- Notes provided by 20th Century Fox. -
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, the first chapter in the X-Men saga, unites Wolverine with several other legends of the X-Men universe, in an epic revolution that pits the mutants against powerful forces determined to eliminate them.
Hugh Jackman reprises the role that made him a superstar, as the fierce fighting machine who possesses amazing healing powers, adamantium claws, and a primal fury known as berserker rage. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE stays true to the tone of the X-Men motion picture franchise, continuing the films' balance between spectacle and reality, while heightening the emotions and relationships.
The film also introduces a team of mutants, including several whose appearances in the movie series have been long anticipated. Movie audiences will meet Team X, a covert military cadre comprised entirely of mutants. Its members are: Wolverine; his brother Victor Creed, aka Sabretooth, a feral being of unimaginable power; Wade Wilson, later to be known as Deadpool, a high-tech mercenary skilled at swordplay; Agent Zero, an expert tracker and lethal marksman; Wraith, a teleporter; Fred J. Dukes, also known as The Blob, a morbidly obese and super-strong behemoth; and Bradley, who can manipulate electricity. Leading them is William Stryker, a figure introduced in "X2" but whose origins and motives are now fully explored, for it is Stryker's complex relationship with Wolverine that defines much of Logan's past ...and future.
X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE also explores Logan's tragic romance with Kayla Silverfox. Kayla's fate triggers Logan's involvement with the ominous Weapon X program, a top secret, billion-dollar military experiment, in which Wolverine and other mutants are key players. They include Gambit, a young Scott Summers (later to be known as Cyclops); a beautiful young mutant named Emma Frost; and the aforementioned Deadpool, against whom Wolverine faces his ultimate challenge.
While the three previous X-Men films were set in the not-too-distant future, the main story of X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE - as the saga's first chapter - is set prior to the events of those pictures, in the not-too-distant past, sometime in the 1970s. But the epic sweep of the new film also encompasses flashbacks that span 150 years. It has a scale and ambition new to even this high-reaching series. "We wanted to exceed expectations in every way," sums up star and producer Hugh Jackman. "We couldn't just make a very good movie; it had to be much more than that."
To that end, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE provides a great roller coaster ride of adventure and action, while tapping into complex themes and rich and powerful emotional conflicts that have been hallmarks of the X-Men films. "Yes, the film needs to be visually stunning, and the action has to be amazing and hard-hitting," says director Gavin Hood, whose 2005 film "Tsotsi" won the Academy Award® for best foreign language film. "But you've also got to buy into the story and characters. The core idea of the film is that it's about someone who is not comfortable with who he is, who's at war with his own nature. That's an interesting character to explore. The theme of being at war with one's own nature, fuels and energizes the film so it becomes more than just action for its own sake."
Jackman was convinced that Hood was the right man for the job after he viewed Hood's modestly-budgeted "Tsotsi," a penetrating drama set in Johannesburg about a hardened teenage criminal whose life is changed when he becomes emotionally attached to an infant left in the back seat of his car. "The character Tsotsi was at war with himself, just like Wolverine is," says Jackman. "I got carried away by Tsotsi's journey, and by Gavin's instincts for character and story.
"The characters have always been at the heart of the X-Men comics and movies," Jackman continues. "People connect with and relate to them."
Indeed, when comics legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the X-Men over 40 years ago, they shaped characters and stories with drama and conflict. The X-Men were an unusual heroic group - at times sarcastic, antisocial, and clearly flawed - yet sympathetic when battling the demons of their lives, or taking on powerful villains in their universe of special powers.
The character of Wolverine came years after many of his X-Men brethren, first appearing in comics in 1974 (as a creation of writer Len Wein and art director John Romita Sr.) before becoming an integral member of The X-Men, as well as the headliner of his own comics series. The character's impact on pop culture has been profound; last year alone, Wolverine was ranked #1 of Wizard magazine's "Top 200 Comic Book Characters of All Time" and was ranked #4 in Empire Magazine's "The 50 Greatest Comic Book Characters."
The first X-Men movie, with then-Hollywood film newcomer Hugh Jackman taking the key role of Wolverine, was released in 2000 to critical and audience acclaim, reinvigorating the comics-to-film genre. "X2," released in 2003, and "X-Men: The Last Stand," out in 2006, also achieved huge success. By 2009, over 70 percent of American moviegoers had seen at least one of the X-Men movies.
For Jackman, reprising the role was an opportunity to expand and deepen the three previous films' exploration of Wolverine. "We now get to see Logan's journey and the battle within, as he owns up to the events of his past," says Jackman. "Wolverine has certain qualities that are sacred, and number one is that he's a badass. Borrowing the character's catch phrase, Wolverine is the best there is at what he does, and what he does isn't very nice." Adds producer Lauren Shuler Donner, who served in that capacity on the three previous X-Men films: "Logan's got attitude, humor and a way about him. He just doesn't give a damn - and that's fun for an audience to experience."
The main story of X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE begins with Logan seeking solace from a past rife with darkness, working as a lumberjack in the remote Canadian Rockies. Finding love and contentment for the first time in his very long life, Logan leads a seemingly idyllic existence with schoolteacher Kayla Silverfox. "He couldn't be further away from the past he's so long been trying to escape," says Jackman. "Kayla is a catalyst for the biggest changes Logan's ever faced," says Lynn Collins, who took on the role after Jackman had seen her on stage in "The Merchant of Venice," opposite Al Pacino. "She leads him to think differently about the conflict of being human and being a mutant. Their relationship leads him to try and heal old wounds, and experience the consequences and risks of love."
But as Logan searches for the peace that has eluded him more than a century, "the world he's been trying to escape keeps drawing him back in," says Jackman. "As with anything in life, unless you've really dealt with a problem, unless you're really at peace with it, the problem tends to recur. And it's clear from the beginning that Wolverine has run away from things he needs to face. And one of them is Victor, his brother."
Victor Creed, also known as Sabretooth, possesses powers similar to Logan's. They are both virtually indestructible and have a feral, super-human strength. Victor's ferocity encompasses a feline-like fighting style and leaping ability; at times, he'll race to the attack on all four limbs.
As we learn in flashbacks, Logan (born James Howlett) and Victor did not learn they were brothers until their teens, in the aftermath of a family tragedy that leads to the emergence of Logan's signature berserker rage and claws that power their way through his flesh as razor-sharp spikes, turning him into something more and something less than human. Logan and Victor flee their home, forming a bond that transcends even brotherhood. As indestructible warriors, they fight together through major conflicts spanning two centuries, including the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, and Vietnam. "Logan and Victor are a team," says Jackman. "They go through a journey together."
