You live the life you had always pictured: a thriving career, a beautiful house, and most importantly, a wonderful husband. Someone you love and know better than anyone else.
But suppose everything you know - everything you trust - about him and your life together may be a lie. For Claire Kubik, that nightmare scenario has become all too real.
Claire, a high-powered attorney, and her husband Tom, a successful contractor with his own business, lead the idyllic Marin County life. They're madly in love and planning to have a family. But a random crime - a bungled burglary - at their home triggers a chain of events that shatters their world.
Soon after the burglary, FBI agents accost them and, to Claire's shock, arrest Tom. The charge: Under his real name, Ronald Chapman, Tom, as a covert military operative, murdered civilians in El Salvador, and has been a fugitive for the past fifteen years.
Claire at first believes these charges must be a case of mistaken identity. But Tom admits he is Ronald Chapman and he was part of a clandestine operation that did result in a massacre for which Tom was blamed. But he assures Claire of his innocence and that the real perpetrators made Tom their fall guy because he alone could identify them as the men who gave and executed the order.
Claire prepares to defend her husband in a top-secret military court, where none of the rules she knows so well apply. When a "greenhorn" military attorney, Lt. Embry, is assigned to their case, Claire realizes she needs help from someone who knows these rules - and is willing to break them. She enlists the aid of a "wild card": Charlie Grimes, a former military attorney who relishes the opportunity to take on the very hierarchy that disgraced him years earlier.
Squaring off against the formidable military fraternity both in and out of the courtroom, Claire and Grimes gradually begin to uncover what could be a scandalous cover-up perpetrated by one of the most highly decorated and politically connected officers in the Army. Claire must now risk her career and even her life in her quest for the truth.
HIGH CRIMES stars Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Jim Caviezel, Amanda Peet, and Tom Bower. Carl Franklin directs. Arnon Milchan, Janet Yang and Jesse B'Franklin are the producers, with a screenplay by Yuri Zeltser & Cary Bickley, based on the novel by Joseph Finder. Lisa Henson and Kevin Reidy are the executive producers. Naomi Despres is the co-producer.
The production team includes director of photography Theo Van de Sande, ASC, production designer Paul Peters, costume designer Sharen Davis, editor Carole Kravetz-Aykanian and composer Graeme Revell.
Writer Joseph Finder, an expert on the CIA and international politics, has for nearly a decade been hailed for his mix of non-stop thrills and political intrigue in his novels The Moscow Club, Extraordinary Powers, The Zero Hour and, most recently, High Crimes.
When the novel High Crimes was submitted to producer Janet Yang and her former partner in Manifest Films, Lisa Henson, Yang thought the novel had the ingredients that would make a terrific motion picture. Like Finder's other novels, High Crimes' rapid-fire pace was inherently cinematic. Equally important, it had a strong female protagonist who is placed in an extraordinary situation. "The novel had this wonderful premise about a female criminal defense lawyer who ends up having to defend her husband," Yang explains. "Claire makes tough, almost impossible choices throughout the story. We thought that was something both men and certainly women could relate to. "
Adapting Finder's dense plotting and complex structure into a workable screenplay proved challenging. Yang turned to the screenwriting (and husband-and-wife) team of Yuri Zeltser & Cary Bickley, whom Yang says had the discipline and creative spark to mold the story into a screenplay.
With the Zeltser & Bickley screenplay in hand, Yang began the search for a director who could bring more than high-powered action scenes and "conventional" genre elements to the project. "I wanted a filmmaker who had gotten consistently great performances from his actors," says Yang, "so that HIGH CRIMES would be more than just a thriller. "
A chance meeting with Jesse B'Franklin, producing partner and, more recently the wife of director Carl Franklin, proved fortuitous. Yang passed the script to B'Franklin, who saw great potential in the script, particularly with its central character. "I thought Claire was a fascinating character," B'Franklin relates. "She's a successful professional woman who was living the good life, but suddenly found herself in a situation she never could have imagined. "
B'Franklin immediately gave the script to Franklin, who shared her enthusiasm for the project. "The story's 'David and Goliath' aspects really appealed to me," says Franklin, whose "One False Move" and "Devil in a Blue Dress" also pitted a lone character against seemingly unbeatable obstacles.
Yang knew that Franklin, all of whose films offered finely-observed character studies, would bring something special to HIGH CRIMES. "Carl has an unerring sense of authenticity, a kind of seamless sense of reality," Yang explains. "Every moment in his films is real. You sense that he's capturing a slice of life in all its dimensions and colors. "
Once Franklin came aboard HIGH CRIMES, he set about adding some character-based elements to the project. "I wanted to find ways to pump some blood into the human relationships," he notes, "to get deeper inside the characters. "
Chief among these characters is Claire Kubik, whose seemingly ideal marriage and high-powered legal career start unraveling when the man she thought she knew so well turns out to be someone else. While Joseph Finder's Claire was a buttoned-down lawyer and a member of the legal establishment, Zeltser, Bickley and Franklin envisioned Claire as more rebellious - a post-Gen X attorney. This, they thought, would make her someone more people could relate to.
