Docstoc

“ALONG CAME A SPIDER”

Document Sample
“ALONG CAME A SPIDER” Powered By Docstoc
					                       “ALONG CAME A SPIDER”
                                 Final Production Notes


       In “Along Came a Spider,” a psychological suspense thriller adapted from James

Patterson‟s first highly acclaimed novel in the Alex Cross series, Morgan Freeman

reprises his role as the Washington, D.C. police detective and psychologist who is

through playing mind games with criminals – that is until a methodical predator, Gary

Soneji (Michael Wincott) commits a daring kidnapping and lures Cross into the case.

       Soneji’s not out for ransom, he wants something much bigger – a place in the

history books. His every move is planned with the precision of a spider spinning his web,

and Cross and Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan (Monica Potter) are in a race against

time to stop him.

       A Paramount Pictures presentation of a David Brown/Phase 1 Production in

association with Revelations Entertainment, “Along Came a Spider” is directed by Lee

Tamahori and produced by David Brown and Joe Wizan. The film is based on James

Patterson‟s best-selling novel of the same name and the screenplay is by Marc Moss.

Starring Morgan Freeman, the film co-stars Monica Potter, Michael Wincott, Penelope

Ann Miller, Michael Moriarty and Mika Boorem. The film is executive produced by

Morgan Freeman and Marty Hornstein. Paramount Pictures is part of the entertainment

operations of Viacom Inc., which is one of the world‟s largest entertainment and media

companies, and a leader in the production, promotion, and distribution of entertainment,

news, sports and music. The film is MPAA rated R for violence and language.
        Adapted from James Patterson‟s best selling first novel in the acclaimed Alex

Cross series, “Along Came a Spider” finds three-time Academy Award® nominee Morgan

Freeman reprising his role as criminal profiler Alex Cross. Freeman first appeared as Dr.

Cross in Paramount Pictures‟ “Kiss The Girls,” co-starring Ashley Judd. Based on

Patterson‟s second book of the series, the film was released in 1997.

        In this installment, the death of his partner causes Detective Cross to retreat to the

peace of retirement. Renowned as an accomplished police detective, psychologist and

best-selling author, Cross reluctantly gets involved in a federal case when the kidnapper

leaves a piece of evidence in his mailbox.

        Familiar with Cross‟ literary success, Soneji is theorized to have an ulterior

motive: to be documented by Cross after committing the crime of the century. The

detective (Freeman) and Secret Service agent (Potter) create a formidable team following

a path of few leads, hidden agendas, and an exhausting ransom drop, while also seeking

their own redemption from past failures.

        Producers David Brown and Joe Wizan re-team with actor Morgan Freeman in

bringing to the screen the investigative exploits of Dr. Alex Cross, a character created by

James Patterson, one of the world‟s best selling authors. While Freeman traditionally

avoids repeating roles, he was drawn back to the detective because of the character‟s

rarely seen qualities.

        “Cross is a well-trained, well-educated writer as well as a policeman,” says star

and executive producer Morgan Freeman. “But, his particular strength is he‟s a mind

hunter. It‟s fun to play because it‟s more cerebral than active.”




                                                                                              2
       The character‟s creator, author James Patterson, couldn‟t be more pleased with the

series‟ on-screen results, especially the actor portraying his complex detective. “When

watching Morgan, he rises above everybody else, the same way you‟d watch a basketball

game when Michael Jordan used to play,” says Patterson.

       For producer David Brown, this is the fourth collaboration with the venerable star,

after teaming in “Kiss the Girls,” “Deep Impact,” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” in his

Oscar®-nominated role as Hoke. “Morgan Freeman brings elegance to the role in

whatever he does, whether it‟s the President of the United States (“Deep Impact”) or a

chauffeur,” says Brown, one of Hollywood‟s most successful producers. “He‟s playing

the character more than once because it interests him. That‟s the only reason.”

