cruncher known only as “the Accountant.” “What fascinated me about Ray is that he’s this real alpha male when we meet him and then, as the story develops, we find different aspects to him, as we do with most of the characters. It adds a lot of depth and some surprises.”

Jon Bernthal plays crack hitman named Brax, whose deadly skills rival Chris’s own. Bernthal describes Brax as “highly unpredictable and extremely dangerous and he seems to enjoy what he does. He’s a lone wolf who is quite capable of taking care of business by himself.”

Living Robotics is headed by its founder, Lamar Blackburn, played by John Lithgow. “Lamar’s great passion is helping people who have lost limbs by making what he calls ‘neuro-prosthetics,’ which connect mechanical limbs with the actual muscles and nervous system of the body,” Lithgow says. “He’s a technological genius, so you have these two people, Lamar and Christian, both with extraordinary minds, who are put together.”

Christian Wolff’s background and distinctive skill sets are largely established through flashbacks, beginning as a child, and later including a stint in prison. There, he forms a bond with a fellow inmate and former black money accountant named Francis Silverberg, played by Jeffrey Tambor. Tambor affirms, “Francis is Chris’ mentor in prison and, in a way, it’s a very loving father-son relationship. It was a wonderfully written script with a beautiful puzzle to it, and I think everyone will really enjoy trying to work it out.”

Opening across the Philippines on November 2, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

WATCH: Ben Affleck is ‘The Accountant’ in action thriller’s main trailer

The main trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures’ new suspense thriller “The Accountant” starring Ben Affleck has just been released and may be viewed below.

In the film, Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

the accountant ben affleck anna kendrick

“The Accountant” also stars Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick, Oscar winner J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jean Smart and Cynthia Addai-Robinson, with Jeffrey Tambor and two-time Oscar nominee John Lithgow.

O’Connor directed the film from a screenplay by Bill Dubuque (“The Judge”). The film was produced by Mark Williams and Lynette Howell, with O’Connor, Jamie Patricof and Marty Ewing serving as executive producers.

Opening across the Philippines on October 19, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

‘The Accountant’ teaser poster shows Ben Affleck gunning for action

The teaser poster for Warner Bros. Pictures’ new suspense thriller “The Accountant” has been released, showing Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) holding a rifle, but “blinded” by numerical data.

Directed by Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”), “The Accountant” tells the story of Christian Wolff (Affleck), a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

the accountant ben affleck anna kendrick

“The Accountant” also stars Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “Pitch Perfect”), Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash,” the “Spider-Man” films), Jon Bernthal (“Fury,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”), Jean Smart (TV’s “Fargo,” “24”), and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Star Trek: Into Darkness”), with Jeffrey Tambor (TV’s “Transparent,” “The Hangover” films) and two-time Oscar nominee John Lithgow (“Interstellar”).

O’Connor directed the film from a screenplay by Bill Dubuque (“The Judge”).

Opening across the Philippines on November 2, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.

WATCH: Ben Affleck’s ‘The Accountant’ debuts first trailer

Warner Bros. Pictures presents Oscar winner Ben Affleck (“Argo,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) in the title role of “The Accountant,” from director Gavin O’Connor (“Warrior”). Watch the first trailer from the new suspense thriller below.

In the film, Christian Wolff (Affleck) is a math savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Behind the cover of a small-town CPA office, he works as a freelance accountant for some of the world’s most dangerous criminal organizations. With the Treasury Department’s Crime Enforcement Division, run by Ray King (J.K. Simmons), starting to close in, Christian takes on a legitimate client: a state-of-the-art robotics company where an accounting clerk (Anna Kendrick) has discovered a discrepancy involving millions of dollars. But as Christian uncooks the books and gets closer to the truth, it is the body count that starts to rise.

“The Accountant” also stars Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air,” “Pitch Perfect”), Oscar winner J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash,” the “Spider-Man” films), Jon Bernthal (“Fury,” “The Wolf of Wall Street”), Jean Smart (TV’s “Fargo,” “24”), and Cynthia Addai-Robinson (“Star Trek: Into Darkness”), with Jeffrey Tambor (TV’s “Transparent,” “The Hangover” films) and two-time Oscar nominee John Lithgow (“Interstellar”).

O’Connor directed the film from a screenplay by Bill Dubuque (“The Judge”). The film was produced by Mark Williams and Lynette Howell, with O’Connor, Jamie Patricof and Marty Ewing serving as executive producers.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes two-time Oscar-nominated director of photography Seamus McGarvey (“Anna Karenina,” “Atonement,” upcoming “Pan”), production designer Keith Cunningham, Oscar-nominated editor Richard Pearson (“United 93”), costume designer Nancy Steiner, and Oscar-nominated composer Mark Isham (“Warrior,” “A River Runs Through It”).

Opening across the Philippines on October 19, 2016, “The Accountant” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment company.