But Victor relishes the fight much more than Logan. "Victor is incredibly brutal and has a bloodlust unlike any character I've ever played," says Liev Schreiber. "This guy is a real killer." Victor's savagery in battle leads the two to face a firing squad - but of course mere bullets cannot stop them. Recognizing their unique abilities, a military officer, Col. William Stryker, asks them to join a special team he is putting together - a covert, black ops unit known in comics lore as Team X, comprised of mutants possessing powers that make the team unstoppable.
The character of Stryker was introduced to movie audiences in "X2," in which he tries to bring about the destruction of all mutants across the world. That film hinted at a long history between Logan and Stryker, but only through quick flashes of Logan's lost memories. Now, with X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, the full measure of Stryker's impact on Logan, Victor and other mutants is fully detailed.
Since the new film is set years before the events of "X2," a younger actor was needed to portray Stryker. (Brian Cox essayed the role in "X2.") The filmmakers tapped Danny Huston to play Stryker. "Every character Danny plays is so vivid and present," says Jackman, who cites Huston's performance as a sinister, complex figure in "The Constant Gardener," among many others that impressed the actor-producer
Huston sees Stryker as a kind of Dr. Frankenstein. "In a way, he helped create Wolverine. Stryker both hates and loves Logan, and certainly wants to control him and other mutants. He sees the mutants as children or wild animals. In controlling them, he can use them as weapons for what he perceives to be the safety of mankind. He loves Wolverine like a son. But he has to manipulate him and possibly exterminate him for what Stryker sees as a personal crusade, which he believes is bigger than any one man - or any one mutant."
A key member of Team X is Wade Wilson, later to be known as Deadpool. Wade is a highly-efficient killing machine nicknamed the "Merc with the Mouth," for his endless stream of wisecracks. Ryan Reynolds seemed destined to take on the role; the actor is a longtime fan of Marvel's Deadpool comics, and was even mentioned in one issue. "I've wanted to play Deadpool most of my adult life," says Reynolds. "It's a beloved character with comics fans, so it's not a responsibility I take lightly." Wade/Deadpool's weapon of choice are katana swords, and Reynolds trained extensively to make his swordplay convincing. "I lived, ate and breathed swords," he recalls.
Another Team X member is Bradley, portrayed by Dominic Monaghan ("Lost," "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy). Bradley, who can control and manipulate electricity, is a haunting figure, having gone into hiding from Stryker and Sabretooth, as a circus sideshow attraction. "When we meet Bradley in the film, he's kind of fallen off the grid," says Monaghan. "With Team X, he was a guerrilla soldier, but when things got out of hand, and he saw things he didn't want to see, he left the unit."
Team X member John Wraith, who becomes Wolverine's closest friend, is a teleporter who can appear or disappear at will. "He's not to be messed with," says actor and music icon Will.i.am, of the famed group The Black Eyed Peas, who makes his motion picture acting debut in the film. Long after departing Team X, Wraith remains closely allied with one Fred J. Dukes, a supreme warrior who later let himself go, becoming a 700-pound behemoth known as The Blob - the meanest man you've ever seen. Kevin Durand, who portrayed a fearless mercenary on "Lost," donned one of the largest and most elaborate fat suits in motion picture history, inside of which was a state-of-the-art cooling system originally designed for NASA.
An equally fearsome warrior is Agent Zero, an expert tracker with lethal marksmanship skills, played by Daniel Henney. The American-born actor, who became an enormous star in South Korea, notes that Zero and Logan, although once members of the Team, are enemies. "He's always been jealous of Logan," says Henney, "and he's determined to stop him."
The mutant known as Gambit was not a member of Team X - Logan encounters him much later in his journey - but he plays a key role in Logan's revenge-fueled quest. Beloved by fans of the X-Men comics who have long awaited the character's debut in the film franchise, Gambit, who also goes by the name Remy LeBeau, has the ability to charge matter with volatile kinetic energy, causing the object in question to explosively release its charge on impact. Gambit's favorite things on which to direct his special talents are a deck of playing cards and a simple bö staff - both of which he turns into powerful weapons when the occasion dictates.
Gambit's presence in X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE will certainly be celebrated and discussed by fans, a fact not lost on the filmmakers. Says producer Ralph Winter, who's been involved in all the X-Men movies: "Before the start of each [X-Men] film, people would ask me, 'Is Gambit in the movie? Is he going to throw cards? And I'd say, 'Hang on, we'll get to him.'"
Actor Taylor Kitsch, who nabbed the role after wrapping work for the season on the acclaimed series "Friday Night Lights," says he understands that "the fans have been waiting [for Gambit's appearance in an X-Men film]," and reports that he worked hard to live up to their expectations. "When I arrived in Sydney, to begin work on the film, I told the producers I was here to train and to work," says Kitsch. His training included long sessions with the bö staff and fighting sticks - as well as interminable hours going through packs and packs of trading cards, learning the character's signature moves. "By the time cameras rolled, I could do quite a bit with a deck of cards," he says.
But in telling this story of "origins," no mutant has greater impact on Logan's journey than his brother, Victor Creed. Appalled by Stryker's ethically-challenged directives, Logan had abandoned Victor and Team X, but the two brothers cannot be separated by time or by distance because they are two sides of the same person. "I think of Victor as Logan's doppelganger, his darker side," says Liev Schreiber. "What drives both of them is their desire to find their place in their world - to belong to something. And that one thing that Victor belongs to is Logan. When that bond is broken, Victor looks to reconnect with his brother, for better or for worse."
It is Victor's brutal murder of Kayla that triggers Logan's quest for revenge. When they are reunited, Logan and Victor fight, leaving Logan battered and wounded. Stryker, again entering Logan's life and again forever changing it, offers what he calls the only solution: the top-secret Weapon X program ("X" denoting the Roman numeral for ten). In the procedure, Logan's entire skeleton will be bonded to adamantium, an impenetrable metal alloy that will make Logan virtually indestructible -turning him into the Wolverine we know from the previous X-Men movies. "To beat Victor," Stryker tells Logan, "you're going to have to embrace the other side of you. Become the animal."
But to undergo this transformation, Logan has to suffer more pain than any man could ever endure. Audiences had seen tantalizing flashes of the Weapon X procedure in "X2," but here its full power - and horror - is fully unveiled. As Logan lies in a water-filled plexiglass tank the size of a lidless coffin, robotic arms that taper into foot-long needles spin at high speeds, entering his body, bonding his bones to the adamantium. Wolverine has suffered and survived gunshots, knife wounds, car crashes, executions and explosions - but he's never suffered like this.
Wolverine emerges from the ordeal to face yet another betrayal and an epic showdown with Victor and with the next generation of Stryker's military experiments. Undeterred by Logan's escape from Alkali Lake as the now indestructible Wolverine, Stryker has abducted mutants to fulfill his twisted mandate of turning them into weapons. The unwilling participants in this work are teenagers Scott Summers (Tim Pocock) and Emma Frost (Tahyna Tozzi). Scott, who can emit a powerful beam from his eyes, grows up to be Cyclops, a leader of the X-Men; Emma, another major figure in X-Men comics lore, is telepathic and possesses a diamond-like skin that is indestructible.