       Director Lee Tamahori was quite pleased Freeman returned to the role of the

clever detective. “Directing Morgan Freeman is almost a redundancy,” Tamahori says.

“He knows the beats of the story, but more so, his knowledge of the character and

affection for him show so vividly.”

       Discussing the Alex Cross series, Brown says: “There are even more surprises in

this picture than „Kiss the Girls;‟ surprises that stunned me when I read it. It has the

primary Alex Cross character, but the piece basically stands alone.”

       Freeman was equally impressed with the story. “There‟s a lot of mystery,” he

says. “It‟s like peeling an onion when you start trying to solve it. There are a lot of layers

and twists and turns in the plot.”

       Secret Service agent Jezzie Flannigan, played by Monica Potter, affixes herself to

Cross‟ side to atone for the abduction taking place under her watch. For Potter, the role is

an arduous change of pace, combining mental mind games with some tough police action.


                                                                                            3
         Discussing her character‟s complexities, Potter continues: “This character is like

nothing I‟ve ever done. She seems just one way the entire time. But, there‟s so much

more to her. It was difficult, knowing how much to give, and how much to hold back.

I‟m acting within acting.”

         While the action sequences were new to the actress, she acclimated to the

adrenaline rush fairly easily. Whether it was a rain soaked pursuit, or cross-town ransom

drop, Potter adjusted to the demands of the role.

         With the guiding force of Morgan Freeman helping her along, Potter felt in good

hands. “He‟s the best actor I‟ve ever worked with,” she says without a pause. “He

treated me like his partner, his equal. And that was very endearing, because I was really

nervous to work with him. I mean, Morgan is the type of actor that doesn‟t have to say a

word.”

         “It was fun seeing Morgan play off Monica‟s more frustrated Jezzie Flannigan,”

says director Tamahori. The two teamed very well, which produced a better end result to

the plot twists.”

         “The thing about Lee is he understands the piece so much, from beginning to end;

he‟s got all the pieces figured out,” says Potter. “If you ask him something, he‟ll go back

80 scenes, and tell you why you‟re thinking this at this particular time. He‟s an amazing

director.”

         Crucial to any suspense thriller is the malevolence of the antagonist, and in

“Along Came a Spider,” kidnapper Gary Soneji has it in spades, so much so, his own

creator was proud. “This is the classic James Patterson villain,” says Patterson. “Gary

Soneji is the baddest of the bad, the worst of the worst. When you have a character as


                                                                                              4
strong as Morgan‟s, you must have somebody opposite of whom the audience thinks,

„This is a cool match.‟”

       Freeman likes the nature of Gary Soneji, who presents his character with a

complicated challenge. “The guy talks to Alex, and Alex talks back,” he says. “They

develop a dialogue. And in that dialogue they get to know each other on another level.”

       At the center of the sociopath is actor Michael Wincott. A diverse actor who has

played some memorable villains in such films as “1492” and “The Crow,” Wincott

presents Soneji as quite multidimensional: intelligent, fiendish, narcissistic, even nice and

remarkably patient.

        “He‟s not a healthy individual,” says Wincott in understatement. “He‟s just

obsessed, and he just has to win. This is his occupation.”

       After two of methodical planning, Soneji executes the daring abduction, spinning

a confusing web for Detective Cross and agent Flannigan. Initially convincing authorities

they face a conventional kidnapping, it becomes apparent Soneji has other plans of

gaining infamy by committing the crime of the century.

       Says Freeman of his on-screen nemesis‟ desire to live on in infamy, “He wants to

be someone the world might admire because he commits a crime and seemingly gets

away with it.”



ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

       Principal photography began in February, 2000 on location in Vancouver, BC and

moved to Washington, D.C. in May, 2000 to shoot eleven days of Washington exteriors




                                                                                            5
including the Washington Circle, The Mall, and the Baltimore MTA train system. The

company also shot a subway sequence at Washington‟s historic Union Station.