According to B'Franklin, Ashley Judd was the ideal match to convey Claire's rebelliousness, intelligence and complexities. "Ashley is extremely bright and verbal," B'Franklin notes, "with a questioning and curious mind. For those reasons she felt right for Claire. That's our character. "
The role's complexities was only one element that intrigued Judd about HIGH CRIMES. She also appreciated how Franklin had turned it into more than a standard woman-in-jeopardy thriller. "The story's political underpinnings add a dynamic quality and texture," Judd explains. "There's a genuine synthesis between the impassioned, dramatic moments and the thrills.
"Carl Franklin told us," Judd continues, "that he saw HIGH CRIMES as both a drama and a thriller. Because, as Carl said, 'We need the fear. The threat. '"
Judd even put a name to the director's detailed work and attitude toward HIGH CRIMES: "Franklin-azation. " "Carl could take what could have been standard, obligatory 'thriller' moments and put enough spin on them so they had some 'Franklin-azation'," she notes. "He'd always be thinking about the details of a scene, to invigorate the story. "
Claire is in some ways a "lost" character - lost in the confusion over her husband's past and secret life as a military operative, and lost in the foreboding and impenetrable world of the military justice system. The military, Claire discovers, doesn't like outsiders.
To make sense of the system she finds herself suddenly up against, Claire needs help, someone, she says, "who's beaten these guys before, and who's hungry to do it again. " She finds it in a "wild card": Charlie Grimes, an ex-military attorney with a grudge against the system, and who now operates out of a run-down office and a beat-up Harley. When Charlie tells Claire that she can't attack the system and must play by their rules ("You fight the system and you lose," he insists), he quickly adds - with a twinkle in his eye - that his wild card status ensures that he doesn't have to play by their - or anyone's rules.
As they did with Claire, the filmmakers enlarged the role of Charlie Grimes, building upon his relationship with his new employer, while adding character flaws and a vulnerability not found in the novel. The filmmakers believed that Morgan Freeman was just the actor who could bring these qualities to life. "What people always sense in Morgan is a deep level of authenticity and caring," says Janet Yang. "There's something compassionate and real about Morgan. "
Throughout his career, Freeman has excelled at playing outsiders, like the tough pimp in "Street Smart" and the weary ex-gunslinger in "Unforgiven. " But as Carl Franklin notes, Freeman's inherent "twinkle" is equally important in giving life to Grimes. "Morgan has a Cheshire Cat kind of quality, where you're wondering what he's thinking," Franklin points out. "And the joke is always on you. So that's Grimes, and that's definitely a quality of Morgan's that we wanted. "
Freeman and Judd had proved a potent combination on the box-office hit "Kiss the Girls," and were excited about the opportunity to again join forces. "What's unique about our on-screen relationship is how the chemistry works," says Freeman. "Collaborating a second time didn't provide a shortcut, because we never had to work our way to it the first time with 'Kiss the Girls. ' It was there from the beginning. "
"I just completely trust Morgan," adds Judd. "I know he's always going to be totally present and authentic. And that helps bring out those qualities in me, too. "
The Claire-Charlie dynamic leads to what Franklin calls "one of those classic buddy relationships that you've seen play out over the years through a lot of different eras of film. " Morgan Freeman, however, sees it as more than a friendship. "It's a little bit of a love story, in a way," he states. "Not in the conventional, romantic sense, but there's a deep, abiding affection between them. They're very different people, but in some ways they bring out the best in each other. "
Claire thinks she and husband Tom Kubik were bringing out the best in one another. They live an almost fantasy like existence in Marin County, California. They're young, deeply in love, and ready to start a family.
But after learning of her husband's dark, secret life before they met, Claire must ask the question posed within so many couples: Do you ever really know the person you married? Claire comes to realize, she really doesn't know Tom at all. The man she thought was kind and gentle, was once a secret military operative - a trained killer. But did he in cold-blood murder helpless civilians, as the military has charged?
