GEOSTORM, directed by Dean Devlin, and starring Gerard Butler, Ed Harris & Andy Garcia is releasing across cinemas in India on October 27th, 2017 in English, Tamil & Telugu.
WHO IS IN CONTROL?
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.
Dean Devlin (writer/producer, “Independence Day”) makes his feature film directorial debut with suspense thriller “Geostorm,” starring Gerard Butler (“Olympus Has Fallen,” “300”), Jim Sturgess (“Cloud Atlas”), Abbie Cornish (“Limitless”), Alexandra Maria Lara (“Rush”), Daniel Wu (“The Man with the Iron Fists,” “Warcraft: The Beginning”), Eugenio Derbez (“How to Be a Latin Lover”), with Oscar nominees Ed Harris (“The Hours,” “Apollo 13”) and Andy Garcia (“The Godfather: Part III”).
Butler stars as Jake Lawson, a scientist who, along with his brother, Max, played by Sturgess, is tasked with solving the satellite program’s malfunction. Cornish stars as Secret Service agent Sarah Wilson; Lara as Ute Fassbinder, the ISS astronaut who runs the space station; Wu as Cheng Long, the Hong Kong-based supervisor for the satellite program; Derbez as space station crew member Al Hernandez; with Garcia as U.S. President Andrew Palma; and Harris as Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom. The film also stars Zazie Beetz (upcoming “Deadpool 2,” TV’s “Atlanta”), Adepero Oduye (“The Big Short,” “12 Years a Slave”), Amr Waked (“Lucy,” “Syriana”), and Robert Sheehan (“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” “Season of the Witch”).
The film, written by Dean Devlin & Paul Guyot, is being produced by Skydance’s David Ellison, Devlin, and Skydance’s Dana Goldberg. Herbert W. Gains, Electric Entertainment’s Marc Roskin and Skydance’s Don Granger are the executive producers. Rachel Olschan of Electric Entertainment and Cliff Lanning co-produce.
The behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Roberto Schaefer (“Finding Neverland,” “Quantum of Solace”); production designer Kirk M. Petruccelli (“White House Down”); editors Ron Rosen (“Godzilla”), Oscar nominee Chris Lebenzon (“Crimson Tide,” “Top Gun”) and Oscar nominee John Refoua (“Avatar”); costume designer Susan Matheson (“The Big Short,” “Safehouse”); and VFX supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun (“Clash of the Titans,” “The Day the Earth Stood Still”). The music is by Lorne Balfe (“The LEGO® Batman Movie”).
Warner Bros. Pictures and Skydance present, a Skydance production, an Electric Entertainment production, a film by Dean Devlin, “Geostorm.” It will be distributed in 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX, by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
SOME THINGS WEREN’T MEANT TO BE CONTROLLED
What if extreme weather conditions and natural disasters were, in fact, a thing of the past, if scientists could devise a solution to the problem and world leaders could come together to literally create peace on Earth? Could it work? More to the point, could it last—could everyone involved truly resist the urge to take control for themselves?
What happens when the ultimate power falls into the wrong hands and is turned into the ultimate weapon, unleashing hell on Earth?
An edge-of-your-seat, heart-pounding ride for movie audiences who enjoy a ticking-clock mystery rife with conspiracy and wrapped in pure escapist fare of epic proportions, “Geostorm” has it all: from blistering underground infernos to desert-freezing ice storms and everything in between.
In the film, writer/producer/director Dean Devlin imagines a world in which global political cooperation and a vast network of weather-controlling satellites installed in space have rendered natural disasters a thing of the past. That is, until something—or someone—goes wrong, evidence that not everything is meant to be under man’s control.
Now, the U.S. government must turn to the man who devised an actual safety “net” surrounding the Earth to correct the problem before the swiftly mounting system failure turns even more fatal. Previously banned from having any further involvement with the program, the off-the-grid rebel returns to save the planet as well as his reputation, unconcerned about being hailed a savior…unaware that he will more likely serve as scapegoat.
Devlin reveals that the idea for the story originated when his daughter, then six, asked him to explain climate change. “In the simplest way, she asked me, ‘Why can’t we just build a machine that fixes it?’ That sparked all these ideas in my mind about what would happen if we did build just such a machine. And what if something went horribly wrong? That became the ‘what if’ story—what if we wait too long to deal with extreme climate change? What if we don’t? What if we could create this amazing machine to control the weather around the entire planet? And what would we do if it went rogue?”
As the story unfolds in the film, two years have passed since the complex web of interconnected satellites—dubbed Dutch Boy—went online. The years have been tranquil ones, until now. Unexplained malfunctions in the highly sophisticated system are now causing, rather than preventing, deadly weather patterns never before seen by mankind: ice and snow in the deserts of Afghanistan, smoldering under the streets of Hong Kong, and cyclones in India, to name a few.
Dutch Boy is out of control, wreaking havoc across the globe.
“Dean has a mindset that comes from working on big epics like ‘Independence Day,’ so when he put his mind to the subject of global warming, he came up with a timely twist on the genre classic by setting it against the backdrop of a political thriller and filling it with unnatural natural disasters,” notes producer David Ellison. “In other words, within our story, the science is sound—it’s the people controlling it who are the problem.”
Producer Dana Goldberg adds, “At Skydance, we love to make sci-fi, action adventure and fantasy films. That’s the wheelhouse we live in: world-building movies. In ‘Geostorm’ there is a potentially world-ending story, filled with excitement, intense action and massive effects, so it made perfect sense for us.”
Co-writer Paul Guyot embraced the initial idea and ran with it right alongside Devlin. “The notion of manipulating the weather by means that will be good for all of humankind is great—until, of course, somebody inevitably uses it for evil, right?” he posits. “At first, it seems terrific because they’re all working together. The U.S. spearheaded the effort, NASA built it, and the International Space Station runs it. For a while, there’s literally peace on Earth. Then someone appears to have weaponized Dutch Boy.”
Gerard Butler plays excommunicated engineer Jake Lawson, creator of Dutch Boy who found it difficult to play the political games required to stay on once the system was fully operational. “What attracted me to this story was that it had a powerful mixture of everything,” he recalls. “I loved the central elements of it as a big action film and a suspenseful thriller with a lot of humor, but also that it looked at the strained relationship between my character and his brother. It felt like it had something for everyone and that audiences could have a lot of fun with it.”
Jim Sturgess plays Max Lawson, Jake’s younger brother and, in an ironic twist for Jake, his boss. Like Butler, Sturgess was enticed by the dichotomy between the brothers in the script. “It was clear that there were these two really strong personalities clashing in the middle of this space adventure mixed with a dramatic political plot on the ground. Two contrasting visual identities in the setting and two very dissimilar men having to work together to solve a problem, or risk losing everything. That combination was definitely a big draw for me.”
“It’s a story about two brothers and what that dynamic is like, and I’m an only child, whereas Paul understands that kind of relationship at its very core,” Devlin states.
“I know sibling rivalry, especially the brother-to-brother type, and Dean is all about the environment and the future of our planet,” Guyot offers. “He’s also a big techno geek, really dialed into that stuff, and this story reflects science in the making—influencing, rather than manipulating, the weather based on current and upcoming satellite technology.”