Together, the mutants face off against an enemy who has sworn to see them destroyed, in a battle - a revolution - that will set the course of the epic war that lies ahead.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
"I had more fun playing Wolverine in this film than ever before," says Hugh Jackman. Adding to Jackman's boundless enthusiasm for the character - and for the entire X-Men universe - was his new role as a producer. Along with director Gavin Hood, as well as Jackman's producing partner in Seed Productions, John Palermo, and producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Ralph Winter, Jackman oversaw virtually every aspect of the film's pre-production, production and post-production periods. He relished the new responsibilities. "I was trained in theater, where you're involved with everything," he explains. "By the time you go onstage opening night, you know a lot about not only your role, but about the set design, costume design, story development...everything. That excitement, knowledge and preparation are a key part of the experience."
Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of his duties as producer was casting. "This film has lots of great characters new to the X-Men movies," says Jackman. "It was particularly rewarding to establish these new characters and find the right actors to play them."
Jackman the producer certainly put Jackman the actor through his paces, including a grueling physical training regimen that left him in the best shape of his life. Although he trained hard for each of the previous X-Men films, Jackman's mantra to exceed expectations for X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE led him to achieve new levels of physical preparation. "With the previous X-Men films, I never had Logan looking exactly as I wanted him to look," Jackman explains. "For this one, I wanted Logan to look animalistic, veins popping out, and coiled like a spring. I wanted audiences to say, 'Okay, this guy is frightening; this guy could easily rip someone's head off."
In addition to spending countless hours in the gym, Jackman upped his protein and caloric intake to levels befitting a professional athlete. A typical day began at 4:00a.m., when he would awaken to drink a specially prepared protein shake. Then, up for good at 6:00 a.m. for weight training, during which he would sometimes find himself staying in character to maximize his workout. "I lift twenty percent harder, heavier and longer as Wolverine, than if I train as myself," Jackman explains, with a laugh. "As myself, I could easily say, 'Ah, that's enough [weight] training. But as Wolverine, it'd be: 'Now, I'm loving lifting the extra weight.'"
As physically imposing as Jackman became, he didn't lose the athleticism that he's brought not only to his action film roles, but to his stage work. "The camera loves Hugh," points out producer Lauren Shuler Donner. "He has a dancer's grace - it's much more than just 'pumping up' for the role."
Jackman's work ethic and training regimen impressed the production's entire team, especially Liev Schreiber, whose Victor Creed faces off several times with his on-screen nemesis, Jackman's Logan. "Hugh definitely made me lift my own game," says Schreiber, who gained 40 pounds of muscle for the role. "There was a definite chemistry and competition in our training and stunts. Just to do a fight scene with Hugh was terrific, because as a dancer he has that kind of discipline and choreography. We have some remarkable fight scenes together."
In addition upping the ante for the action and bringing fresh characters to the X-Men film franchise, the filmmakers decided to change shooting locations. While "X-Men" was well served by its Toronto locations and sets, and "X2" and "X-Men: The Last Stand" made maximum use of Vancouver's impressive settings and soundstages, most of X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE was shot in New Zealand and Australia, with a few key sequences planned for Vancouver. "My desire to be challenged for this film included finding a new home for the production," says Jackman. "While honoring the style of the previous X-Men films, I wanted this one to look bigger and different. There's something otherworldly about New Zealand. It's so magical. It helped elevate our world and the film's reality. Adds producer John Palermo: "Shooting in Australia and New Zealand has opened up the X-Men universe. Audiences are going to be really excited about the film's look. We were very lucky to have access to the countries' resources and amazing exteriors."
Jackman, director Gavin Hood, director of photography Donald M. McApline, ACS/ASC ("Moulin Rouge"), and production designer Barry Robison used a cross section of those countries' sets and locations to replicate five wars, the city of New Orleans, high schools in the U.S., and the remote Canadian wilderness. According to McAlpine, New Zealand's magnificent vistas were invaluable, especially for sequences set at the fictional Canadian location of Alkali Lake (home of the Weapon X program) and the rural paradise, filmed on New Zealand's South Island, where Logan finds an all-too-temporary respite with his love, Kayla Silverfox. Says McAlpine: "He's leading an idyllic existence, with a cabin (designed by Robison) set on a peak, surrounded by even more massive mountain ranges."
New Zealand's South Island was also home for one of the film's big action set pieces, featuring a helicopter chase and crash. Second unit director Peter MacDonald ("The Bourne Ultimatum") worked with Hood to oversee the spectacular action, which also included blowing up a farmhouse, and Logan taking a thrilling ride on what becomes his iconic Harley Davidson.
Then it was on to Sydney, Australia, where the production filmed on locations throughout the city, including an abandoned hospital, a long-disused 1920s theater that became a boxing ring where Logan battles the 700-pound Blob, Centennial Park, the stunning beach on the North Shore, and a soccer field that the production transformed into a traveling carnival. But the most notable location was Cockatoo Island, which the production turned into an abandoned nuclear power plant - the home of Stryker's laboratory and a "mutant containment area." The Island was once Australia's largest shipyard, boasting a dry dock built by convicts in 1857, and also the site of an imperial prison. It provided the perfect palette for the film's art department to create the sinister, isolated world of Stryker and his mutant experiments.
The long-awaited motion picture debut of Gambit sees the mutant holding court in his home turf, New Orleans. The filmmakers captured the magic of the character and his city, at Fox Studios, Australia, in Sydney. The design team created a New Orleans alleyway, the scene of an explosive fight scene involving Logan, Gambit and Wraith. The controlled environment of the state-of-the-art facility enabled the stunt and special effects teams to execute the elaborate action. Cast and stunt doubles scaled walls, leapt across rooftops, and felt the full force of Gambit's exploding poker cards and bö staff.
For the sequence depicting Logan and Victor hurtling through the battlegrounds of not one, but four wars, the two brothers take on the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, negotiate the trenches of World War I, land at Normandy Beach in World War II, and face the horrors of the Vietnam conflict. Costume designer Louise Mingenbach was tasked with designing the appropriate military garb for the hundreds of extras cast as soldiers. Armory specialists were brought in to assist with uniform accuracy and gun handling.
This sequence saw the end of principal photography in Australia and New Zealand. There remained the long-planned Canadian portion of the shoot, required to capture certain Canadian backdrops and weather conditions that could not be duplicated elsewhere; and when that wrapped, the critical post-production process kicked into high gear. As Jackman continued to work tirelessly on the project, he took time out to reflect upon his own "origins" with the character of Wolverine. As many know, his casting in 2000's "X-Men" - his Hollywood film debut - came just days before he had to step before the cameras. At first, Jackman's unfamiliarity with the character and the X-Men mythology gave him second thoughts about taking the role. "I thought 'X-Men' was kind of an unusual choice to turn into a movie. And a guy with claws coming out of his hands? Of course, I was as yet unaware of the character and property's incredibly rich history - and if I had known, I probably would have thought the role was too much pressure - and too much to live up to.
