Jake Gyllenhaal has done almost every kind of movie under the sun over his career including dramas, rom-coms, thrillers, biopics, war films, fantasy flicks, comic book films, and even an apocalyptic turn. These are only a few examples. You name it, Gyllenhaal probably has a (pretty good) movie under his belt. But for the whole resume, he doesn’t seem to have done an “everything goes boom” flick yet. It could be time to add it to the list though with recent rumors he could be teaming up with Michael Bay for Ambulance.
Ambulance, which is said to be circling Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead is reportedly based on the 2005 Danish feature film, Ambulance. According to the description, the movie follows a set of rules including taking place only in an ambulance, filming in real-time, and must have a limit of only four total characters. It appears to be an ambitious film and could diverge somewhat from Michael Bay’s other work which is much bigger (and explosive) in nature. According to the Deadline article though, it could have a similar vibe to Speed or even Bad Boys.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s purported role in the movie isn’t totally clear with him and Bay still in talks about the casting. It’s safe to say he’d be along for the ambulance ride with likely an ever-increasing set of obstacles or perils to overcome, possibly as the action ramps up.
Michael Bay and Jake Gyllenhaal have not worked together before with the former continuing (mostly) on a steady career arc of putting together films that are heavy on the pyrotechnics and light on the thicker plot lines. His most recent film was the Netflix original 6 Underground which reportedly had 83 million views on the platform but underperformed with critics, scoring only 36% on the Tomatometer. Like other Bay movies, it brought a crazy intensity without ever really honing in on a strong story.
Bay’s other recent work includes the Transformers films The Last Knight and Age of Extinction. But if recent reports are correct, there are plans for that franchise to move on from the director. His only real recent divergence from the big-budget, big explosion scene was 2013 Pain & Gain starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johson as gym rats turned kidnappers. By and large though, Bay has stuck to the same formula in his productions.
Meanwhile, Jake Gyllenhaal, as mentioned before, has done almost everything under the sun. Recently he had a comic book turn as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. This was his first dip into the MCU and into the genre at all. That being said, based on the ending of the film, it’s unclear (and probably unlikely) if he’d return for any follow-up Spider-Man films. He also went to space in Life, climbed to the top of the world in Everest, got into the ring in Southpaw, raced against time loops in Source Code, and got ultra-creepy in Nightcrawler.
My guess for this latest Jake Gyllenhaal movie is some combination of those latter two, Nightcrawler and Source Code. Each had a mix of intensity with some speed and violence mixed in as well. This is simply guessing from Ambulance’s brief description, but I suspect there could be a manic feel/ race against time nature that was on display in each film.
While Michael Bay and Jake Gyllenhaal might not seem like the most logical movie pairing, both have at least shown the ability to work on high-profile, big-budget films. That much is certain. And there’s some reason to expect Gyllenhaal brings a rather grounded nature to a role in a movie that could speed out of control. It will be interesting to see and having Gyllenhaal on board would lend it some critical upside. He’s been rather selective in his roles over the years and has performed well with critics because of it.
In all, we’ll surely be getting Jake Gyllenhaal/Ambulance news sooner than later in what could end up being one of the more anticipated films of the year in both spectacle and scope. In the meantime, Michael Bay’s next movie to hit the screen is one he produced, Songbird, a dystopian movie filmed during the pandemic. Meanwhile, Gyllenhaal is in pre-production on the Antoine Fuqua film, The Guilty.