“For me, entertainment should be just that—entertaining—and not necessarily hit you over the head with a message,” Devlin observes. “But I also feel that science fiction works better, has more of an impact, when you have something to say. Hopefully, we’ll take audiences on a roller coaster ride across the planet and off into space, and leave them having had a fantastic time, and maybe just a bit more curious about the world around them.”
We built this system of satellites to control the weather—
but someone’s turned the system against us.
One of the first discussions with respect to casting the film, Devlin says, centered on the fact that global warming is a global concern. Devlin relates, “We wanted to make a movie that would speak to the whole world, with a truly international cast to reflect it.”
Among the film’s players are actors from all over, including Scottish-born Gerard Butler, the UK’s Jim Sturgess, Australian Abbie Cornish, Mexico’s Eugenio Derbez, Romanian Alexandra Maria Lara, Germany’s Zazie Beetz, Nigerian Adepero Oduye, Egypt’s Amr Waked, Irish-born Robert Sheehan, Cuban Andy Garcia, and the USA’s Ed Harris, Talitha Bateman and Daniel Wu, the latter being a first-generation American of Shanghainese descent.
Butler’s interest in the role came to the filmmakers’ attention early on. “I got a call that Gerry was interested, and was really eager to meet him,” Devlin remembers. “When you spend time with Gerry, you become energized yourself from the energy he emanates—he’s filled with life, playful, fun, enthusiastic and charming. It was exciting to have him on board.”
“Dean and I were on the same page that, despite him already being an adult, this is a real coming-of-age story for Jake Lawson,” Butler observes. “He’s an unusual mix of characteristics: a bit of a whiz kid, unconventional, a hothead and a lost soul. He’s both brilliant and childish. I thought it was a nice challenge to take him on, especially in the middle of all this intense action.”
Butler found inspiration for Jake, in part, from real-life American astronaut Mike Massimino, a spacewalk veteran whom the actor learned was also a fan of his work. “I had watched the IMAX documentary ‘Hubble,’ and he just blew me away.” Butler was also told that his performance in “300” had served to inspire Massimino each time he headed out of the hatch. “I found that out the very same week I got the script for ‘Geostorm.’ That seemed like an amazing coincidence!”
Having overseen the original construction and installation as Climate ISS Chief Coordinator, Jake is the one man who knows Dutch Boy inside and out. Though it takes some persuading on the part of his estranged brother, Max, Jake is finally convinced to undertake the mission, just as he’s convinced he can find and fix the problem. But there’s much more to it than even he realizes, as he’ll discover once aboard the ISS. And to make matters worse, Jake has to report back to his little brother.
“Max is someone who thinks his way out of things while Jake prefers to punch his way out,” Guyot elaborates about the volatile siblings who would prefer to steer clear of each other, but who are forced together by circumstances.
Jim Sturgess plays the White House staffer who is saddled with wrangling his headstrong elder brother. Butler states, “I loved my scenes with Jim. He makes every moment interesting and gives so much to the work. The brothers’ storyline is my favorite in the movie; right from the start, these guys make each other crazy, even though they haven’t spoken to each other in years. But they’re brothers, so at the end of the day, they would die for each other.”
They just might have to.
“Max Lawson is really an administrative upstart at the highest levels in the land, the White House,” Sturgess says of his character, the Assistant Secretary of State. “He’s technically gifted, great with computers and navigating the political waters he swims in, but controlling his brother is another thing altogether.
“Suddenly, he’s assigned a lead role in learning what’s gone wrong up in space,” he continues, “and that calls for something of a family reunion that neither member of the family is looking forward to. The brothers’ issues are fueled by ancient history—rivalry, jealously, animosity. Things that make working together problematic for Max, who’s still proving himself at work. He needs Jake’s cooperation to look good to his superiors—one of whom is the President of the United States.”
Devlin believes the brothers “share a lot of the same qualities, but don’t see it. Max sees himself as much more cerebral, Jake is much more of a blue-collar guy. But they each have traits of the other in them, which makes for an odd dynamic in that what one sees in the other is what he doesn’t necessarily like about himself.”
Max does, however, very much like secret service agent Sarah Wilson, and the two undertake a strictly verboten romance, despite the repercussions—they’d both be fired—should they be discovered.
Abbie Cornish, who plays the role, says, “Sarah is such a fun character because she’s strong, athletic, intelligent and also feminine. She’s a tough woman who protects the president, but also has a fun, sensitive and delicate side to her, which we see in her relationship with Max. And that relationship in their work environment within the White House brings complications of its own. This role was a sweet one to step into, with a great energy to it.”
“Sarah has a strong sense of right and wrong that goes beyond following orders,” Devlin notes. “As the mystery unfolds, she realizes she has a vital role to play that may be at odds with the job she is sworn to do. She’ll have a choice to make, and from that choice a very strong individual will emerge.”
To prepare for the role, Cornish spent time with a former agent, and also brushed up on her target practice. “Even though I’ve had experience handling guns from previous films, I went to a firing range in Los Angeles with ex-FBI and LAPD officers in order to become familiar with my character’s actual weapon, which is a 9mm SIG 226.”
Another strong-willed woman with a key role to play makes her impact thousands of miles above the Earth, on the International Space Station: Shuttle Commander Ute Fassbinder, embodied by Alexandra Maria Lara.
“Ute is responsible for everything that happens on the station. She’s an intelligent and controlled woman,” Lara says. “She’s also very calm, which she needs to be in order to keep her crew under control, especially when Jake Lawson comes aboard.”
“There’s a bit of push-and-pull over whose ship it is,” Devlin concedes. “But they’re both professional, and the consequences of letting any petty differences get in the way of what’s happening up there are too great, and they both know it. They’ll have to learn to trust each other and respect that they each have a job to do.”
Lara found that relating the proper amount of authority in the role was helped greatly by her surroundings. “I ultimately connect with my characters though hair and makeup, costumes and in the sets themselves, which were just a whole new world for me. All these things help take me out of my own reality and to jump into someone else’s skin, and were important for me to find the right tone for Ute.”
Another strong ruler is U.S. President Andrew Palma, played by Andy Garcia. Garcia himself helped name the character. “The first name they had in the script didn’t work, so Dean asked me for a name that felt comfortable,” Garcia recalls. “I wanted to pay homage to my homeland, so I came up with Palma, inspired by the first president of the Cuban Republic, Thomas Estrada-Palma.”
Devlin, who has known the actor for some time without having had the opportunity to work with him, confesses, “It was actually David Ellison who had the idea of casting Andy as the president, and I thought it was a great idea. We knew Andy would be able to walk the very narrow line required in the role.”
Like Lara, Garcia was able to further ground himself in the role with the aid of costume designer Susan Matheson. In addition to the tailored threads she created for him, Garcia had a hand in selecting his footwear, a part of the wardrobe he feels lends weight to his characters.
“Actors have little things they use to root themselves in a part,” he offers. “For me, the shoes are important because they affect your gait, the way you carry yourself. How you stand in a pair of sneakers is different than in dress shoes, or boots.”
Palma’s closest advisor is Secretary of State Leonard Dekkom. Ed Harris took on the role of the man who, having once pulled the world’s nations together to build Dutch Boy, must now pull together a means of repairing the system before those same nations are destroyed by it.
“Weather has definitely become a weapon in this story,” Harris observes, “but man is still in control, and that’s where things get tricky. Having a grid of interconnected satellites covering the planet to protect it by creating weather, well…if it can create a good weather system, it can create a bad one, too. Dekkom’s in charge of the guys who have to figure out what’s gone wrong up there, and they’ve only got so much time to do that.”