       One of the film‟s most thrilling sequences was the desperate ransom drop in

Washington, in which Detective Cross races on foot through rush hour traffic to keep up

with the kidnapper‟s detailed instructions.

       “We staged actual traffic jams in front of the National Portrait Gallery,” says

executive producer Marty Hornstein, of the shoot held during a normally deserted time of

day. “It was a sight to behold.”

       Hornstein made a few discoveries shooting the many historical landmarks in the

nation‟s capital: “The total number of different jurisdictions and police forces in the

District is 26, so, logistically I was a bit apprehensive. But it was great, and problem

free. You look at the grandeur, and the history of Union Station. It was a privilege to

shoot there.”

       Securing a subway for an entire day would prove an even more monumental task

than the traffic jams, which included filming the ransom drop from a moving MTA train.

Less expensive and more convincing than green-screen visual effects, the bulky camera

was rigged to the outside of the train car, but keeping within the 16-inch leeway of the

external switching devices.

       In Vancouver, the exteriors of Gary Soneji‟s boat were shot in the Georgia Straits

and at the Sunset Marinas, while its interiors were all shot on a soundstage. The majority

of filming was completed on practical locations in Vancouver, with the exception of one

and a half weeks on soundstages.




                                                                                           6
       Shannon Mews, a former mansion and vast residential complex, was used for the

fictional high security Cathedral School, attended by children of Congressmen and

international diplomats.

       The Russian Embassy sequence was shot in three separate buildings, including the

historical Hycroft Mansion in the Shaughnessy section of Vancouver, the Cecil Green

House on the campus of University of British Columbia, and Riverview Hospital.




                                                                                       7
ABOUT THE CAST


       MORGAN FREEMAN (Alex Cross/Executive Producer) has established himself

as one of America‟s most admired actors by audiences, critics and fellow artists alike.

His breakthrough performance in “Street Smart” in 1987 earned him the first of three

Academy Award® nominations, leading to a string of memorable film roles. He was

nominated for Best Actor in director Frank Darabont‟s adaptation of Stephen King‟s “The

Shawshank Redemption,” and in the multi-Oscar® winning “Driving Miss Daisy,” which

also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. A diverse career spanning more than 30 years,

his is a consistent mix of theatrical film roles, stage work, television specials and

narration (“The Long Way Home”), most recently starring last year in the Neil LaBute

comedy, “Nurse Betty.”

       Among his feature films, Freeman has starred in “Deep Impact,” “Hard Rain,”

“Amistad,” “Kiss The Girls,” “Chain Reaction,” “Outbreak,” “Seven,” “Unforgiven,”

“Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Glory” and “Lean on Me.” In 2000, he starred in

“Under Suspicion,” the first feature film release from Freeman‟s production company,

Revelations Entertainment. Freeman made his film directorial debut with the critically

acclaimed “Bopha!” for Paramount Pictures, starring Danny Glover.

       On stage, Freeman‟s performances in “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Coriolanus” and

“Gospel at Colonus” all earned him Obie Awards, and his work in “Mighty Gents”

brought him a Tony Award nomination. In 1991 he teamed with Tracey Ullman for a

stage production of “The Taming of the Shrew.”




                                                                                          8
       Early television work for this Memphis native included the daytime soap opera,

“Another World,” and as Easy Reader in PBS‟ “The Electric Company” in 1971.

       MONICA POTTER (Jezzie Flannigan) has appeared in “Patch Adams,” opposite

Robin Williams, and “The Very Thought of You,” with Joseph Fiennes, Tom Hollander

and Rufus Sewell. Additional feature film credits include “Without Limits,” “Con Air”

and “A Cool Dry Place.”

       A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Potter worked as a model before moving to Los

Angeles. Her first television break came in the daytime soap opera, “The Young & The

Restless.”

       Most recently Potter co-starred in the romantic comedy, “Head Over Heels”

opposite Freddie Prinze, Jr.

