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At age 54, it's easy to assume that Penn, as a rogue ex-special forces officer, is drifting into territory that Liam Neeson claimed just a few years ago with a series of action-heavy box office hits.But for Penn, it couldn't be further from the truth.Audiences meet Penn's character in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006 .Along the way, he encounters his own demons and some of his old ex-military colleagues (Mark Rylance and Javier Bardem) who've sold out their skills for high-powered jobs at shadowy organizations.Beyond the consultation with his friends, part of the preparation process involved getting into fighting shape.One thing Penn will not be doing in the future, however, is joining a superhero franchise.Penn's next project, now in post-production, finds him back in the director's chair in a drama about an international aid worker (Charlize Theron, who is in a relationship with Penn), and a relief aid doctor (Javier Bardem) navigating a bout of civil unrest in Africa.
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