Despite the excessive pressure on his character, Harris enjoyed his time on set, working primarily with Garcia, Cornish, and also Sturgess, with whom he’d acted before. “When I heard Jimmy was doing this picture, that made me smile, because he’s a really good guy,” Harris says. “I like working with him and a lot of my stuff in this film was with him.
“I had a good time working with Andy, too,” Harris continues. “He’s very present and has a good sense of humor. I’d never worked with Abbie before, but she was a total joy and it was a pleasure.”
Helping Dekkom and Max man things on the ground, Cheng Long, the Hong Kong-based Dutch Boy expert, is played by Daniel Wu. Cheng is the first to uncover the potential for the network’s failure to be something other than a flaw, and he desperately tries to warn Max of his findings.
Assisting Max with decoding Cheng’s intelligence is Dana, Zazie Beetz’ edgy techie with capabilities far beyond those called for in her position as a data analyst housed in a government cubicle. “Dana has a sharp sense of humor and is at the same time relaxed, sort of chilled-out, which I think is helpful to Max under the circumstances,” she proposes. “They have almost a brother-sister relationship, even though she works beneath him. He knows she’s just as capable as him generally, and even more so when it comes to computers.”
In space, Jake and Ute are joined by Eugenio Derbez’s robotics engineer, Hernandez, who is in charge of launching and recovering the satellites, and who provides occasional comic relief for the highly stressed ISS team; Adepero Oduye plays Adisa, lead structural engineer; Robert Sheehan plays ace programmer Duncan; and Amr Waked plays Ray Dussette, the ex-military tough guy responsible for security on the ISS.
Waiting for Jake at home is his daughter Hannah, who lives primarily with her mom but whose interests align with her dad’s when it comes to science. The character was named for Devlin’s own inquisitive youngster, and is played by Talitha Bateman.
Rounding out the cast are veteran actors Richard Schiff as Senator Cross, and Mare Winningham as Dr. Cassandra Jennings.
“In the film, the whole world has come together to save itself, so it organically lent itself to having this international cast, and we just had a phenomenal group of actors,” Goldberg attests. “It was a thrill to have representatives from so many parts of the world to play these characters from all over the globe.”
Ellison agrees. “Our casting director, Ronna Kress, is remarkable. She brought together the incredible cast in this movie, and both Dana and I, and Dean as well, couldn’t have been happier with what everyone brought to the table.”
This was my life’s work. Dreaming it was madness.
Building it? They said impossible. But we did it.
“It’s always bizarre, amazing and a little terrifying when you first step onto a set…a profound moment,” Devlin asserts. “When I walked down the hallways of the space station our production designer Kirk Petruccelli created, it was a remarkable feeling. They were completely built, so you could almost get lost in the maze and feel like you were somewhere otherworldly. It was larger than an aircraft carrier and really gave you a sense of what it might be like for up to 5,000 people to be up there, isolated, for months at a time. It had a visceral impact on me and, I think, on the actors.”
Butler concurs, noting, “I was expecting most of the sets to be CG, but the physical environments they built were mind-blowing. When I came onto the space station and saw how elaborate and intricately detailed the shuttle docking bay and the ISS command center were, I was in awe.”
Petruccelli, who has worked with Devlin on numerous occasions in the past, was eager to devise a credible-looking and feeling International Space Station, where a vast deal of the story’s action takes place. “There were nine massive ISS sets on the film, with a total of 72 major parts to them,” he relates. “We designed it as a sort of factory to support, create, and keep in motion the thousands of satellites that manage the Earth’s climate, a veritable command center that protects the planet and everyone on it.”
To further illustrate the amount of detail the design team—which included supervising art director Page Buckner—integrated into the massive build, Petruccelli elaborates, “Using rapid prototyping, we were able to generate 20,000 tiny hooks alone to lock the panels we installed. And that’s just one example.”
The set itself was, naturally, inspired by the real International Space Station, completed by NASA in 2000 after 12 years of construction in orbit, utilizing parts manufactured on Earth and shuttled to the site, which today maintains a distance of about 250 miles above the planet as it circles it approximately 15 times each day.
Of course, the film set required certain adjustments for practical purposes; however, Petruccelli affirms, “There was a rationale behind everything we did to create the technological, industrial and mechanical elements of our ship’s infrastructure so that, even though we weren’t in space, it would seem like it. We thought about how the characters would breathe, what would happen to the particles in the air, and so on. During our research with NASA, we were given the opportunity to understand what it’s like there, and they were very supportive of our interest and efforts.
“In the end,” he continues, “we tried to honor what NASA has been doing and respect the basic scientific principles they operate under, while really just telling this highly dramatic story that just happens to take place in space.”
Devlin adds, “When the guys from NASA came in early on to look at the artwork and to check out our designs for the sets, I had my heart in my throat. It was important to me that we have their stamp of approval, and I trust Kirk’s work implicitly, but when they told us how close we were to reality, I was floored nonetheless!”
The whole of the ISS sets for “Geostorm” were accommodated by five adjoining soundstages at New Orleans’ Big Easy Studios, situated on a portion of an actual NASA manufacturing plant on the city’s eastside, the Michoud Assembly Facility.
“We love shooting in New Orleans,” Goldberg says. “The city always rolls out the red carpet to help you and the crews are phenomenal. For this movie in particular it was just a perfect location.”
With the aid of visual effects, New Orleans also doubled for Washington, DC, Tokyo, Moscow, Dubai, Orlando, Florida, Rio de Janero and Mumbai—the terrestrial portion of the film as described by VFX supervisor Jeffrey A. Okun. He and his team superimposed the White House and Air Force One in bluescreen shots that Devlin and director of photography Roberto Schaefer’s team captured on location around the Crescent City, including one of the downtown area’s main thoroughfares, Canal Street, which doubled nicely for the nation’s capital, as well as a street in Rio.
For moments in the story set within the White House’s West Wing, the production camped out for a day inside the U.S. Custom House at the edge of the famed French Quarter, taking advantage of the building’s regal architecture.
The plague of climate catastrophes—the geostorms in “Geostorm”—also fell largely under Okun’s purview. “The idea was to create the kinds of events fans of disaster films look for, but on a grand scale they haven’t witnessed before on the big screen,” he says. “We’ve all seen movies where there’s some cool lightning, for instance, but hopefully no one’s ever seen a chase scene like the one we have, where there are nearly as many lightning bolts as raindrops. Or rogue satellites creating upwards of 50 tornadoes in one location. We were going for the unnatural aspect of these natural disasters, with an intensity audiences haven’t seen.”
In prepping the VFX designs for the film, Okun states, “We did a lot of research. Kirk’s art department really dove in and introduced us to a lot of imagery and current technology, and we discovered that virtually every single thing that Dean and Paul wrote as science fiction is actually doable from a satellite—plus even a few more things that they didn’t put in the script. It was really fascinating to learn that the research shows they can already do everything that we’re depicting in the movie.”
Okun approached the project by breaking it down into three facets. “We have the terrestrial film, the space film and the disaster film. The terrestrial has a lot more invisible visual effects, which I very much enjoy doing because it means nobody knows they’re visual effects,” he smiles. “Next is space, which was shot on sets and stages, fairly contained, and with lots of bluescreen work and a brand new technique for capturing photorealistic performances to put into the spacesuits, when the actors could not have possibly done what we asked them to do—and live to tell about it!”
