You've said Smokin' Aces was a reaction to your experience with Mission: Impossible III, which you've described as ''artistically suffocating'' — can you expand on that?
I had this very same conversation with Matt Damon. I [told him] my real goal was to take the piss out of the Bourne series, because I think it's so exceptional. So I thought, yeah, we're going to take a crack at MI:III. And I think we gave it a really great run. Danny Gilroy and I wrote what I thought was the best version of MI:III. But the more we put out there, the less that came back. We just weren't being allowed to work with all of our tools. It's like starting a boxing match when you're all ready to go, and by round six you're down to your left hand and you're bleeding heavily and bruised and swollen. That's how it felt.