       MICHAEL WINCOTT (Gary Soneji) most recently appeared in Julian

Schnabel‟s “Before Night Falls.” His other feature film credits include “Alien:

Resurrection,” “Metro,” “Basquiat,” “Dead Man,” “Strange Days,” “1492,” “The Crow,”

“Romeo is Bleeding,” “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “The Doors,” “The Three

Musketeers,” “Born on the Forth of July” and “Talk Radio,” in which he reprised the role

he created at The Public Theater in New York.

       He also starred in the original Broadway productions of “Serious Money” and

“The Secret Rapture,” as well as the world premiere of Sam Shepard‟s “States of Shock.”

       PENELOPE ANN MILLER (Lauren Rose) has appeared opposite Al Pacino

and Sean Penn in “Carlito‟s Way,” for which she won a Golden Globe nomination;

Marlon Brando and Matthew Broderick in “The Freshman;” Robert De Niro and Robin




                                                                                        9
Williams in “Awakenings;” Danny DeVito and Gregory Peck in “Other People‟s

Money;” and Arnold Schwarzenegger in “Kindergarten Cop.”

       Miller‟s big break came when she originated the role of Daisy in Neil Simon‟s

Tony Award winning play “Biloxi Blues.” She repeated that role in Mike Nichols‟ film

version opposite Matthew Broderick.

       Miller continues to receive accolades in recognition of her work. Most recently

she received a special jury award for Best Performance at the Hollywood Film Festival

for her role in the independent feature “Rhapsody in Bloom.” She earned a Tony Award

nomination for her portrayal of Emily in Broadway‟s revival of “Our Town,” as well as

being named “Most Promising Actress” from the Chicago Film Critics Association, and

“Star of Tomorrow” from the Motion Picture Bookers Club.

       Miller most recently starred opposite Melanie Griffith in the independent feature

“Loving Lulu.” She was last seen in Showtime‟s critically acclaimed feature “Rocky

Marciano” and in the starring role of the USA Network movie “The Mary Kay

Letourneau Story: All-American Girl.”

       MICHAEL MORIARTY (Senator Hank Rose) is best known for his portrayal of

Assistant District Attorney Ben Stone on television‟s “Law & Order” for which he

received four Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award. He earlier won a Golden

Globe Award for his work in the television mini-series, “Holocaust.”

       His feature film credits include a starring role in “Southern Cross, “ and co-

starring roles in “Bad Faith” with Gloria Rueben, “Woman Wanted” with Kiefer

Sutherland and Holly Hunter, and “Courage Under Fire,” starring Denzel Washington and




                                                                                         10
Meg Ryan. Other film credits in his lengthy resume include “Bang the Drum Slowly,”

“The Last Detail” and “Pale Rider.”

       MIKA BOOREM (Megan Rose) was last seen on the big screen playing Mel

Gibson‟s daughter in “The Patriot.” She has completed production on “Hearts in

Atlantis” opposite Anthony Hopkins and she plays a young Drew Barrymore in “Riding

in Cars with Boys” for director Penny Marshall. Among her other film credits are “A

Memory in my Heart” and “Mighty Joe Young,” as a young Charlize Theron. Her

performance in “Jack Frost” and “The Education of Little Tree” garnered her a

nomination for the Hollywood Reporter‟s Young Star Award in 1998 and 1999.

       On television, she has appeared in several episodes of “Ally McBeal” as young

Ally. In addition, Boorem has had recurring appearances on “Touched by an Angel”

including their 100th golden episode with Celine Dion and Wynonna Judd.



ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS

       LEE TAMAHORI (Director) received worldwide critical acclaim for his feature

film directorial debut, the powerful New Zealand drama “Once Were Warriors.” His first

American feature was “Mulholland Falls,” starring Nick Nolte, Melanie Griffith, Chazz

Palminteri and John Malkovich, followed by “The Edge” starring Anthony Hopkins and

Alec Baldwin. He has also directed episodes of the critically acclaimed HBO series “The

Sopranos.”