The third piece of the puzzle for Okun, the disaster movie, was one of epic proportions. “Now, I’m a huge space geek and a physics nut,” he confesses, “so it’s hard for me to break the laws of physics when creating effects. But Dean was adamant that we break those laws for fun, meaning if something was going to make the shot more fun for the audience, he didn’t want us to be tied to the physics of it since we were not making a documentary.”
In fact, a faithful representation of Mother Nature’s work was the dictate, but at an incredibly unnatural level. “We were dealing with really every kind of weather and how it could impact the infrastructure of our world, but of course amping it up for the genre fans, cheating the reality to create a fantastic visual,” Okun shares. “So, when creating tornadoes, we adhered to the laws of physics for me, but put an excessive number of them in the shot for Dean,” he laughs.
Jake, what’s happening? Jake? Jake!
I can’t control the damned suit!
In addition to the many civilian-style costumes created for the film by costume designer Susan Matheson, the filmmakers worked with Global Effects in Los Angeles to obtain replicas of real NASA spacesuits needed for a couple of critical sequences. The company has a long history working with NASA and the film industry, and has patterned suits after the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury missions, among others.
While flight suits are designed for zero gravity, it was not a zero-gravity environment on set. Wire work was utilized to mimic the appearance of weightlessness; unfortunately, that did not help with the weight of the suits themselves, which amounted to nearly a quarter of the actors’ own body weight.
“The suit weighed about 65 pounds,” Butler recalls. “On top of that, we were hanging in the air with all kinds of harnesses and rigs, but you have to stay completely relaxed since you’re supposed to be weightless. It’s exceptionally uncomfortable to do—but it looks incredible on screen!”
Devlin admired the work everyone put in to visualizing precisely what he’d imagined when he sat down to pen the story, stating, “Across the board, the practical and VFX design teams did an awesome job creating what I hope will be an intense and exciting backdrop to the life-or-death mystery that these characters are racing against the clock to solve, on land and in space.”
Goldberg offers, “There are some movies that are truly made to be experienced on the biggest screen possible, with the sound reverberating all around like only a movie theater can do. Disaster movies generally fall into that category, but I think this movie especially, with all the jaw-dropping effects and action, fits very squarely into it.”
“There’s just phenomenal scope and scale to this film, with effects we’ve never seen before,” Ellison adds. “Combine that with the terrific international talent that populates this tale, drawing you in as it spans the globe and beyond, and you have a gripping thriller that hopefully fans will want to watch again and again.”
In addition to enjoying the extreme visuals “Geostorm” offers, Devlin hopes moviegoers will go along on “this fun, wild ride into a science fiction what if scenario. What if this were to happen, what if you were in this situation? Like I said before, I like my science fiction to be fun, and this movie is meant to be that, pure entertainment. At the same time—without offering real-world solutions to today’s issues or taking a political side—the film dabbles in technologies of today or the very near future, so it is about something, gives you something to talk about, and that means there’s something for everyone.”
ABOUT THE CAST
GERARD BUTLER (Jake Lawson), a gifted actor with striking charm and humor, has impressed audiences in roles across the spectrum. He recently wrapped production on three films: “Keepers,” a psychological thriller based on a real-life unsolved mystery about a trio of lighthouse keepers pitted against each other on a remote Scottish island, “Den of Thieves,” about a thief trapped between two sets of criminals during a bank heist, and “Hunter Killer,” in which he stars as an untested American submarine captain who teams with a group of Navy SEALS to rescue the kidnapped Russian president.
Upcoming, Butler is set to begin production on “Angel Has Fallen,” the third installment of the film series following 2016’s “London Has Fallen” and 2013’s blockbuster hit, “Olympus Has Fallen.” Co-starring Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett, and Melissa Leo, the films have grossed over $400 million at the worldwide box office.
Butler is also set to star in Darrin Prescott’s directorial debut, “Snow Ponies,” about a crew of men who travel across difficult terrain to deliver a mysterious package, but are forced to choose between survival and honor when they face brutal obstacles and bandits along the way. He will additionally reprise his role voicing the character Stoick in the third installment of the Academy Award-nominated film “How to Train Your Dragon,” with Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Craig Ferguson, and Kristen Wiig.
Butler solidified himself as a leading man when he starred as the bold and heroic King Leonidas in Zack Snyder’s blockbuster “300.” The film broke box office records in its opening weekend and went on to earn more than $450 million worldwide. Butler’s other $100 million-plus films include “The Bounty Hunter,” opposite Jennifer Aniston; Robert Luketic’s “The Ugly Truth,” opposite Katherine Heigl; “Nim’s Island,” with Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin; “P.S. I Love You,” opposite Hilary Swank; Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera,” opposite Emmy Rossum; and “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” opposite Angelina Jolie.
His other film credits include: “A Family Man,” “Gods of Egypt,” “Playing for Keeps,” “Chasing Mavericks,” Marc Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” “Coriolanus,” “Gamer,” Guy Ritchie’s “RocknRolla,” “Beowulf & Grendel,” “The Game of Their Lives,” the independent feature “Dear Frankie,” opposite Emily Mortimer, “Timeline,” “Reign of Fire,” John Madden’s award-winning drama “Her Majesty,” and “Mrs. Brown,” starring Judi Dench. His early work in film includes roles in “Harrison’s Flowers,” “One More Kiss,” “Fast Food,” and the screen adaption of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard.”
In 2008, Butler and his manager Alan Siegel formed their production company, G-BASE, which has produced nine feature films, including “Law Abiding Citizen”; “Olympus Has Fallen”; the sequel “London Has Fallen”; “Septembers of Shiraz,” which was selected into the 2015 Toronto Film Festival: “A Family Man,” which premiered at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival; “Hunter Killer”; and, most recently, “Keepers.” In addition to film, the company continues to produce and develop a diverse slate of projects including television series, documentaries, and interactive media projects.
Butler is dedicated to charitable efforts around the world, including Mary’s Meals, an organization founded with the simple mission to serve one meal a day to a child in school, as well as Artists for Peace and Justice, where he is a board member. APJ was established in 2009 and is a fundraising mission founded by Paul Haggis that encourages peace and social justice and addresses issues of poverty and enfranchisement in communities around the world.
Born in Scotland, Butler made his stage debut at 12 in the musical “Oliver,” at Glasgow’s famous Kings Theatre. As a young man, his dreams of acting were temporarily deterred and he went on to study law for seven years before returning to the London stage in the acclaimed production of “Trainspotting,” and later in “Snatch,” and the Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams’ “Suddenly Last Summer,” opposite Rachel Weisz.
JIM STURGESS (Max Larson) most recently wrapped on director Justin Kelly’s “JT Leroy,” opposite Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern, and is currently in production on “Berlin, I Love You,” with Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley.
On television, he recently starred in Stephen Poliakoff’s “Close to the Enemy,” a six-part serial for BBCTV, playing the lead character of Callum, opposite Alfred Molina, Freddie Highmore, Angela Bassett and Lindsay Duncan. He will next star in Hulu’s “Hard Sun,” from “Luther” creator Neil Cross.