"If anyone had told me there would one day be a Wolverine movie, I'd have laughed," Jackman continues. "I had no idea of the effect that the X-Men movies would have. And I couldn't be more grateful to the fans and to the audiences."
ABOUT THE CAST
HUGH JACKMAN (Logan/Wolverine, Producer) made his debut major U.S. film appearance as Wolverine in the first installment of the "X-Men" trilogy, a role he reprised in "X2," "X-Men: The Last Stand" and, now, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.
Most recently, Jackman starred with Nicole Kidman in writer-director Baz Luhrmann's epic "Australia." Previously, he starred in Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain," Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige" and Woody Allen's "Scoop." In addition, he voiced characters in the animated features "Happy Feet" and "Flushed Away." He also had leading roles in "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Van Helsing" and "Kate and Leopold," receiving for the latter a 2002 Golden Globe® nomination.
For his portrayal of the 1970s singer-songwriter Peter Allen in the Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz," Jackman received the 2004 Tony® Award for best actor in a musical, as well as Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards.
Previous theater credits include "Carousel" at Carnegie Hall, "Oklahoma!" at the National Theater in London (for which he received an Olivier Award nomination), "Sunset Boulevard" (which garnered him an MO Award, Australia's equivalent of the Tony) and Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" (for which he received another MO Award nomination).
Jackman's career began in Australia in the independent films "Paperback Hero" and "Erskineville Kings"; for the latter, he won the Australian Film Critics' Circle Best Actor award and received a nomination for best actor from The Australian Film Institute. In 1999, he was named Australian Star of the Year at the Australian Movie Convention.
Together with John Palermo and Deborra-lee Furness, Jackman founded Seed Productions, a production company which produced X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE and the 2008 thriller "Deception." In addition, he recently hosted the 81st Academy Awards.
LIEV SCHREIBER (Victor Creed/Sabretooth) is widely considered one of the finest actors of his generation. His repertoire of resonant, humanistic and oftentimes gritty portrayals has garnered the actor the strongest praise in film, theatre and television.
Schreiber recently starred opposite Daniel Craig and Jamie Bell in "Defiance," a World War II-era drama directed by Edward Zwick. The three actors portray Jewish brothers who escape from Nazi-occupied Poland to the forests of Belarus to join the resistance and endeavor to build a village in order to protect themselves and others in danger.
In 2007, Schreiber starred in Mike Newell's "Love in the Time of Cholera," alongside Benjamin Bratt and Javier Bardem. "The Painted Veil," also starring Edward Norton and Naomi Watts, was released in December 2006. Schreiber starred alongside Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington in "The Manchurian Candidate," Julia Stiles in "The Omen," Ben Affleck in "The Sum of All Fears," and Hugh Jackman in "Kate & Leopold." Utilizing his theater and Shakespeare background, Schreiber starred as Laertes in "Hamlet," opposite Ethan Hawke. Schreiber also starred in "The Hurricane," an acclaimed biopic starring Denzel Washington, as well as opposite Diane Lane and Viggo Mortensen in "A Walk on the Moon."
Schreiber is also an accomplished stage actor. His portrayal of Ricky Roma in the 2005 Broadway revival of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross" earned Schreiber a Tony Award. In 2006, Schreiber returned to the stage in the Public Theater's production of "Macbeth" opposite Jennifer Ehle, directed by Moises Kaufman. Shakespeare in the Park's "Macbeth" was staged at the The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. In early 2007, Schreiber returned to Broadway to star in Eric Bogosian's "Talk Radio." Schreiber was nominated for his second Tony for his portrayal of radio host Barry Champlain.
Schreiber has also made use of his deft technique working in television. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Orson Welles in HBO's "RKO 281," and Schreiber again worked with the network for the emotional "Lackawanna Blues." One of America's foremost narrators, Schreiber has lent his voice to sports documentaries such as "Mantle," ":03 Seconds to Gold," and "A City on Fire: The Story of the '68 Detroit Tigers," as well as the PBS documentary series "NOVA" and "Nature."
In 2005, Schreiber made his directorial debut with "Everything is Illuminated," adapted from Jonathan Safran Foer's bestselling novel of the same name. Prior to publication of the novel, Schreiber read an excerpt in The New Yorker, secured the rights, wrote the screenplay, and brought the project to Warner Bros. The film, starring Elijah Wood, was recognized by the 2006 National Film Board as one of the top ten films of the year.
DANNY HUSTON (Stryker) broke through as an actor with his acclaimed performance in the independent film "Ivansxtc." The Bernard Rose directed feature was nominated for several 2003 Independent Spirit Awards, including best male performance for Huston's portrayal of Hollywood talent agent Ivan Beckman.
Soon after that breakthrough, Huston worked on the Martin Scorsese project "The Aviator" alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Alec Baldwin, for which the ensemble cast was nominated for a 2004 Screen Actors Guild Award®. Huston starred in the film "Birth" opposite Nicole Kidman, directed by Jonathan Glazer, and appeared in "21 Grams," Alejandro Inarritu's third feature-length film. Huston then led the ensemble cast of John Sayles' political drama "Silver City" opposite Chris Cooper and Maria Bello.
Huston starred in the critically acclaimed Australian western "The Proposition," which premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Also released in 2006 was the Fernando Meirelles project "The Constant Gardener," for which Huston received the Golden Satellite Award for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Sandy Woodrow. He also appeared in Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette" and Joel Schumacher's "The Number 23."
Recent releases include: the British independent features "Alpha Male," "Fade to Black" (in which Huston played Orson Welles), the Alfonzo Cuaron drama "Children of Men," the Peter Berg feature "The Kingdom," the thriller "30 Days of Night," the HBO award winning miniseries "John Adams," in which Huston portrayed Samuel Adams, and "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People." Upcoming is the romantic comedy "Boogie Woogie," "The Laundry Warrior," and "Edge of Darkness," starring Mel Gibson.
Huston has collaborated several times with directors Mike Figgis and Bernard Rose, most recently with Rose on the forthcoming "The Kreutzer Sonata" in which he stars opposite Elisabeth Rohm. The film premiered at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Born in Rome, Huston was raised in Ireland and London with stops in Mexico and the United States. He currently lives in Los Angeles.
DOMINIC MONAGHAN (Bradley) is best known for his role in the movie adaptations of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. He also starred as Charlie in the highly successful television series "Lost." Before that, he had a role in the British television drama "Hetty Wainthropp Investigations."