Actor Jim Caviezel's all-American qualities, gentle eyes and strong charisma, which director Terrence Malick captured so brilliantly in "The Thin Red Line," convinced Franklin that he had found Tom Kubik. "I was mesmerized by Jim's work in that film," Franklin remembers. "I thought he had the most interesting face I've seen on film since the young De Niro. Jim's face has a kinetic quality and looks like it can be hiding many secrets. "
Franklin also notes that Claire and Tom, as reconceived for the film, complement each other. "Claire has a strong rebellious streak, while Tom is a quiet, salt-of-the-earth man who works with his hands," Franklin points out. "He's comfortable seeing his wife step into the limelight, while in some ways he is the foundation of their relationship. "
Caviezel appreciated that Tom was nothing like any of the actor's previous roles. "Tom is kind of an average guy who loves his wife more than anything. But there are complexities in him, initially hidden beneath the surface, that bring an entire new dimension to the character. "
Rounding out the key cast are Amanda Peet as Claire's errant sister Jackie and Adam Scott as Lieutenant Embry, the inexperienced military attorney assigned by the court to defend Tom Kubik. Franklin previously had worked with Peet on a television pilot, and was pleased to reunite with her on HIGH CRIMES. "Amanda really put across the notion that Jackie gives insight into Claire," he notes. "They're almost flip sides of the same coin. "
Sparks fly when Jackie meets Lt. Embry. The young officer has his hands full juggling romance and a case where the deck seems stacked against him. "Embry isn't called onto the case for his wealth of experience," Scott explains. "He's a bit of a patsy in the eyes of the people who've assigned him to it. "
Although the novel High Crimes was set in Boston, the filmmakers elected to change the movie's locale to San Francisco. "As we were filming in winter, we didn't want it to be a 'snow picture,' says B'Franklin. "More importantly, I think San Francisco is one of the most beautiful, picturesque cities in the county, and is in close proximity to a military base," which was required by the story.
Alameda Naval Base in Oakland, with its somewhat harsh, art deco-like feel, more than fulfilled Franklin's vision for specific scenes. "We wanted to avoid the traditional way of depicting military bases on film," says Franklin. "Our goal was to make Claire a fish-out-of-water, by putting her a place that had a tougher environment than you'd find in traditional-looking bases. The base is a formidable foe to our protagonists. "
ABOUT THE CAST
ASHLEY JUDD (Claire Kubik) most recently starred in "Someone Like You," also starring Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear and Ellen Barkin, and directed by Tony Goldwyn. Previously, she starred in "Where the Heart Is," also starring Natalie Portman. Judd stars in the upcoming feature "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," opposite Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Maggie Smith and James Garner.
An eighth generation Eastern Kentuckian, Judd first proved her acting abilities in her feature film debut, the internationally acclaimed "Ruby in Paradise," directed by Victor Nunez.
In 1999, Judd starred in Bruce Beresford's box-office hit "Double Jeopardy," opposite Tommy Lee Jones. She also starred in the thriller "Eye of the Beholder, opposite Ewan McGregor and directed by Stephen Elliot, which was screened in the "Dreams and Visions" category at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.
In the 1998 drama "Simon Birch," based on the John Irving novel A Prayer for Owen Meany, and directed by Mark Steven Johnson, Judd starred opposite Oliver Platt, Ian Smith and Joseph Mazello.
In 1997, Judd starred opposite Morgan Freeman in the box-office hit "Kiss the Girls," as well as in "The Locusts," in which she co-starred opposite Vince Vaughn and Kate Capshaw. Judd was also seen in Michael Mann's "Heat," for which she won critical acclaim opposite Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer. In 1996, she appeared in Joel Schumacher's "A Time to Kill," opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Sandra Bullock and Matthew McConaughey, and starred in John McNaughton's "Normal Life," opposite Luke Perry.
Also in 1996, Judd received an Emmy® nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Norma Jean in HBO's "Norma Jean and Marilyn. "
Judd made her stage debut in the Naked Angels' production of "Busted," directed by Timothy Hutton. She then went on to star as Madge in the Broadway revival of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Picnic" at the Roundabout Theatre, while simultaneously playing a supporting role in Wayne Wang's acclaimed film "Smoke. "
A Phi Beta Kappa and Honors Program graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a major in French and four minors, Judd has studied the Meisner technique in acting for several years.
MORGAN FREEMAN (Charlie Grimes), a three-time Academy Award® nominee, is one of America's most accomplished actors, having given memorable performances on screen, stage and television.
He received Best Actor nominations for Frank Darabont's "The Shawshank Redemption," and "Driving Miss Daisy," directed by Bruce Beresford, and a Best Supporting Actor nomination for "Street Smart," directed by Jerry Schatzberg. "Driving Miss Daisy" also earned Freeman the Golden Globe Award and the Silver Bear Award for Best Actor at the Berlin Film Festival. For "Street Smart" he received Best Supporting Actor Awards from the New York Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics and the National Society of Film Critics.
Recently, Freeman starred in the box-office hit "Along Came a Spider," the sequel to the highly successful "Kiss the Girls" in which he originated the role of Alex Cross. Freeman also served as executive producer. Previously, he starred in Neal LaBute's critically acclaimed "Nurse Betty," opposite Renée Zellweger, Chris Rock and Greg Kinnear, and in "Under Suspicion," also starring Gene Hackman, and directed by Stephen Hopkins, with Freeman's production company, Revelation Pictures, producing.
Freeman just completed a starring role in the film version of Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears," also starring Ben Affleck, and is currently before the cameras in a starring role in "Dreamcatcher," based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King.