In 2012, Sturgess starred in “Cloud Atlas,” with an all-star ensemble including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon. Based on David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, the film explored how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future. Lana Wachoswki, Tom Twyker and Andy Wachowski directed and produced the film, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.
Among his recent credits are Daniel Alfredson’s “Kidnapping Freddy Heineken,” opposite Anthony Hopkins and Sam Worthington; “London Fields,” opposite Amber Heard, Billy Bob Thornton and Theo James; Brad Anderson’s “Stonehearst Asylum,” opposite Kate Beckinsale, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Michael Caine; Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Best Offer,” opposite Geoffrey Rush; “Electric Slide,” opposite Patricia Arquette: “Ashes” opposite Ray Winstone; ”Upside Down,” opposite Kirsten Dunst; Lone Scherfig’s “One Day,” opposite Anne Hathaway; Zack Snyder’s “Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole”; Philip Ridley’s critically acclaimed UK release “Heartless”; and Peter Weir’s fact-based “The Way Back,” opposite Colin Farrell and Ed Harris.
Sturgess was previously seen in Kari Skogland’s award-winning independent film “Fifty Dead Men Walking,” starring opposite Sir Ben Kingsley in the drama based on Martin McGartland’s shocking real life as an undercover spy who infiltrated the IRA. The film premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and Sturgess was nominated for the 2009 Vancouver Film Critics (VFC) Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Canadian Film.
He also starred in Robert Luketic’s 2008 box office hit “21,” alongside Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey, “The Other Boleyn Girl,” opposite Natalie Portman, and Julie Taymor’s critically acclaimed film “Across the Universe,” opposite Evan Rachel Wood.
Sturgess was nominated as the Best Newcomer by the Empire Film Awards in 2009.
ABBIE CORNISH (Sarah Wilson) a native Australian, is an acclaimed young actress best known for her starring roles in the independent films “Candy,” opposite Heath Ledger in 2006, and “Somersault,” with Sam Worthington in 2004, both Australian productions that garnered her Best Lead Actress awards from the Film Critics Circle of Australia. She was also awarded Best Lead Actress from the Australian Film Institute for “Somersault” and received a nomination for “Candy.” It was these two roles that earned her great notice in the U.S.
Cornish just wrapped the “Jack Ryan Project,” opposite John Krasinski. Prior to that she filmed Amma Asante’s wartime race drama “Where Hands Touch,” and can next be seen in the Martin McDonagh film “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Recently, she appeared in Discovery Channel’s first scripted, three-part miniseries, “Klondike,” in which she starred opposite Richard Madden, Sam Shepard and Tim Roth in an epic story of survival and the search for wealth in the remote Klondike. She also starred in the film “Lavender,” a thriller from writer/director Ed Gass-Donnelly, and in director José Padilha’s remake of “RoboCop.”
In 2012, Cornish appeared in writer/director Martin McDonagh’s “Seven Psychopaths,” opposite Colin Farrell, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson and Christopher Walken. That same year, she also starred in the independent drama “The Girl.” In 2011, Cornish starred in the 3D sci-fi action film “Sucker Punch,” helmed by Zack Snyder, and was the female lead, oppostie Robert De Niro and Bradley Cooper, in “Limitless.” She also starred in “W.E.,” which was accepted at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals in 2011. In 2010, she lent her voice to Zack Snyder’s animated feature “Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.”
In 2009, Cornish starred in Jane Campion’s period drama “Bright Star,” a true-life adaptation of poet John Keats’ love affair with a young woman named Fanny Brawne. Cornish received a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actress and accolades from critics in the U.S., UK and Australia. “Bright Star” premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for a Golden Palm Award.
In 2008 Cornish starred as the female lead in the drama “Stop Loss,” directed by Kimberly Peirce and, in 2007, opposite Cate Blanchett as the Queen’s favorite lady-in-waiting in Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.”
Cornish made her acting debut at 15 on the Australian Broadcasting Company’s television series “Children’s Hospital.” Shortly thereafter, she co-starred on the ABC series “Wildside,” which garnered her first AFI honor in 1999. In 2003, she earned her second AFI nomination for her guest role on the ABC miniseries “Marking Time.” She also appeared in Ridley Scott’s “A Good Year,” opposite Russell Crowe.
ALEXANDRA MARIA LARA’s (Ute Fassbinder) notable film credits include the role of Traudl Junge, Adolf Hitler’s secretary, in Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Oscar-nominated 2004 film “(The) Downfall”; a leading role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth”; and Uli Edel’s “The Baader Meinhof Complex.”
In 2008 Lara starred in Anton Corbijns’ film “Control,” opposite Sam Riley and Samantha Morton, as well as Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader.” The following year she appeared in “The City of Your Final Destination,” directed by James Ivory, alongside Anthony Hopkins and Charlotte Gainsbourg. In 2013, she played opposite Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl in the Golden Globe-nominated “Rush,” a biographical drama based on the memories of racecar driver Niki Lauda, directed by Ron Howard.
At the end of last year Lara starred in the German film “Robbi Tobbi und das Fliewatüüt, directed by Wolfgang Groos and adapted from the popular children’s book by Boy Lornsen. In 2017, she also starred as Hanne Franke in the Amazon original series “You Are Wanted,” and, in 2014, appeared opposite Michelle Williams in “Suite Francaise,” directed by Saul Dibb.
Lara’s other film credits include Sam Garbarski’s “Quartier Lointain,” Esther Gronenborn’s “Kaifeck Murders,” and Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna.”
DANIEL WU (Cheng Long) is an actor, director and producer, who stars and executive produces the AMC TV show “Into the Badlands,” currently in production for its third season. He will also be seen opposite Alicia Vikander in the new “Tomb Raider” reboot in 2018.
Wu has been featured in more than 60 films, and made his breakout performance in Benny Chan’s “Gen-X Cops.” He received two Hong Kong Film Award nominations in 2005, for Best Actor in “One Nite in Mongkok,” and Best Supporting Actor, alongside his boyhood idol Jackie Chan, in “New Police Story,” a performance that also brought him Taiwan’s Golden Horse Award as Best Supporting Actor. He also won the prestigious Hong Kong prize as Best Director for his 2006 feature, “The Heavenly Kings.”
Wu’s string of international film hits includes “Night Corridor,” for which he earned a 2003 Best Actor nomination at Taiwan’s 40th Golden Horse Awards; Frank Coraci’s 2004 remake of “Around the World in 80 Days,” Quentin Tarantino’s “The Man with the Iron Fists” in 2012; “Europa Report” in 2013; Jackie Chan’s “Chinese Zodiac” in 2012; and, most recently, Duncan Jones’s 2016 sci-fi adventure “Warcraft.”
EUGENIO DERBEZ (Al Hernandez), actor, writer, director and producer, is one of the most influential creative forces in Latin America, and one of the most recognized actors among the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. Variety recently named Derbez as the #1 most influential Hispanic male in the world and Expansión named him as the #1 social media influencer in Mexico, due to his more than 25 million followers across all social media.
Derbez has also consummated his place in Hollywood history. On March 9, 2016, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, becoming the 88th Latino performer to receive the honor.
He was most recently seen in the feature “How to Be a Latin Lover,” which he produced and starred in, alongside Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Riggle, Linda Lavin and Rob Huebel. The film succeeded box office expectations by becoming Pantelion’s largest grossing opening film to date. Prior to that, Derbez starred in “Instructions Not Included,” which he also directed and co-wrote. It became the most successful Spanish-language film ever in the U.S. and worldwide, and broke numerous box office records, earning over $100M. He also starred opposite Jennifer Garner in director Patricia Riggen’s “Miracles from Heaven.”