His other feature film work includes "Spivs," "The Purifiers" and "Shooting." Upcoming feature film projects include "Pet" and "I Sell the Dead," the latter screening at Slamdance.
Monaghan has combined two of his life's passions - photography and nature - and held his first exhibit in early 2008, "Happy Accidents."
RYAN REYNOLDS (Wade Wilson/Deadpool) has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought after leading men and was recently named one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men" of 2008.
Reynolds recently wrapped filming on "Paperman," a comedy that centers on a man struggling to recapture the spark that made him a successful novelist and happily married man. Reynolds plays the role of Captain Excellent, the imaginary superhero friend of the struggling man. "Paperman" marks the directorial debut of Kieran and Michelle Mulroney, and also stars Emma Stone, Jeff Daniels and Lisa Kudrow.
Reynolds can next be seen in "Adventureland" opposite Kristen Stewart, directed by Greg Mottola ("Superbad"). This comedy takes place in the 1980s when a recent college grad takes a job at an amusement park. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Reynolds stars in "Fireflies in the Garden" opposite Julia Roberts, Carrie-Ann Moss and Emily Watson. This film follows a family torn apart when faced with an unexpected tragedy. This summer, Reynolds will star in Touchstone's romantic comedy, "The Proposal" opposite Sandra Bullock, about a pushy boss who forces her assistant to marry her to avoid deportation.
Reynolds starred in the Working Title film "Definitely, Maybe" for Universal Pictures, as a soon-to-be divorced political consultant and parent with a questionable sexual past; the romantic comedy also starred Rachel Weisz, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Elizabeth Banks and Kevin Kline, and was a critical darling and fan favorite.
Reynolds starred in the complex drama "Chaos Theory," also starring Emily Mortimer. In the Marcos Siega directed film, Reynolds portrays a man experiencing a crisis after he finds out he is sterile and his child is not his own. Reynolds was seen in writer/director John August's "The Nine," which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Reynolds other credits include director Joe Carnahan's "Smokin' Aces" for Working Title and Universal Pictures, as well as "The Amityville Horror."
Reynolds was memorable in the title role of Van in the cult classic "Van Wilder," as well as in the romantic comedy "Just Friends." For his co-starring role in "Blade Trinity," Reynolds showcased his physical attributes undergoing an impressive physical transformation for his role as the acerbic vampire, Hannibal King.
TAYLOR KITSCH (Remy LeBeau/Gambit) is best known for his complex, layered portrayal of the reckless, passionate and struggling Tim Riggins in the critically acclaimed NBC series "Friday Night Lights."
Kitsch's career trajectory began in earnest in 2002 when he moved to New York City to study with renowned acting coach Sheila Grey. Back in his hometown of Vancouver the following year, he landed his first major role, working with Samuel L. Jackson in "Snakes on a Plane."
His other feature films include "The Covenant" and "John Tucker Must Die," both completed prior to his being tapped for the role of high school football hero Tim Riggins. Kitsch's work in that role has captured critics and audiences alike.
Upcoming is the film "Gospel Hill," with Julia Stiles, Samuel L. Jackson and Danny Glover, directed by Giancarlo Esposito. Kitsch returned to television for the third season of "Friday Night Lights" in a groundbreaking distribution deal in which the series aired commercial-free on DirecTV last fall, before returning to its traditional broadcast home, NBC, to re-air in the more conventional format. Its new-found audience from the DirecTV run joins its loyal NBC fans, eagerly tuning in for more of #33.
Will.i.am (Wraith) is best known to many as the front man and producer of the multi-platinum award-winning group The Black Eyed Peas. He is one of the top music producers in the industry, collaborating on tracks with U2, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Kelis, Nas, the Game, Sergio Mendes, Carlos Santana, the Pussycat Dolls, Busta Rhymes, and fellow Black Eyed Pea, Fergie. His songs, which have inspired millions, include the recent "Yes We Can," which mobilized an entire generation to action during the 2008 presidential campaign.
Creating music since 1990, both on his own and with his rap partner apl.de.ap (and later with Taboo), Will.i.am has led The Black Eyed Peas for their decade together, starting with their first two albums ("Behind the Front" in 1998 and "Bridging the Gap" in 2000). The addition of Fergie in 2003 catapulted the group to international stardom with hits "Where is the Love" featuring Justin Timberlake, "Shut Up," "Hey Mama," and "Let's Get it Started," which won the group its first of two Rap Grammy® Awards.
The Black Eyed Peas received their second Rap Grammy for "Don't Funk with my Heart," the lead single from their fourth studio album "Monkey Business," released in 2005. The album included "My Humps," which earned them their third Grammy - their first in the Pop genre. Will.i.am released his first solo song album, "Songs About Girls," in September, 2007.
Last year, Will.i.am teamed with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, on the soundtrack for "Madagascar 2: Escape to Africa." He also lent his voice to the film's animated character Moto Moto.
In June 2008, "Yes We Can" was also honored with the first ever Emmy® Award in the category of best new approaches in daytime entertainment. The video also earned Will.i.am an artist of the year designation at the 2008 Webby Awards, as well as NAACP Image Awards for best music video and best song.
Recently, Will.i.am was nominated for three Grammy Awards for song of the year ("American Boy"), best urban/alternative performance ("Be OK" by Chrisette Michele featuring Will.i.am), and producer of the year - non-classical. .
LYNN COLLINS (Kayla) has displayed tremendous range and versatility in a variety of different roles. Collins' big screen debut came in 2004 when she starred opposite Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes in Michael Radford's "The Merchant of Venice." The film debuted at the Venice Film Festival and was released by Sony Classics in 2004. Collins won rave reviews for her performance as Portia, one of the most complicated roles in the Shakespeare library.
Collins stars opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the independent film, "Uncertainty," which debuted at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. That same year, Collins had a pivotal role in the first season of HBO's Golden Globe® nominated drama, "True Blood" from Academy Award winning director Alan Ball. Collins played Dawn, the best friend of main character Sookie Stackhouse.
Collins co-starred in William Friedken's critically praised independent film, "Bug." Additional film credits include "13 Going on 30" and "50 First Dates." Collins also had memorable roles in "The Lake House," "Number 23" and "Numb."
On stage, Collins played the lead role of Rosalind in The NYSF Public Theatre's production of "As You Like It" at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, for which she received rave reviews.
Collins was born and raised in Texas but moved to New York when she was accepted at the esteemed Juilliard School to study acting. While at Juilliard, Lynn was honored with the two most prestigious awards given to drama students: The Houseman Award, for Exceptional Ability in Classical Theatre and Command of Language, and The Michel St. Denis Award, given to one member of the graduating class for outstanding achievement and commitment to the ensemble.