Among Freeman's many other film credits are Steven Spielberg's "Amistad," Mikael Solomon's "Hard Rain," Mimi Leder's "Deep Impact," Stuart Rosenberg's "Brubaker," Peter Yates' "Eyewitness," Paul Newman's "Harry and Son," "Christopher Cain's "That Was Then, This Is Now," Glenn Gordon Caron's "Clean and Sober," Edward Zwick's critically acclaimed "Glory," Kevin Reynold's box-office hit "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Clint Eastwood's Academy Award-winning "Unforgiven," Wolfgang Petersen's "Outbreak," David Fincher's "Seven," and Pen Densham's "Moll Flanders. "
On stage, Freeman's performances in Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Driving Miss Daisy," "Coriolanus" and "Gospel at Colonus" all earned him Obie® Awards. His work in "The Mighty Gents" brought him a Tony® Award nomination. He also received critical acclaim for his interpretation of Petruchio in "The Taming of the Shrew," opposite Tracey Ullman.
For television, Freeman created the popular character Easy Reader on the classic Children's Television Workshop series "The Electric Company," on which he was a regular cast member. His subsequent television credits include the miniseries "The Atlanta Child Murders" and the made-for-television movie "The Execution of Raymond Graham. "
Freeman made his feature film directing debut with 1993's "Bopha," starring Danny Glover and Alfre Woodard. He soon after formed Revelation Entertainment, which has thus far produced the made-for-television movie "Port Chicago Mutiny" for NBC and the feature film "Under Suspicion. "
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Freeman graduated from high school in Greenwood, Mississippi. He enlisted in the Air Force at the age of eighteen and at the end of his military career he moved to California where he studied dance and theater arts at Los Angeles City College. Freeman made his Broadway debut in the 1967 Pearl Bailey revival of "Hello Dolly!"
Since his breakthrough performance as Witt in Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line," JIM CAVIEZEL (Tom Kubik) has rapidly become one of the busiest actors in Hollywood. Most recently, Caviezel starred in the action-adventure film "The Count of Monte Cristo," directed by Kevin Reynolds; in director Luis Mandoki's psychological drama "Angel Eyes," opposite Jennifer Lopez; in "Pay It Forward," also starring Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and Haley Joel Osment; and in "Frequency," portraying a New York cop who discovers he can communicate with his late firefighter father.
Caviezel stars in an upcoming independent film "Madison," the true story about the economically depressed community of Madison, Indiana, and its desire to win a Gold Cup hydroplane boat race to be held in the small town. The film premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival.
Previously, Caviezel starred in "Ride With the Devil," the Civil War epic directed by Ang Lee.
Caviezel grew up in rural Mount Vernon, Washington, and attended his first audition while still in his teens, for a small part as an Italian ticket agent in Gus Van Sant's "My Private Idaho. " He landed the role by impersonating a recent Italian immigrant.
AMANDA PEET (Jackie) charmed audiences and critics alike, with her portrayal of dental hygienist/aspiring hit woman in the Warner Brother's box office hit "The Whole Nine Yards. " Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry also starred in this comedy directed by Jonathan Lynn.
Peet most recently starred in the WB drama, "Jack and Jill" opposite Ivan Sergei. Created by Randi Singer ("Mrs. Doubtfire") and executive produced by Mark Canton, the series also starred Jaime Pressley, Sarah Paulson, Justin Kirk and Simon Rex.
Peet recently completed production on "Igby Goes Down" opposite Jeff Goldblum, Susan Sarandon, Ryan Philippe and Claire Danes. Directed by Burr Steers, Peet plays Goldblum's mistress, a beautiful young woman from a privileged background, hooked on drugs. Peet also recently wrapped production on Paramount Pictures "Changing Lanes" opposite Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Affleck and Sydney Pollack.
Peet recently starred opposite Jason Biggs, Jack Black, and Steve Zahn in the Columbia Picture comedy, "Saving Silverman" directed by Dennis Dugan ("Big Daddy"). Peet was also recently seen in Castle Hill production's "Two Ninas" opposite Ron Livingston and Cara Buono for director Neil Turitz.
Previously, Peet appeared in Universal Pictures "Isn't She Great" opposite Bette Midler, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing and David Hyde Pierce. She also starred in New Regency's romantic comedy "Simply Irresistible" with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flannery and in New Line Cinema's "Body Shots," a movie about a wild ride through LA's nightlife and the consequences it brings.
Her other film credits include director Peter Cohen's "Whipped," Miramax's "Take Down," opposite Skeet Ulrich; Justin McCarthy's independent feature "Jump," opposite James LeGros, Hal Linden, Mike McGlone and Ione Skye; "Southie" with Donnie Wahlberg and Rose McGowan; Edward Burns romantic comedy "She's The One," and the George Clooney/Michelle Pfeiffer love story "One Fine Day. "
Her television credits have included a recurring role on "Central Park West" and guest appearances on "Seinfeld," "The Single Guy," "Law and Order" and ABC's "Spin City. "
A native of New York, Peet graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American History. While there, she also studied acting under Uta Hagen, which ultimately led her to pursue acting as a career.