Derbez just wrapped production on “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” also starring Helen Mirren, Keira Knightly and Morgan Freeman, and directed by Lasse Hallström.
Derbez has appeared in a number of successful and critically acclaimed films, including “Sangre de mi Sangre,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2007; the indie smash hit “Under the Same Moon” (“La Misma Luna”); Adam Sandler’s “Jack and Jill”; and “Girl in Progress,” with Eva Mendes.
He also starred in the CBS sitcom “Rob!” and on Broadway in “Latinologues,” at the Helen Hayes Theater. Derbez was the star, writer, director and producer of some of the most popular Spanish language TV shows of all time, including “Al Derecho y Al Derbez,” “XHDRBZ,” and “La Familia P. Luche.”
Derbez currently resides in Los Angeles. His TV and film production company 3Pas Studios has a features first-look deal with Lionsgate/Pantelion Films, and a first-look TV deal with Universal Television. With Lionsgate and Pantelion, Derbez’s upcoming film slate includes “Ponce,” written by Max Botkin, a dramedy set in modern times about the famed Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his legendary quest for the fountain of youth. The company’s other projects include remakes of the Argentinian comedy “Un Cuento Chino” and the French comedy “The Valet.”
ED HARRIS (Leonard Dekkom) starred as the enigmatic Man in Black in last year’s HBO series sensation, “Westworld,” and will star in the upcoming season.
In 2016, Harris completed filming on “Kodachrome,” with Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen, for director Mark Raso. He can currently be seen in “Mother!,” from director Darren Aronofsky.
Harris made his feature film directing debut on “Pollock,” and received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his performance in the title role. His co-star, Marcia Gay Harden, won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar under his direction. Harris also directed, as well as co-wrote “Appaloosa,” starring opposite Viggo Mortensen. His film credits include “A History of Violence,” which earned a National Society of Film Critics Award; “The Hours” which earned Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations; “The Truman Show,” a Golden Globe Award winner and Oscar nominee; and “Apollo 13,” which earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, plus a SAG Award; as well as “In Dubious Battle,” “Run All Night,” “Frontera,” “The Face of Love,” “The Way Back,” “Copying Beethoven,” “The Right Stuff,” “The Abyss,” “The Rock,” “The Human Stain,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Stepmom,” “The Firm,” “Places in the Heart,” “Alamo Bay,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Jacknife,” “State of Grace,” “The Third Miracle,” “Touching Home” and Victor Nunez’s “A Flash of Green.”
Harris won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, along with Emmy and SAG nominations, for his portrayal of John McCain in the Jay Roach-directed “Game Change,” for HBO. He starred with Paul Newman in the HBO miniseries “Empire Falls,” for which he received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Best Actor nominations. His other television credits include “The Last Innocent Man,” “Running Mates,” “Paris Trout” and “Riders of the Purple Sage,” for which he and his wife Amy Madigan, as co-producers and co-stars, were presented with the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Television Feature Film.
Harris and Madigan made their West End debut this past November in the London production of Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Buried Child.” This revival production originated on stage in Manhattan earlier this year, directed by Scott Elliott. Harris received rave reviews for his performance and an Olivier nomination in the UK.
In 2012, at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, Harris starred with Madigan, Bill Pullman and Glenne Headley in the world premiere of playwright Beth Henley’s “The Jacksonian,” directed by Robert Falls. He reprised that role to critical acclaim in the play’s 2014 New York premiere at Off-Broadway’s Acorn Theater for The New Group.
Harris received both an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Solo Show for the Off-Broadway production of “Wrecks,” at New York City’s Public Theatre. He originated the role, with writer/director Neil LaBute, for the play’s world premiere at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork, Ireland and won the 2010 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Solo Performance for the production of “Wrecks” at the Geffen Playhouse. His theatre credits also include: Ronald Harwood’s “Taking Sides”; Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love,” for which he earned an Obie Award; Shepard’s “Simpatico,” for which he earned the Lucille Lortel Best Actor Award; George Furth’s “Precious Sons,” for which he received the Drama Desk Award and a Tony Nomination; “Prairie Avenue,” “Scar,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “Sweet Bird of Youth.”
ANDY GARCIA (President Andrew Palma) is one of Hollywood’s most respected leading actors. He recently completed work opposite Diane Keaton in the feature “Book Club,” directed by Bill Holderman. During the summer, he starred in the independent film “Ana,” directed by Charles McDougall, as well as HBO’s “My Dinner with Hervé,” opposite Peter Dinklage. Earlier this year he appeared in Bobby Moresco’s “Bent,” opposite Sofia Vergara and Karl Urban.
Last year he starred opposite Dwayne Johnson on HBO’s hit show “Ballers,” as well as in Netflix’s “The True Memoirs of an International Assassin,” opposite Kevin James. He was also seen in the feature “Passengers,” with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. Garcia appeared in the comedy hit “Ghostbusters,” he voiced the character of Eduardo in the animated feature “Rio 2,” and starred in “Rob the Mob,” “Let’s Be Cops,” “Kill the Messenger,” and “Christmas in Conway,” co-starring Mary Louise Parker.
Garcia played a significant role in the 1987 blockbuster “The Untouchables,” and subsequently honed his multi-layered acting abilities to earn several industry awards. He has been recognized for his work with Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III.”
Garcia also co-wrote and appeared opposite Richard Gere in “Internal Affairs.” He later teamed with an all-star cast for director Steven Soderbergh’s remake of “Ocean’s Eleven,” and returned for the film’s sequels, “Ocean’s Twelve” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
His most recent production, under his own CineSon Productions, is the romantic comedy “At Middleton,” also starring Vera Farmiga, Taissa Farmiga and Spencer LoFranco. The film was released earlier this year and premiered at the Seattle Film Festival. Garcia and Farmiga won the Best Actor and Actress awards at the Boston Film Festival. His middle daughter, Daniella Garcia-Lorido, also stars in the film.
ZAZIE BEETZ (Dana) recently starred in Donald Glover’s critically acclaimed series “Atlanta,” and is currently at work filming “Deadpool 2,” and will soon be seen in the films “Slice,” “Sollers Point” and “The Undiscovered Country.” She previously appeared in the films “Finding Her,” “Wolves,” and “Rain,” and on the TV series “Margot vs. Lily” and “Easy.”
TALITHA BATEMAN (Hannah) is a talented young actress most recently seen starring in David F. Sandburg’s hit horror thriller “Annabelle: Creation.” She also starred in the leading role of Heidi, opposite Alfre Woodard, in “So B. It,” which premiered at the LA Film Festival.
Among her upcoming projects is Greg Berlanti’s “Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda,” based on the popular young adult novel, in which she plays Nora Spier, alongside Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner and Alexandra Shipp. Additionally, Bateman is voicing a character in “The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island,” alongside J.K. Simmons and Martin Sheen, and stars in “Vengeance: A Love Story,” opposite Nicolas Cage.
Her past credits include “The 5th Wave,” with Chloë Grace Moretz; “Nine Lives,” alongside Kevin Spacey; and The CW’s series “Hart of Dixie.”