       He began his career in his native New Zealand as a commercial artist and

photographer, before moving on to directing television commercials for 10 years, winning




                                                                                        11
international awards. He later directed series television in New Zealand before the

provocative “Once Were Warriors.”

       DAVID BROWN (Producer) has long established himself as one of Hollywood‟s

most successful and venerable producers, with a rare eye for material that breeds both

artistic and commercial success. That same talent resulted most recently in the Academy

Award® nominated “Chocolat,” Brown‟s sixth Best Picture nomination, two of which,

“The Sting” and “Driving Miss Daisy,” won the top Oscar® prize. Working solo or with

longtime partner Richard D. Zanuck, Brown has produced or executive produced some of

the silver screen‟s most memorable films including “Jaws,” “The Verdict,” “Cocoon,”

“The Player,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Saint,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Deep Impact,”

“Angela‟s Ashes” and “The Sugarland Express” giving first-time directing duties for a

feature to a young Steven Spielberg.

       Brown, with his partner Zanuck, received the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1991, the David O. Selznick Lifetime

Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America in 1993, and this year, were

named Producers of the Year at the 2001 ShoWest Convention of the National

Association of Theatre Owners. He also received an Honorary Award from the Writers

Guild of America in 1999, and the Independent Spirit Award in 1993 for “The Player.”

       Prior to his producing partnership with Richard Zanuck, the two headed film

production at 20th Century Fox and later at Warner Bros. Pictures.

       Brown has also produced on Broadway, including “Tru,” “A Few Good Men,”

and “The Cemetery Club,” and is currently preparing a musical based on the classic film,

“The Sweet Smell of Success.”


                                                                                         12
       Before entering the motion picture business Brown was a journalist, once serving

as Managing Editor at Cosmopolitan Magazine. Years later his wife, Helen Gurley

Brown, would have the same job. He is the author of several books and is an occasional

contributor to The New Yorker.

       JOE WIZAN (Producer), who was a theatrical agent before entering motion

picture production, has produced or executive produced 25 motion pictures, six movies

for television and two films for cable. Among his feature films are “Kiss The Girls,”

“Dunston Checks In,” “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,” “Fire in The Sky,” “Stop! Or My

Mom Will Shoot,” “Iron Eagle I & II,” “Tough Guys,” “…And Justice for All,” “Junior

Bonner” and “Jeremiah Johnson.”

       Wizan was head of production at CBS Theatrical Films and president of

production at 20th Century Fox. During his tenure, “Revenge of the Nerds,” “Bachelor

Party,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Jewel of the Nile” and “Cocoon” were put into

production.

       MARTY HORNSTEIN (Executive Producer) served as executive producer and

unit production manager for “Star Trek: Insurrection,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” and was

co-producer and production manager for “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” He

executive produced “Permanent Record,” produced “One on One,” “The Night Before”

and “The Women‟s Club,” and served as line producer for “The Perfect Weapon,” “Show

of Force” and “Back to the Beach.” Hornstein also served as production manager on such

films as “Beverly Hills Cop III,” “Drop Zone,” “Ode to Billy Joe,” “Cornbread, Earle and

Me,” “Silent Running” and “Where‟s Poppa?”




                                                                                        13
       Hornstein was senior vice president of production for Kings Road Entertainment

for two years, and served on the faculty at the American Film Institute from 1976 to 1983.

       For MARC MOSS (Screenwriter), this is his first produced screenplay. The

Norfolk, Virginia native had done much unaccredited and adaptation work before his

hiring for this second movie from the Alex Cross detective series.

       Moss received his BA in English from the University of Chicago before moving

to Los Angeles to concentrate on screenwriting, where he currently resides.

       MATTHEW F. LEONETTI, A.S.C. (Director of Photography) has been

shooting theatrical and television movies for more than 25 years. His resume has a

diverse selection including “Star Trek: Insurrection” and “Star Trek: First Contact,” as

well as “Mortal Kombat: Annihilation,” which was directed by his brother,

cinematographer-turned-director John R. Leonetti.