ADAM SCOTT (Lieutenant Embry) stars in Christopher Haifley's independent film "Ronnie," which premiered at the 2002 Slamdance Film Festival. He plays the title role of a young man who develops a disturbing attraction towards a mentally disabled woman.
Scott recently had a lead role opposite Heather Donahue and Eion Bailey in Derek Simonds' "Seven and a Match," which debuted at the 2001 Los Angeles Film Festival.
Scott's other feature film credits include "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Hellraiser IV. " He also has appeared in numerous independent features, including Robert Mickelson's "Off the Lip," Jonathan Kahn's "Girl," Ted Melfi's "Winding Roads," David McKay's "The Lesser Evil," and Lawrence Trilling's "Dinner and Driving. "
On the small screen, Scott's credits include "Payback," a movie-of-the-week with Mary Tyler Moore and Ed Asner. He had recurring roles on "Wasteland," "Party of Five" and "Murder One," and guest roles on "NYPD Blue" and "ER. "
Scott's stage credits include roles in "Uncle Bob," a two-man show with Austin Pendleton, which ran in Los Angeles, New York, and Edinburgh; "Everett Beekin" at the South Coast Repertory," "Dealer's Choice" and "Buffalo Hunters" at The Mark Taper Forum, "Beirut" at the Gardner Stage, "Water and Wine" at the Met Theatre, "Rhyme and Reason" at the Hudson Theatre, and "Bloody Poetry" at the Globe Theatre.
As a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Scott got his start appearing in stage productions, in such leading roles as: Serge in "Bonjour, La, Bonjour," for which he won the Jehlinger Award for Best Actor; Oberon in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Billy the Kid in "The Beard," and Al in "The Grapes of Wrath. "
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
CARL FRANKLIN (Director), an award-winning filmmaker, has risen to the top ranks of American film directors after helming just three features prior to "High Crimes": "One False Move," "Devil in a Blue Dress," based on the novel by Walter Mosley, and "One True Thing," based on the novel by Anna Quindlen.
Franklin's highly praised feature film debut, the low-budget crime drama "One False Move," starring Bill Paxton, Cynda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton, was named one of the ten best films of 1992 by the National Board of Review. The film also earned him the prestigious New Generation Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association in 1992, the MTV Movie Award™ for Best New Filmmaker and the IFP Spirit Award for Best Director in 1993.
Franklin's next feature film was "Devil in a Blue Dress," starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Jennifer Beals, and based on the acclaimed novel by Walter Mosley. Next, he directed the emotional drama "One True Thing," starring Meryl Streep, William Hurt and Renée Zellweger. Franklin began working professionally as a feature film director with Roger Corman's Concorde Films. After a screening of his award-winning American Film Institute thesis film, "Punk," he was signed to direct "One False Move. "
For television, Franklin directed the acclaimed HBO miniseries "Laurel Avenue" (1993), the story of an extended African-American family living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Franklin began his career as a successful actor. He made his feature film debut in the comedy "Five on the Black Hand Side" and followed that with a wide range of regular television roles on programs including "Caribe," "Fantastic Journey" and "McClain's Law. "
He made his stage debut with the New York Shakespeare Festival, appearing in productions of "Cymbeline," "Timon of Athens," "Pantagleize" and "Twelfth Night" at New York's Lincoln Center and the Arena Stage in Washington D. C. Franklin also received critical acclaim for his performance in the original Taper Too production of the three character play, "In the Belly of the Beast. "
Franklin studied history and dramatic arts at University of California at Berkeley before embarking on his acting career. He subsequently received his masters degree in directing at the American Film Institute and was the recipient of their Franklin J. Schaffner Award in 1996. Franklin is a board member of the Independent Feature Project/West and has taught Film Analysis at the American Film Institute.
ARNON MILCHAN (Executive Producer) is widely renowned as one of the most prolific and successful independent film producers of the past 20 years, with over sixty feature films to his credit. Born in Israel, Milchan was educated at the London School of Economics and the University of Geneva. His first business venture was to transform his father's modest business into one of his country's largest agro-chemical companies. This early achievement was a harbinger of Milchan's now legendary reputation in the international marketplace as a keen businessman.
Soon, Milchan began to underwrite projects in an area that had always held a special interest for him - film, television and theater. Early projects include Roman Polanski's theater production of "Amadeus," "Dizengoff 99," "La Menace" and "The Medusa Touch. " By the end of the eighties, Milchan had produced such films as Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy," Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time In America" and Terry Gilliam's "Brazil. "
After the huge success of "Pretty Woman" and "The War of the Roses," Milchan founded New Regency Productions and went on to produce a string of films, including "J. F. K. ," "Sommersby," "A Time to Kill," "Free Willy," "The Client," "Tin Cup," "Under Siege," "L. A. Confidential," "The Devil's Advocate," "The Negotiator," "City of Angels," "Entrapment," "Joy Ride," "Fight Club," and the recent box-office hits "Don't Say A Word" and "Big Momma's House. "
Upcoming projects include "Unfaithful," an erotic thriller directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane; "Life Or Something Like It," a romantic comedy toplining Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns; and "Daredevil," starring Ben Affleck, and based on the popular Marvel comics character.