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
DEAN DEVLIN (Writer / Director / Producer) is an acclaimed writer/director/producer of blockbuster films and highly rated television projects. Devlin serves as chairman and CEO of Electric Entertainment, the full-service production, distribution, sales, and post-production company he founded in May 2001.
“Geostorm” is Devlin’s feature directorial debut. He is currently in post-production on his second feature directorial effort, “Bad Samaritan,” starring David Tennant, and is also in post-production on the fourth season of the TNT hit series “The Librarians,” which premiered in 2014 as the most watched cable debut of that year.
Over the last twenty years, Devlin has co-written and produced some of the most successful feature films of all time. He co-wrote and produced “Stargate,” “Godzilla,” and “Independence Day,” which grossed more than $800 million worldwide, and recently produced the sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence.”
DAVID ELLISON (Producer) is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Skydance, the diversified media company he founded in 2010 to create elevated, event-level, commercial entertainment for global audiences. As CEO, he sets and executes the strategic vision for the company: to create memorable experiences by building immersive worlds and bringing exceptionally crafted stories to life across time and platforms.
Under Ellison’s leadership, Skydance has produced blockbuster and award-winning films including “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Jack Reacher,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “World War Z,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Terminator Genisys” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” “Star Trek Beyond,” “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” and “Life.” He currently oversees Skydance’s feature film slate. In 2017, Skydance formed an animation division to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios.
In 2013, David launched Skydance Television, which has produced two Emmy nominated series—“Manhattan” on WGN America and “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix—and has a diverse slate of series across various networks, including “Altered Carbon” on Netflix, “Jack Ryan” on Amazon, “Condor” on AT&T Audience Network, “Ten Days in the Valley” on ABC, and “Dietland” on AMC. In 2016, Ellison led the Company’s first acquisition—of leading game developer The Workshop Entertainment, Inc.—and formed Skydance Interactive, a dedicated subsidiary that creates and owns original video games and virtual reality experiences. Skydance Interactive’s first VR offering is Archangel, launched summer of 2017 across all VR platforms. The studio is located in Marina del Rey, California.
He is an accomplished pilot and a lifelong film enthusiast. Ellison attended the School of Cinematic Arts at USC and is a member of the Producers Guild of America as well as the Television Academy. He resides in Southern California with his wife, musician Sandra Lynn.
DANA GOLDBERG (Producer), as Chief Creative Officer of Skydance, helps to set and execute the company’s overall creative vision across its feature film, television, interactive, animation, publishing, and licensing units. Goldberg joined Skydance in 2010 as President of Production, with responsibility for the entire film slate, including “True Grit,” “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Jack Reacher,” “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “World War Z,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Terminator Genisys,” “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” Star Trek Beyond,” “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” and “Life.” She currently oversees Skydance’s feature film slate.
In 2017, Skydance formed an animation division to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series in partnership with Spain’s Ilion Animation Studios.
Goldberg also oversees the creative aspects of Skydance Television, which has produced two Emmy nominated series – “Manhattan” on WGN America and “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix. Currently, she oversees Skydance Television’s diverse slate of series across various networks, including “Altered Carbon” on Netflix, “Jack Ryan” on Amazon, “Condor” on AT&T Audience Network, “Ten Days in the Valley” on ABC, and “Dietland” on AMC.
Prior to Skydance, Goldberg served as President of Production at Village Roadshow Pictures, where she oversaw and served as executive producer on many of the studio’s blockbuster and award-winning films, including “I Am Legend” and “Happy Feet.” Prior to Village Roadshow, Goldberg served as Vice President of Production at Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures. She has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2007 and is a member of the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy. Goldberg holds a B.A. degree from The University of Missouri.
PAUL GUYOT (Screenwriter) is currently the co-executive producer on “NCIS: New Orleans,” the CBS series juggernaut which ranks as one of the top 10 television shows in the world. He served as co-executive producer on “The Librarians,” starring Noah Wyle, Rebecca Romijn, and John Larroquette, which was the #1 new cable series on the TNT network.
In 2016, several studios were locked in a fierce bidding war for Guyot’s original pitch “The Black 22s,” based on the true story of the first all African-American squad of detectives in Saint Louis, Missouri. Guyot is currently writing the feature, which will star Golden Globe-nominated actor David Oyelowo.
Guyot is also developing a feature film based on his exclusive rights to the real-life stories of an elite team of former soldiers who now rescue children from the world of sex trafficking.
Guyot attended the University of Arizona, where he was a creative writing major, and has authored several award-winning short stories. He has taught screenwriting at the university level, and guest lectured at multiple conferences.
Guyot splits his time between Los Angeles and St. Louis, Missouri. Twitter @fizzhogg.
HERBERT W. GAINS (Executive Producer) joined Mary Parent at Legendary Pictures as Executive Vice President of Physical Production in October 2016. Since then, Gains has been overseeing their entire production slate, including sequels to “Pacific Rim” and “Godzilla,” as well as “Skyscraper,” starring Dwayne Johnson and a groundbreaking live-action version of Pokemon.
He earned his first producer credit as associate producer on Rob Cohen’s fantasy film “DragonHeart” in 1996, after working as unit production manager and 1st assistant director with Cohen on his thriller “Daylight,” and as assistant director on “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.”
Over the past two decades, Gains has produced or executive produced numerous notable films, including Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen”; Neil Jordan’s “The Brave One”; Jake Kasdan’s cult favorite, “Orange County”; a trio of Brian Robbins sports films, “Hard Ball,” “Ready to Rumble,” and “Varsity Blues”: Martin Campbell’s “The Green Lantern”; the Liam Neeson thriller “Non-Stop”; David Dobkin’s legal drama “The Judge,” starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Oscar nominee Robert Duvall; and the hit sequel “G.I. Joe: Retaliation; and several Joel Silver productions, including “The Reaping,” “House of Wax” and “Cradle 2 the Grave.” Gains most recently served as executive producer on the sequel “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back,” starring Tom Cruise, and based on the series of novels by Lee Childs.
The New Jersey native began his motion picture career as a camera trainee in a New York City area commercial house before becoming one of the industry’s topnotch assistant directors, working with such filmmakers as Oliver Stone, on “Heaven & Earth” and “Natural Born Killers”; Alan J. Pakula, on “Starting Over”: Michael Mann, on “Manhunter” and Mann’s landmark TV series “Miami Vice”; Harold Becker, on “Sea of Love”’ Emile Ardolino, on “Dirty Dancing”; John Schlesinger, on “Pacific Heights”; and Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow, on her iconic thriller “Point Break,” as well as “Blue Steel.”
Gains graduated to unit production manager on Cohen’s “Daylight,” and also counts among his UPM credits John Woo’s thriller “Face/Off,” Gore Verbinski’s comedy “Mousehunt,” F. Gary Gray’s police thriller “The Negotiator,” “Summer Catch,” “Radio,” and “The Brave One,” among others.
MARC ROSKIN (Executive Producer), as a founding partner of Electric Entertainment, has been a driving force behind the company’s award-winning television and feature film production. Since opening Electric’s doors with Dean Devlin in 2001, Roskin has developed and produced each of the company’s features, including the critically acclaimed “Who Killed the Electric Car?,” “Flyboys” and “Cellular.”
