Victoria Mahoney served as the second unit director on J.J. Abrams‘ Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, and is now in negotiations to helm her first major studio directing gig. She’s in talks with Paramount to helm an action movie titled Kill Them All.
She will direct from a script by James Coyne, which is an adaptation of the graphic novel by Kyle Starks. The film has been described as “The Raid with a female lead”, as well as “a love letter to 1990s action movies” by THR.
The story follows a betrayed murderess who wants revenge, and a hard-drinking former cop who wants his job back. They team up to take down a vicious Miami crime lord, but in order to actually get to him in his secretive penthouse hideout, they’re going to have to fight their way through fifteen flights of criminals, assassins, drug lords, murderers, and more. So the title is pretty literal.
Although this will be Mahoney’s biggest project to date, it won’t be her directorial debut, and she has been involved in some other exciting projects. She made her directorial debut with the semi-autobiographical indie movie Yelling To The Sky, which starred Zoe Kravitz and Jason Clarke, which led to her directing episodes of shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor’s Remorse, and Queen Sugar.
The latter show paired her with executive producer Ava DuVernay, who recommended Mahoney to Abrams when he was seeking a second unit director to join him on the latest Star Wars movie. After a three-hour meeting, she got the job, and became the first woman and first person of colour to yell “action!” on a Star Wars set.
Since then, Mahoney has directed an episode of Abrams’ upcoming HBO series Lovecraft Country, and also teamed with DuVernay to adapt Octavia E. Butler‘s sci-fi novel Dawn as an Amazon series.
It’s slightly surprising there hasn’t been a direct US remake of The Raid considering the film’s popularity. Still, a series like John Wick has clearly taken much from the Indonesian actioner.
Maybe Kill Them All can fill that void even more, and hopefully it’s the first step in a long and fruitful career behind the camera for Mahoney, one in which she will hopefully give opportunities to the next generation of filmmakers of colour as Abrams and DuVernay did with her.