Along the way, Milchan brought on board some powerful investors and partners who shared his vision: Australian businessman Kerry Packer's Nine Network, Leo Kirch's Kirch Media Group, Samsung Electronics, and most recently Twentieth Century Fox. Fox distributes Regency movies in all media worldwide (excluding output arrangements Regency has in Germany, Italy and Korea with its other strategic partners), except U. S. pay television and international pay and free television.
Milchan also successfully diversified his company's activities within the sphere of entertainment, most specifically in the realm of television through Regency Television ("Malcolm in the Middle," "Roswell," "The Bernie Mac Show"), and sports through an alliance and significant equity investment in PUMA, the worldwide athletic apparel and shoe conglomerate based in Germany.
JANET YANG (Producer) is the founder of the Manifest Film Company, formed in 1996. Most recently, she produced the forthcoming release "The Weight of Water," a tale of murder and betrayal directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starring Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, Sarah Polley and Catherine McCormack.
Previously, Yang produced two other films under the Manifest banner: "Savior," set during the Bosnian war and shot entirely in Yugoslavia, starring Dennis Quaid, Nastassja Kinski and Stellan Skarsgård, and directed by Peter "Gaga" Antonijevic; and Jake Kasdan's "Zero Effect," a comedy starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller. Yang was also the executive producer of the Lifetime Women's Film Festival.
From 1989 to 1996, Yang served as President of Ixtlan, the production company of Academy Award-winning writer/director Oliver Stone, and was responsible for all of its development and production. At Ixtlan, Yang produced Milos Forman's "The People vs. Larry Flynt," starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love and Edward Norton, and which received Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay as well as Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Actor.
Yang served as executive producer of the critically acclaimed "The Joy Luck Club," directed by Wayne Wang and based on the best-selling novel by Amy Tan. Her other film credits include producer on Tim Metcalfe's "Killer," starring James Woods and Robert Sean Leonard; co-producer on "The New Age," written and directed by Michael Tolkin; producer of "South Central," written and directed by Steve Anderson; and executive producer of "Zebrahead," written and directed by Anthony Drazen.
For television, Yang served as executive producer of the HBO movie "Indictment: The McMartin Trial," starring James Woods and Mercedes Ruehl, for which she received both the 1995 Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Made- For-Television Movie.
Prior to her association with Oliver Stone, Yang was a production executive at MCA/Universal Studios, working closely with Steven Spielberg and his Amblin' Entertainment. In 1986, she served as Spielberg's liaison in China, facilitating the historic production of "Empire of the Sun. " She also initiated "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" while at Universal.
From 1985 through 1987, Yang functioned as a link between major Hollywood studios and China. Representing Universal, Paramount and MGM/UA, she brokered the sale of the first American studio movies sold in the Chinese market.
Before joining MCA, Yang was President of World Entertainment in San Francisco, a domestic distributor of films from Hong Kong and China. World Entertainment was the North America distributor of works by now prominent Chinese filmmakers such as Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige.
Yang received a B. A. from Brown University where she majored in Chinese Studies, as well as an M. B. A. from Columbia University. She serves on the Boards of Directors for Independent Feature Projects/West and Women in Film.
JESSE B'FRANKLIN (Producer) rejoins director Carl Franklin on their fourth film together. Previously, she made her producing debut with Franklin's award-winning "One False Move," which was followed by "Devil in a Blue Dress" and "One True Thing. " For television, she also produced Franklin's acclaimed six-part miniseries, "Laurel Avenue. "
An early supporter of the burgeoning independent film scene during the mid-1980s, B'Franklin served as vice- president of marketing and distribution at Island Alive, where she oversaw the acquisition, marketing and distribution of such landmark independent films as "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Trip to Bountiful," as well as "Stop Making Sense," "Choose Me" and "Mona Lisa. "
While at Island, she was also instrumental in acquiring the distribution rights to "She's Gotta Have It," which was Spike Lee's feature film debut; "Bagdad Cafe," "River's Edge" and "Dark Eyes. "
In 1988, B'Franklin left Island to develop her own projects, while also serving as a consultant to Miramax Pictures, Kuzui Enterprises and Island Pictures. She then began production on "One False Move. "
Early in her career, B'Franklin gained experience in a number of entertainment fields. After studying mass media and communications at Berkeley, she worked in a regional sales office for Paramount Pictures, as an independent buying agent and film booker, as program director of the Mill Valley Film Festival, as the producer of performance artists Penn & Teller's traveling road show, and as the producer's rep for "El Norte," securing U. S. distribution rights and supervising the film's marketing campaign.