After graduating, Collins landed her first starring role on the New York stage, playing Ophelia opposite Liev Schreiber in The New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theatre's production of "Hamlet." Other roles include Juliet in Sir Peter Hall's production of "Romeo and Julie" at the Ahmanson Theatre, and John Barton's Shakespeare special for PBS. Collins landed her first leading role on Broadway in Scott Elliot's production of "The Women" at The Roundabout Theatre.
KEVIN DURAND (Fred J. Dukes/The Blob) was voted one of Canada's funniest new comedians before coming to the fore in the role of Joshua in James Cameron's television series "Dark Angel." He then originated the role of Injun Joe in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" on Broadway.
In 2007, he was seen in Joe Carnahan's "Smokin' Aces" with Ben Affleck and Jeremy Piven, James Mangold's "3:10 to Yuma" with Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, and Walt Becker's "Wild Hogs" with John Travolta and Tim Allen.
Durand's recent television credits include "Shark," "Lost," "Without a Trace," "The Dead Zone," "CSI" and the role of Agent Jay Swopes in "Touching Evil."
His film credits include "Mystery, Alaska," "Walking Tall" and "The Butterfly Effect."
DANIEL HENNEY (Agent Zero), in the past year, has become a household name in Korea. The 29-year-old model-turned-actor was born in Michigan, of a Korean-American mother and a British-American father. After moving to New York City, Henney appeared in Off Broadway shows and studied acting at the Deena Levy Theater.
It was his role as Henry Kim in "My Lovely Samsoon" that left a lasting impression on the Korean entertainment industry. Henney had a role in a TV drama produced by acclaimed director SukHo Yoon of the "Four Seasons series," before he moved on to the big screen. He went on to complete his first romantic comedy, "Seducing Mr. Robin," in 2006. A year later, he starred in the film, "My Father," for which he became the first actor not born in Korea to sweep all of that country's major cinema awards in the best new actor category.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
GAVIN HOOD (Director) graduated with a degree in law in South Africa, then worked briefly as an actor before heading to the U.S. to study screenwriting and directing at the University of California in Los Angeles. In 1993, he won a Diane Thomas Screenwriting Award for his first screenplay, "A Reasonable Man," which was inspired by a case of ritual murder. Judges included Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas and Kathleen Kennedy.
After completing his studies, Hood returned to South Africa, where he got his first writing and directing work making educational dramas for the new Department of Health, which was just beginning to feel the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. For his work in educational television, Hood won one Artes Award (a South African Emmy) and was nominated for another.
In 1998, Hood made his 35mm film-directing debut with a 22-minute short called "The Storekeeper." The film won thirteen international film festival awards, including the Grand Prize at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia, which qualified the film for Academy Award consideration in 1998. "The Storekeeper" paved the way for Hood's low budget feature debut, "A Reasonable Man," which he wrote, directed, coproduced (with Paul Raleigh) and starred in opposite Academy Award nominee Sir Nigel Hawthorne. At the All Africa Film Awards in 2001, Hood won best actor, best screenwriter and best director. At the 2000 Sundance Film Festival, Hood was named by Variety as one of their ten directors to watch.
In 2001, Hood was hired to adapt and direct an epic children's adventure story, set in Africa, based on a novel In Desert and Wilderness by Nobel Prize-winning author Henryk Sienkiewicz. Though the film was set in Africa, where Hood grew up, it had to be filmed in the Polish language. Grabbing a chance to shoot in Super 35mm, Hood took the job, communicating with his actors and crew through a translator. The film became the highest grossing picture in Poland that year and won Best of the Fest at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival in 2002.
In 2003, Hood was approached by producer Peter Fudakowski to write a screenplay based on the novel Tsotsi by South Africa's most acclaimed playwright, Athol Fugard. The film was shot in South Africa in late 2004, and was released by Miramax in February 2006. (The rights were acquired at the Toronto Film Festival.) In addition to winning the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, "Tsotsi" received a Golden Globe nomination, and won prizes at the AFI Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, the Edinburgh Film Festival, and seven other festivals.
In 2007, Hood directed "Rendition," staring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
DAVID BENIOFF (Screenplay) is an author and screenwriter. He adapted his first novel, The 25th Hour, into the feature film directed by Spike Lee. His other screenplays include "Troy," "Stay" and "The Kite Runner." Stories from his critically acclaimed collection When the Nines Roll Over appeared in Best New American Voices and The Best Nonrequired American Reading. His novel City of Thieves was selected as the 2008 SCIBA Fiction Award Winner. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.
SKIP WOODS' (Screenplay) feature screenplays include the 2007 thriller "Hitman" starring Timothy Olyphant and Olga Kurylenko, and "Swordfish" starring John Travolta, Halle Berry and Hugh Jackman. He previously wrote and directed the crime thriller "Thursday" starring Thomas Jane and Aaron Eckhart.
LAUREN SHULER DONNER (Producer) has, in the past two decades, established herself as one of the most successful and versatile producers in Hollywood. Her producing skill has enabled her to partner with top directorial talents, including Nora Ephron, Oliver Stone, Bryan Singer, Richard Donner, Joel Schumacher, Ivan Reitman, John Hughes and now, Gavin Hood. To date, her films have grossed more than $2.5 billion worldwide. In October 2008, Shuler Donner and her husband Richard Donner were awarded Stars next to each other on Hollywood Walk of Fame. They were also awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Ojai Film Festival in November 2008. Shuler Donner has been recognized for her body of work in 2001 by Premiere magazine with the Producer Icon Award, and was recognized by Daily Variety with a Billion Dollar Producer special issue. In June 2006, she received the prestigious Crystal Award from Women in Film. Lauren and Richard Donner were honored by The American Cancer Society in June of 2006, and by Lupus L.A. in 2008.
In 2008, Shuler Donner enjoyed a particularly prolific year with four highly-anticipated films in production. In addition to X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE, she had "The Secret Life of Bees," for Fox Searchlight, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, starring Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo and Paul Bettany. This film won multiple People's Choice awards - Favorite Film, among them. It also garnered multiple nominations for the NAACP Image Awards.
Upcoming is "Cirque du Freak," a Universal film written by Paul Weitz, who also directed the adaptation of the bestselling young adult book series by Darren Shan. "Hotel for Dogs" for Dreamworks/Paramount opened in January 2009. As a dog lover, Shuler Donner is especially proud of this film's message to rescue pets from shelters whenever possible.
In 2000, Shuler Donner began a new franchise with "X Men" and followed up in 2003 with "X2." The second film broke box office records with an opening weekend total of $86 million dollars nationwide. Not only did the film gross $406 million dollars internationally, it is also the only sequel of 2003 to receive critical acclaim. "X Men: The Last Stand" was released in May 2006 and a month later it was on its way to the half billion dollar mark worldwide.
Shuler Donner's first feature film as a producer was the smash hit comedy, "Mr. Mom," one of the top ten grossing films of the year. She then produced "Ladyhawke" starring Matthew Broderick, Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer, "St. Elmo's Fire" and "Pretty in Pink." The soundtracks for the latter two went platinum.
