Danny Kravitz grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of hardworking parents who encouraged him to pursue his passions. Martial arts, music, and writing topped his list, and two of those interests came together when Kravitz found Bloody Elbow’s FanPost section. His take on the first McGregor vs. Diaz fight remains one of his favorite things he’s written in a career that has seen him write songs, books, films, and more. While Kravitz’s was on Bloody Elbow, he was hard at work writing screenplays, just as he had been since graduating college.
Kravitz teamed up with writing partner Chris Charles, and their efforts have come to fruition with The Marksman, an action drama starring Liam Neeson and directed by Robert Lorenz, currently in theaters—and is number #1 at the box office, having knocked Wonder Woman 1984 from the top spot.
Kravitz grew up studying a wide variety of martial arts, and still practices. “My jiu jitsu family are the most decent, honorable people,” he says. This idea of decency, honor, and a code of principles is embodied by his favorite movie and TV characters. These qualities also inform the characters Kravitz creates and became the starting point for the creation of protagonist Jim Hanson, a retired U.S. Marine.
Also present within Hanson is Kravitz’s appreciation for fighters like Dan Henderson and Randy Couture, and how they managed to find seemingly unlikely wins toward the end of their careers because “they used their smarts and experience, and because there was a nobility in those wins,” Kravitz says. Just like Hanson, who finds himself in a fight with the highest stakes imaginable.
Set on the Arizona-Mexico border, the action kicks off when Hanson’s code of principles leads him to assist a young Mexican boy who is trying to get to Chicago. While promoted as an action thriller, Kravitz wants Bloody Elbow readers to know that The Marksman is about much more than gun battles and action sequences. “It’s not your typical thriller at all. It’s actually about the generosity that one human being can have for another, and sacrificing yourself for someone else.”
It is a rare thing for a writer to get to be on set, but Kravitz was welcomed by the production, which took place in New Mexico and Ohio. “I got to stay with my parents in Cleveland,” Kravitz says. “I’d get up every morning and my mom would make me a bag lunch, and my parents would be waiting up for me at midnight, asking, ‘What did Liam say?’ and ‘Did you get to flip a car?’”
The set itself was happy place for the martial artist, populated as it was with extremely skilled stuntmen who specialized in jiu jitsu and MMA. During downtime on set, “we’d be teaching other, rolling around on the ground practising jiu jitsu and crew members would be like, ‘What are you doing?’”
With COVID continuing to create new normals, Kravitz experienced the premiere with a small group of those closest to him. Masked and observing physical distancing protocols, they rented out a theater and the screenwriter sat back and watched as his story came to life. “It was surreal,” he says, with the added benefit that director Robert Lorenz and the cast created a film that beautifully matched the original vision of Kravitz and Charles.