YURI ZELTSER & CARY BICKLEY (Screenwriters) are a husband and wife writing team, with numerous projects in development at various studios. They have also worked separately, with Zeltser also directing his scripts.
Zeltser's credits include writer/director of "Black and White," starring Gina Gershon, Rory Cochrane and Allison Eastwood; writer/director of "Playmaker," starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Rubin; and director/co-writer of "Eye of the Storm," starring Craig Sheffer, Lara Flynn Boyle and Dennis Hopper. Zeltser's first film as a director was "Big Apple Mom," an award-winning twenty- minute short, which he made as his Senior thesis at New York University Film School. The short film won the Mobil Award for Film Excellence and Best Director, Best Actor and Best Cinematography Awards at the N. Y. U. Film Festival.
Bickley wrote "The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag," starring Penelope Ann Miller, for Interscope Communications.
Zeltser was born and raised in Moscow, and moved to the United States with his family in 1981. He is a graduate of the N. Y. U. Film School and the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. Bickley was born in Santa Fe and raised outside of Boston. She graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, then spent nine years in New York as an actress/playwright. In 1989 she moved to Los Angeles, where she met Zeltser.
LISA HENSON (Executive Producer) in partnership with Janet Yang, formed the Manifest Film Company in 1996. Prior to their third film, HIGH CRIMES, they produced "Zero Effect," which was written and directed by Jake Kasdan and starred Ben Stiller and Bill Pullman, and the forthcoming release "The Weight of Water," directed by Kathyrn Bigelow and starring Sean Penn, Elizabeth Hurley, Catherine McCormack and Sarah Polley. Henson also served as executive producer of Bernard Rose's "Ivansxtc. "
In August 1993, Henson was President of Worldwide Production at Columbia Pictures and in 1994 was promoted to the position of Columbia Pictures President. In this position, Henson was the senior executive in charge of all creative business affairs, administrative and production-related matters for the company.
Under Henson's leadership, Columbia Pictures produced a string of critical and commercial successes, including "The People vs. Larry Flynt," "Little Women," "Immortal Beloved," "Bad Boys," "The Net," "To Die For," "Men in Black," and "Fly Away Home. " She was also responsible for the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-winning "Sense and Sensibility. "
Prior to joining Columbia, Henson served for ten years as a production executive at Warner Bros. , where she worked on such blockbusters as "Lethal Weapon," "Batman" and "Batman Returns. "
Henson graduated in 1983 with a degree in folklore and mythology from Harvard University, where she was the first female president of The Harvard Lampoon.
Henson currently serves as president of Jim Henson Pictures, where she is producing "Astroboy" for Columbia Pictures, and executive producing "The Moon and the Sun" for Pandemonium Pictures.
KEVIN REIDY (Executive Producer) has worked as a producer, executive producer, co-producer and unit production manager in both films and television, following a successful career as an executive at several film companies.
Reidy's feature film credits include co-producer/UPM on "Ever After," producer/UPM on "Mortal Combat: Annihilation," UPM on "Overnight Delivery," line producer/UPM on "Loved," which won an Independent Spirit Award; producer on "Whole Wide World," which was shown at the Seattle Film Festival"; UPM on "Mortal Kombat," and supervising producer/post-production supervisor on "Swimming with Sharks. "
Reidy's television movie credits include producer on "Cheaters" and "The Jack Bull," both for HBO. He was also producer of "Dark Reflections" and "Based on an Untrue Story," both for Fox. Recently, he produced the pilot for "Dead Last" for Warner Bros. Television.
As an executive, Reidy served as chief operating office and senior vice president of production at I. R. S. Media, from 1990-1992. During that time he oversaw numerous features including Carl Franklin's "One False Move" and Stacey Cochran's "My New Gun. " Previously, Reidy was Vice-President of International Production and, from 1988-1990, a casting director at Concorde/New Horizons Pictures, where he worked on twelve feature films.
Reidy is a graduate of Stanford University, where he received an AB in Economics, followed by an MBA and Master in Public Management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
THEO VAN DE SANDE, ASC (Director of Photography) has worked on forty feature films, nine feature-length documentaries, and over forty-five short films, documentaries, television series and music shows.
Van de Sande's most recent film credits are "Double Take," "Little Nicky," "Big Daddy" and "Cruel Intentions. " Previously, he worked on such films as "Blade," "Volcano," "Bushwacked," "Exit to Eden," "Wayne's World, "Body Parts," "Once Around," "Crossing Delancey" and "Miracle Mile. "
Born in Tilburg, Holland, Van de Sande graduated from the Dutch Film Academy in Amsterdam and began working as a cinematographer in 1972. In 1982 and 1987, Van de Sande received the Golden Calf for Best Cinematography, the highest award bestowed upon a director of photography in The Netherlands for a body of work every five years. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1987.