In the early '90s, Shuler Donner produced the box office hits "Dave" and "Free Willy," two of the top ten films of 1993. The critically acclaimed "Dave" was nominated for both an Academy Award (best original screenplay) and a Golden Globe (Best Picture-Comedy). She went on to produce "You've Got Mail," "Any Given Sunday," "Radio Flyer," "3 Fugitives" and the sequel to "Free Willy." As head of The Donners' Company, she has executive-produced "Volcano," "Bulworth," "Just Married" and "Semi-Pro.' Shuler Donner's other recent productions include "Timeline," "Constantine," "She's The Man" and "Unaccompanied Minors."
Shuler Donner is a dedicated philanthropist. She was on the board of directors for Hollygrove Children's Home until it merged with EMQ in 2006. Shuler Donner has been on the advisory boards of Women in Film, TreePeople and Planned Parenthood, and on the executive committee of the producer's branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She is currently on the advisory board of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the advisory board of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the board of directors for the Producers Guild of America.
RALPH WINTER (Producer) has proven himself to be one of Hollywood's most successful producers in motion picture and television. Over the past eight years, Winter has produced some of Twentieth Century Fox's greatest box office successes, including the "X-Men" trilogy and two "Fantastic Four" movies, which together have grossed nearly $3 billion.
Winter has produced over 25 films for various studios and topped $4 billion in worldwide box office receipts. He has also produced and directed television for Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks. He is a founding partner in commercial production company ThomasWinterCooke, where he and his partners have successfully pioneered branded entertainment with product integrations ranging from global beverage brands to automobiles.
A graduate of UC Berkeley, Winter is married, with two children, active in community affairs and performing arts projects, and speaks regularly around the country at universities and film festivals.
JOHN PALERMO (Producer) is a founder and partner of Seed Productions, a film, television and theater production company with offices in Los Angeles and Sydney.
Seed's first film, "Deception," was released by Twentieth Century Fox in April 2008. Additionally, Palermo served as an executive producer on "X-Men: The Last Stand," the third installment of the franchise.
STAN LEE (Executive Producer), the chairman emeritus of Marvel Comics, is known to millions as the man whose superhero characters propelled Marvel to its preeminent position in the comic-book industry. Hundreds of legendary characters, including Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four, Iron Man, Daredevil, The Avengers, The Silver Surfer, Thor and Dr. Strange, all grew out of his fertile imagination.
Lee served as executive producer for "Iron Man," "Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" and the recent "Punisher: War Zone." He also served in that capacity on the worldwide blockbusters "Spider-Man," "Spider-Man 2" and "Spider-Man 3."
Before that, Lee was an executive producer on "Ghost Rider," "X-Men: The Last Stand," "X2," "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "Hulk," "Elektra," "Daredevil," and the "Blade" trilogy.
It was in the early 1960s that Lee ushered in what has come to be known as The Marvel Age of Comics, creating major new Super Heroes while breathing life and style into such old favorites as Captain America, The Human Torch and The Sub Mariner.
During his first 25 years at Marvel, as editor, art director and head writer, Lee scripted no fewer than two and as many as five complete comic books per week. His prodigious output may comprise the largest body of published work by any single writer. Additionally, he wrote newspaper features, radio and television scripts and screenplays.
By the time he was named publisher of Marvel Comics in 1972, Lee's comics were the nation's biggest sellers. In 1977, he brought the Spider-Man character to newspapers in the form of a syndicated strip. This seven-days-a-week feature, which he has written and edited since its inception, is the most successful of all syndicated adventure strips, appearing in more than 500 newspapers worldwide.
In 1981, Marvel launched an animation studio on the West Coast and Lee moved to Los Angeles to become creative head of Marvel's cinematic adventures. He began to transform his Spider-Man and Hulk creations into Saturday morning television and paved the way for Marvel's entry into live-action feature films.
Under the umbrella of his new company POW! (Purveyors of Wonder!) Entertainment, Inc., Lee created and executive produced an animated "Stan Lee Presents" DVD series. Lee's television credits with POW! include serving as executive producer and star on the hit reality series "Who Wants To Be a Superhero?," and as co-producer and creator of "Stripperella" on the Spike cable channel. Previously, he executive produced "Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "The Incredible Hulk," "Spider-Man" and "X-Men."
Lee has written more than a dozen best-selling books, including Stan Lee's Superhero Christmas, The Origins of Marvel Comics, The Best of the Worst, The Silver Surfer, How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way, The Alien Factor, Bring on the Bad Guys, Riftworld, The Superhero Women and his autobiography Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee.
RICHARD DONNER (Executive Producer) is the creative force behind some of the most popular movies of the last 20 years: "The Omen," "Superman," "Free Willy," the "Lethal Weapon" series and "Maverick."
His career started in front of the camera as an actor in Martin Ritt's television production of W. Somerset Maugham's "Of Human Bondage." After this brief stint, Ritt gave him a piece of advice that was to change his life. "Marty told me I'd never make it as an actor because I couldn't take direction," recalls Donner, "but he thought I could give it, so he offered me a job as his assistant." Donner continued assisting Ritt and many other great live television directors.
After moving to Los Angeles, he won the assignment of directing his friend Steve McQueen for the television series "Wanted: Dead or Alive." In 1961, he directed Charles Bronson in "X-15," a melodrama about Air Force test pilots. He continued directing such television series as "The Twilight Zone," "The Fugitive," "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and "Kojak."
During the 1970s, Donner directed several acclaimed movies-of-the-week, and in 1975 he directed his first successful major feature, "The Omen," which was released the following year and set a box-office record. He next took on the task of transferring the adventures of the most popular pulp in five decades to film. Under his direction, "Superman" became one of the all-time biggest international hits.
Four films followed the success of "Superman": "Inside Moves," "The Toy," starring Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor; "Ladyhawke," (his favorite for many reasons amongst which was falling in love with the producer Lauren Shuler, who later became his wife); and "The Goonies," produced with Steven Spielberg.
In "Lethal Weapon," Donner introduced two cops who would become cinema's most popular crime fighting duo, played by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. "Lethal Weapon 2" proved even more successful, and the two stars teamed up for "Lethal Weapon 3," released in May of 1992, which went on to become one of the highest grossing pictures of all time, earning more than $150-million.
Donner also produced and directed "Scrooged," starring Bill Murray, and the affecting "Radio Flyer." He executive produced the thriller "The Lost Boys," directed by Joel Schumacher, and served as executive producer on the HBO television series "Tales from the Crypt" (for which he directed the pilot) and the Saturday morning cartoon of the same name.
Donner executive produced the hit family movies "Free Willy," "Free Willy 2" and "Free Willy 3." He directed and produced "Maverick," starring Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster and James Garner; "Assassins," starring Antonio Banderas and Sylvester Stallone; and "Conspiracy Theory,' starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts.
