Former Navy SEAL and author of “The Terminal List” Jack Carr said Amazon was “nervous” about a “lot of risks” they took in the series but said all that changed after it “tested off the charts” with test audiences.
On a Tuesday episode of Mike Rowe’s podcast “The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe,” Carr opened up about how he really learned on the job about writing a show for the hit TV series based on his bestselling book by the same name. He admitted they took “a lot of risks” with the series that paid off. But he said the streaming site was initially nervous about some of it. It comes at the 1:10:03 minute mark here.
“I learned a lot about screenwriting over the last couple of years,” the best-selling author explained. “Took a lot of risks. Broke a lot of rules. And Amazon was nervous about a few of them.”
“But in the end they [Amazon] took those risks right with us,” he added. “We had a great team. And then when it, when they screened it for test audiences, I think they were still nervous. But then it tested off the charts. I’m not sure I’m allowed to say that. But it tested off the charts.”
“And they infused it with some marketing and advertising dollars after those initial test audiences got back,” Carr continued. “And now we have what we have today which is I think 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and low on the critics score. But that was expected.”
Rowe asked Carr what he thought about the “disparity on Rotten Tomatoes” between the critics view of his hit Amazon series and the audience. It starts at the 1:18:51 minute mark.
“What I hope it does, what I think it does is Amazon…..they [Amazon] have the data,” the former Navy SEAL responded.
“I think what it shows is ‘hey, there’s a market here,’” he added. “And no matter how loud some of these critical voices are who are we making this for.”
He said the point of this project was to “make something that spoke to those who have been downrange in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places, something special for them. And that’s what we set out to do with that authenticity piece that guided our every move.”
At one point, he talked about one of those things the streaming site was “nervous” about — the use of a “Tomahawk,” a single-handed axe, that is seen throughout the series. It starts at the 1:31:19 minute mark.
Carr said he realized when he got to the end of his book he needed a logo and he ended up putting two Tomahawks on the ground together he got from his children. Snapped a picture and it became the symbol for his main character James Reece. It appears in the opening credits of the show and throughout the series. It also ended up being something used on giant billboards in Los Angeles showing Chris Pratt holding one.