Among the feature films Van de Sande worked on during his last years in Europe were "The Girl With the Red Hair," which received the Dutch Film Critics Award in 1982; "The Illusionist," which received the Dutch Best Film and the Dutch Film Critics Awards in 1984; and "The Pointsman," which won the prize for Best Cinematography at the Madrid Film Festival. "The Assault" received the Academy Award and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Film.
"Colors Straight Up" was nominated for an Academy Award, the DGA Award and the Spirit Award for Best Feature-length Documentary in 1997. Van de Sande's other documentary film credits include, "It Was a Wonderful Life" (1992), "Let the Good Times Roll" (1991), "We Are Coming As Friends" (1985), "Stranger at Home" (1985), "The Future of '36" (1983), "Drown Country" (1980), "The Factory" (1979) and "The Aliens Place" (1977).
For television, Van de Sande's credits include the made-for-television movie "Tuesdays With Morrie," which received three Emmy Awards in 2000, as well as the pilots for "Cruel Intentions" and "The Practice," and episodes of "The Profiler. "
PAUL PETERS (Production Designer) joins director Carl Franklin for the second time, following their successful collaboration on the critically acclaimed "One True Thing," starring Meryl Streep, William Hurt and Renée Zellweger.
Peters' recent feature credits include the comedy "Down To Earth," starring Chris Rock, and "Where the Heart Is," starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd, and directed by Matt Williams. He began his career on Alan Rudolph's "Made in Heaven" and has since worked on a diverse group of films including "The Phantom," "Operation Dumbo Drop," "House Guest" and "Necessary Roughness. "
On television, Peters' credits include Nicolas Roeg's "Heart of Darkness," for which Peters received a CableAce Award; TNT's "Broken Chain," for which he received a CableAce nomination; and "Lincoln" for CBS which earned him an Emmy nomination.
A native of Texas, Peters received a degree in architecture from the University of Texas and a Masters Degree from Yale University.
CAROLE KRAVETZ-AYKANIAN (Editor) collaborated with Carl Franklin on the director's highly praised film debut, "One False Move," starring Bill Paxton, Cynda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton; the period mystery "Devil in a Blue Dress," starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Jennifer Beals; the critically acclaimed "One True Thing," starring Meryl Streep, William Hurt and Renée Zellweger; and the television miniseries "Laurel Avenue. "
Kravetz-Aykanian's other credits include Terry Zwigoff's "Ghost World," "The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca," starring Andy Garcia; "December"; and "Sans Titre," a short film by French director Leos Carax, commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival.
Kravetz-Aykanian was born in France and is a former dancer and choreographer. After moving to the United States to study filmmaking, she was nominated for the Best Student Editor Award from the American Cinema Editors (ACE) and received the Olga Auerbach Award from the American Film Institute, which she attended as a directing fellow.
SHAREN DAVIS (Costume Designer) rejoins director Carl Franklin, with whom she worked on the critically acclaimed "Devil in a Blue Dress," starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Jennifer Beals, as well as the well-received television miniseries "Laurel Avenue. "
Most recently, Davis worked on "Double Take," starring Chris Rock. Her previous feature film credits include "Nutty Professor II: The Klumps," starring Eddie Murphy; Brett Ratner's "Rush Hour," starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker; the 1998 "Doctor Dolittle," starring Eddie Murphy; "Money Talks," with Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen; "Equinox" and "Younger and Younger. "
Davis' television credits include several movies-of-the-week, among them "Grace and Glorie," starring Gena Rowlands and Diane Lane; the eigtheenth century slavery drama "Nightjohn," starring Beau Bridges; "Zooman," with Louis Gossett Jr. and Charles Dutton; "State of Emergency," starring Joe Montegna: "Another Midnight Run," starring Christopher McDonald; and the thriller "Nightmare on the 13th Floor. "
New Zealander GRAEME REVELL (Music) came to the field of film scoring from an unconventional background, after holding jobs as a regional planner and as a psychiatric orderly in Australia. A classically trained pianist and French horn player, he also composed and performed with the post-industrial new wave group SPK.
His eerie score for the thriller "Dead Calm" earned him an Australian Academy Award for Best Score in 1989. After moving to Los Angeles, Revell composed music for a diverse range of films such as "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle," "Body of Evidence," "Hard Target," "Basketball Diaries," "Strange Days," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Until the End of the World," "The Craft," "Spawn," "The Crow," "The Saint," "The Big Hit," "The Negotiator," "Bride of Chucky" and Wayne Wang's "Chinese Box," for which Revell received the award for Best Original Music at the Venice Film Festival.
Among Revell's more recent projects are "The Siege," "Three to Tango," "The Insider," "Pitch Black," "Gossip," "Titan A. E. ," "The Negotiator," "Red Planet," the television miniseries "Dune," "Double Take," "Blow," the television film "Anne Frank," "Human Nature," "Tomb Raider," and the current releases "Collateral Damage" and "Below. "
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