"Lethal Weapon 4," with all the favorites - Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo and Joe Pesci - was released in July of 1998, and introduced Chris Rock and Jet Li. The Lethal Weapon quartet has grossed close to a billion dollars.
His film "Timeline," based on the Michael Crichton novel, was released in 2004, followed two years later by the critically hailed "16 Blocks," starring Bruce Willis. Donner was an executive producer on "X-Men," which reignited the comics-to-film genre, much as Donner did years earlier with "Superman."
DONALD M. McALPINE, ACS/ASC (Director of Photography) shot "Moulin Rouge!" and "William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet" for fellow Australian Baz Luhrmann. McAlpine has worked on nearly 50 pictures, including those for such directors as Chris Columbus, Alan Pakula, Paul Mazursky, Ron Howard, Bruce Beresford, Gillian Armstrong, Mel Gibson, Lee Tamahori and Paul Newman. McAlpine's credits as a cinematographer also include "Stepmom," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "The Edge," "Nine Months," "Clear and Present Danger," "Patriot Games," "The Man Without a Face," "Stanley & Iris" and "Parenthood."
McAlpine first came to worldwide attention with the acclaimed Australian features "My Brilliant Career" by Gillian Armstrong and "Breaker Morant" for Bruce Beresford, both of which collected Australian Film Institute Awards for Best Cinematography.
BARRY ROBISON (Production Designer) has a diverse array of feature film credits that includes "Nim's Island," "You, Me & Dupree," "Rendition" (directed by Gavin Hood), "Fun with Dick and Jane," "The Rookie," "October Sky," "Highway," "Bubble Boy," "Home Fries," "Loved," "The Man Who Wouldn't Die," "My Family," "Sensation" and "Candyman: Farwell to the Flesh."
His television credits include "Deadly Relations," "Treacherous Crossing" and "Deadly Game." Prior to becoming a production designer, Robison was a set designer on "Merry Christmas, George Bailey," and a costume designer on "L. Frank Baum's The Marvelous Land of Oz."
NICOLAS DE TOTH (Editor) has edited a wide variety of films including "Live Free or Die Hard," "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," "The Covenant," "Underworld: Evolution," "Eye of the Storm," "Universal Soldier," "Hellbound," "Stargate," "Street Fighter," "Showgirls," "Moll Flanders," "The Edge" and "Stepmom."
Other credits as editor include "Bicentennial Man," "Dirk and Betty," "Along Came a Spider" and "The Sum of All Fears."
MEGAN GILL (Editor) previously collaborated with director Gavin Hood on the drama "Rendition," released in 2007, and on the Oscar®-winning "Tsotsi," released in 2005. Gill was an editor on "Dead Easy" and worked in various editorial capacities on "The Ghost in the Darkness," "Cry the Beloved Country," "A Good Man in Africa" and "Bopha!" among other films.
LOUIS G. FRIEDMAN (Co-Producer) has worked in a variety of production capacities - including assistant director, production manager, co-producer and line producer - on dozens of major motion pictures. His credits include "Titanic," "American Pie," "Starship Troopers," "Blue Crush" and "Along Came Polly." His work in television includes stints on "L.A. Law" and "J.A.G." For Lucasfilm, Friedman contributed to "More American Graffiti," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom."
HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS (Music) is one of Hollywood's most sought after composers, working on a variety of high-profile projects, both animated and live-action. Over the last few years, Gregson-Williams has scored some of the industries biggest blockbusters including "Shrek the Third," "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" (for which he received nominations for a Golden Globe and Grammy), "Shrek" (for which he received a BAFTA nomination), "Shrek 2," and "Chicken Run." He most recently wrote the score for "Gone Baby Gone," which marked the directorial debut of Ben Affleck, and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian."
Gregson-Williams has collaborated on several movies with director Tony Scott, including "Man on Fire," "Domino," "Spy Game" and "Déjà Vu," as well as three films with Joel Schumacher - "Phone Booth," "Veronica Guerin" and "The Number 23." His other film credits include "Seraphim Falls," "Kingdom of Heaven" (nominated for a Classical Brit award and winning a Golden Satellite award), "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason," "Enemy of the State," "The Replacement Killers," "Smilla's Sense of Snow" and "Antz."
Born in England to a musical family, Gregson-Williams earned a scholarship from the music school of St. John's College in Cambridge at the age of seven. By age 13, his singing had been featured on over a dozen records, and he subsequently earned a coveted spot at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He started his film career as an orchestrator and arranger for composer Stanley Myers, and went on to compose his first scores for the veteran English director, Nicolas Roeg. Gregson-Williams' initiation in to Hollywood film scoring was then facilitated by his collaboration and friendship with Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer. This resulted in Gregson-Williams providing music for such films as "The Rock," "Broken Arrow," "The Fan," "Muppet Treasure Island," "Armageddon," "As Good as it Gets," and "The Prince of Egypt." Gregson-Williams has conducted acclaimed concerts of his music from "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" in Madrid in 2006 and in Denver in 2007.
Upcoming projects include "The Taking of Pelham 123," directed by Tony Scott, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" and "Shrek Goes Fourth."
ALEC GILLIS and TOM WOODRUFF, JR. (Special Make-up Effects Designers and Creators) are the principals of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. (ADI), one of the industry's leading creature effects houses.
Early in his career, Gillis worked for many of Hollywood's top makeup and creature effects artists, including Stan Winston. Gillis was also one of Winston's key designers on films such as "Aliens," "Alien Nation" and "Leviathan". It was also during this time that he met Tom Woodruff, Jr., with whom he would later form a new creature effects studio.
Woodruff joined Stan Winston's team on "Terminator." That was the beginning of a five-year period that saw Woodruff become a key coordinator under Winston, working on such features as "Aliens" and "Predator," as well as on the TV show "Amazing Stories." During this time, he began wearing the complicated make-up and costumes of the creatures designed at the studio. His physical build and tolerance, as well as his ability to perform as an actor, led to his portraying the title characters in the movies "Monster Squad," "Pumpkinhead," and "Leviathan."
Woodruff and Gillis then formed Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. Woodruff and Gillis became two of the major character effects talents in the business today. They won an Academy Award for "Death Becomes Her" and Academy Award nominations for "Starship Troopers" and "Alien 3."
Woodruff continues to perform in a variety of creature and animal roles, as lead characters in the features "AVP: Alien Vs. Predator," "AVP-R," "Scary Movie 3," "Looney Tunes - Back in Action," "Evolution," "Bedazzled," "The Hollow Man," "Alien
Resurrection," "Alien3," "Jumanji," "The X-Files," as well as on the television series "nip/tuck," "Chicago Hope" and "Seven Days." Their recent projects are "Race to Witch Mountain" and "Cirque du Freak."
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