Director David Ayer and star Josh Hutcherson talk about how online predators prey on the vulnerable in The Beekeeper.

The main push in the film comes from star Jason Statham’s character Adam Clay going on a path for revenge after his mother figure Eloise Parker (Phylicia Rashad) gets hit by an extreme online scam-turned-deadly.

Hutcherson, who plays villain Derek Danforth, talked to Shadow and Act Managing Editor Trey Mangum about playing a bad guy for one of the first times in his career.

“For me, I’m more so known for being a good guy, a nice guy. To really, not only be a bad guy but one so off the wall, so unhinged, for me it was super fun,” he said. “As I move forward in my career, I’d love to play all different types of guys. When they called me and I read the script and I saw how crazy this guy was going to be and when I met with David Ayer and what he’s thinking about the feel and style of Derek, I was just really stoked.”

“For me, it was a challenge because we want to create a character who is based in truth and that I could empathize with and not judge, which is hard to do with this guy, but when you create that base and understanding, you’re free to go off the wall and take big swings,” he continued.

Ayer also told Mangum how he wanted to give a warning to the audience about the dangers of online scams. While the scams might not go as far as they do in The Beekeeper, scammers still have the ability to ruin people’s lives.

“We get to see a study on how people get victimized and there are a lot of cases like this where people lose everything,” he said. “The scammers are really smart. They know how to talk to people, they get your banking information, and they can turn your entire life upside down.”

He went on to say how a lot of people working on the film talked about how their loved ones and friends had been targets of scamming, adding, “Hopefully this can be a little bit of a warning to people to just keep an eye out for those of us who are vulnerable.”

He also said how Rashad was “absolutely perfect” to play Eloise.

“She’s like America’s mom,” he said. “She’s really gracious, really nice person and a genuinely good person and that comes across on camera…Having that connection between her and Jason is key because…someone we care about is her and we’re getting justice delivered and it needs to happen.”

The Beekeeper comes to theaters Jan. 12.