       Leonetti‟s other film credits include “Species II,” “Fled,” “Strange Days,” “Leap

Of Faith,” “Angels in The Outfield,” “Low Down Dirty Shame,” “Another 48 Hours,”

“Dead Again,” “Hard to Kill,” “Dragnet,” “Red Heat,” “Jagged Edge,” “Weird Science,”

“Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” “Poltergeist,” “Eyewitness” and “Breaking Away.”

       IDA RANDOM (Production Designer) began her career for director Lawrence

Kasdan on “The Big Chill,” and has continued memorable work for almost 20 years,

receiving an Academy Award® nomination for “Rain Man,” with director Barry

Levinson. Random has continuously worked with Hollywood‟s top directors, including

Danny Devito on “Hoffa,” “The War of the Roses,” and “Throw Momma from the

Train;” Lawrence Kasdan again on “Silverado” and “Wyatt Earp;” Tony Scott on “The




                                                                                           14
Fan;” Albert Brooks‟ vision of heaven in “Defending Your Life;” Ed Zwick on “About

Last Night;” and Brian DePalma on “Body Double.”

       Her other film credits include “Housesitter,” “Who‟s That Girl,” “Irreconcilable

Differences” and “How I Got into College.”

       NEIL TRAVIS (Editor) has cut together a wide variety of theatrical motion

pictures since 1970, winning an Academy Award® in 1991 for “Dances with Wolves.”

For that film he also won an Eddie Award from the American Cinema Editors, and was

nominated for an Eddie in 1978 for the historic television mini-series, “Roots.”

       Travis‟ other films include “Bicentennial Man,” “Stepmom,” “The Edge,” his first

teaming with director Lee Tamahori, “Moll Flanders,” “Outbreak,” “Clear and Present

Danger,” “Bopha!,” for director Morgan Freeman, “Patriot Games,” “Deceived,”

“Cocktail,” “No Way Out,” “Marie,” “The Philadelphia Experiment,” “Cujo,” “The

Idolmaker” and “Jaws 2.”

       SANJA MILKOVIC HAYS (Costume Designer), born in Yugoslavia, most

recently designed the costumes on Brian DePalma‟s “Mission to Mars.”

       Other films she has worked on include “Beowulf,” “Star Trek: Insurrection,”

“Blade,” “8 Heads in a Duffel Bag,” “Treacherous,” “Spaced Invaders” and “Masque of

the Red Death.”

       JERRY GOLDSMITH (Composer), after a half century composing music, has

garnered 18 Academy Award® nominations including an Oscar® win for his haunting

score in “The Omen,” three Emmy Awards, nine Golden Globe nominations and four

British Academy Award nominations.




                                                                                          15
       One of cinema‟s preeminent composers, Goldsmith has over 250 movies,

television shows (including the theme from “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”) and radio plays

to his credit. He began his career at CBS Radio before being hired by the legendary

Alfred Newman for the film, “Lonely are the Brave.”

       Goldsmith‟s body of work includes the scores for Disney‟s “Mulan,” which won

him an Annie Award for Animated Features, “L.A. Confidential,” “Basic Instinct,”

“Hoosiers,” “Under Fire,” “Poltergeist,” the memorable theme from “Star Trek: The

Motion Picture,” “The Boys from Brazil,” “The Wind and the Lion,” “Chinatown,”

“Papillon,” “Patton,” “Planet of the Apes,” “The Sand Pebbles” and “A Patch of Blue.”

       Goldsmith has also received an Achievement Award at the 1998 Palm Springs

International Film Festival, and three Saturn Award nominations from the Academy of

Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy.

                                        #      #       #




                                                                                        16

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:127
posted:2/23/2010
language:English
pages:16
Description: “ALONG CAME A SPIDER”