In Electric’s television division, Roskin helped create and executive produce 2004’s highest rated cable movie, “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear,” as well as its two sequels and the spin-off television series, “The Librarians.” Roskin executive produces and directs the series, which is now in post-production on its fourth season. He was at the helm of TNT’s People’s Choice Award-winning series “Leverage,” for which he executive produced and directed more than 20 episodes. In addition, Roskin executive produced Syfy’s six-hour miniseries “The Triangle” and TNT’s micro series “Blank Slate,” and independently directed episodes of “Covert Affairs,” “Burn Notice,” “Common Law,” “Dallas,” “The Glades,” “Killer Women,” “Graceland” and “Sleepy Hollow.”
In addition to producing, Roskin also directed second unit on “Geostorm.”
He is in post-production as a producer on Dean Devlin’s second feature as a director, “Bad Samaritan,” starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan.
Prior to founding Electric Entertainment, Roskin was Senior Vice President at Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin’s production company, Centropolis Entertainment. There, he was instrumental in the development and production of films such as “Godzilla,” “The Patriot,” “Eight Legged Freaks” and “The Thirteenth Floor.”
DON GRANGER (Executive Producer), as President of Production at Skydance Media, is responsible for helping to oversee the Company’s growing feature film slate.
Granger has over 25 years of experience in shepherding tentpole films, serving as producer on releases including “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” and “Life.” Prior to Skydance, Granger served as President of Motion Picture Production at United Artists, where he ran the day-to-day development and production operations for five years. Before United Artists, Granger oversaw production, development and operations at C/W Productions as a senior executive, where he helped bring “War of the Worlds,” “Mission Impossible III” and “Elizabethtown” to the big screen. At C/W, Granger served as producer on “Ask the Dust” and “The Eye,” and as executive producer on “Death Race.”
Prior to C/W, Granger served as Executive Vice President of Motion Picture Production at Paramount Pictures, where he was responsible for supervising such blockbuster franchises as “Mission Impossible,” “Star Trek,” “Tomb Raider” and the “Jack Ryan” films, as well as “Patriot Games,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “Sum of All Fears,” “Varsity Blues,” “The Saint,” “Kiss the Girls,” “Along Came a Spider” and the Academy Award-winning “Saving Private Ryan,” among others.
Prior to Paramount, Granger served as a creative executive and producer at the Mutual Film Company, The Weintraub Entertainment Group and Touchstone Pictures. Granger is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild. He holds a B.A. degree from Yale University and resides in Southern California.
ROBERTO SCHAEFER (Director of Photography) studied photography and multimedia art at Washington University’s School of Fine Arts in St. Louis, then abandoned further studies at the University of Texas to relocate to Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he gained his first on-set experience as a camera assistant.
A few years later, after a five-year sojourn back to his home state of New York, the White Plains native relocated to Italy, where, during the next decade, he worked as a camera and Steadicam operator—one of the first six in Italy—with, among others, Martin Scorsese, commercial director Joe Pytka and cinematographers Néstor Almendros, Tony Imi and Oliver Woods. He moved into the director of photography role full time with three features and many music videos and commercials filmed in Italy and the U.K.
In 1992, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he immediately landed work on the Showtime series “Red Shoe Diaries” and “Drive-In Classics.” On the latter, he collaborated with directors Ralph Bakshi and Robert Rodriguez and earned a CableACE nomination for the episode “Roadracers.”
He next met director Marc Forster, serving as cinematographer on the filmmaker’s directorial debut, the 1995 feature “Loungers.” That collaboration continued for the next fifteen years, during which Schaefer directed photography on Forster’s next eight features, including “Everything Put Together” in 2000, which earned honors at the Independent Spirit Awards and the Sundance Film Festival; “Monster’s Ball” in 2001, for which Halle Berry won the Best Actress Academy Award; “Finding Neverland” in 2004, Forster’s triumphant, Oscar-winning story of author J.M. Barrie, for which Schaefer earned a BAFTA nomination for his camera work; the 2005 thriller “Stay” with Ewan McGregor, Ryan Gosling and Naomi Watts; the offbeat 2006 comedy “Stranger Than Fiction” starring Emma Thompson, Will Ferrell and Dustin Hoffman; the Oscar and Golden Globe-nominated Afghan drama “The Kite Runner,” voted one of 2007’s Top Ten Films by the National Board of Review; “Quantum of Solace”; and “Machine Gun Preacher,” with Gerard Butler. The pair was recognized for their professional partnership with the Cinematographer-Director Duo honor at the 2013 Cameraimage Awards ceremony in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
Schaefer also enjoys an ongoing association with director Christopher Guest, serving as his cinematographer on several projects: the features “Waiting for Guffman,” “Best in Show” and “For Your Consideration,” two TV pilots, HBO’s “D.O.A.” and ABC’s “The Thick of It,” and the HBO series “Family Tree,” as well as dozens of television commercials.
He most recently collaborated with actor-director Don Cheadle on his highly anticipated Miles Davis film, “Miles Ahead,” and has also worked with such directors as Andrew Niccol, for “The Host,” Lee Daniels, for “The Paperboy,” Tim Blake Nelson, for “Leaves of Grass,” and Peter Billingsley, for “Term Life.” His work also includes many music videos for such artists as U2 and Cyndi Lauper, and commercials for Microsoft, among others.
KIRK M. PETRUCCELLI (Production Designer) reunites with filmmaker Dean Devlin on “Geostorm,” after designing Devlin’s productions of director Roland Emmerich’s “The Patriot,” which earned him an Art Directors Guild nomination for Period or Fantasy Film, and TNT’s “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear,” which was cable television’s highest rated movie of 2004 and the first in the network’s successful and ongoing franchise.
Petruccelli most recently reteamed with Emmerich on his 2011 action thriller “White House Down,” and counts among his design credits the action adventures the 2008 reboot of “The Incredible Hulk,” starring Edward Norton as the tortured superhero, “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” with Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis, and “Ghost Rider,” with Nicolas Cage, all three based on popular Marvel characters. He most recently designed Peter Chelsom’s sci-fi feature “The Space Between Us,” and reteamed with “Ghost Rider” director Mark Steven Johnson on the upcoming release “Finding Steve McQueen.”
His additional feature credits include both “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and its sequel, “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life,” Rod Lurie’s “The Last Castle,” “Mystery Men,” “The Thirteenth Floor,” “Blade,” “Anaconda,” “Murder in the First,” “Where the Day Takes You,” “3 Ninjas” and the comedies “Zookeeper,” with Kevin James and Rosario Dawson and “When In Rome,” with Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Danny DeVito and Angelica Huston. Before graduating to production designer, Petruccelli served as art director on “Poetic Justice” and “Philadelphia Experiment II,” and was assistant art director on “Son in Law.”
The Pittsburgh native attended Penn State University, where he studied film, graphic design and illustration, ultimately receiving a degree in film. He also studied the craft of Steadicam operation at the Rockport Film and Television workshop. He first gained experience in the film business in a variety of production jobs, including camera, set design and set decoration, before pursuing production design as his vocation.
RON ROSEN (editor) reunites with Dean Devlin and his team at Electric Entertainment on “Geostrom,” after having first edited the TNT telefilm “The Librarian: Quest for the Spear,” the successful 2004 TV movie that launched the network’s ongoing franchise and which Devlin executive produced, and Tony Bill’s 2006 feature film “Flyboys,” which Devlin produced.
He most recently served as an additional editor on the 2014 box-office hit “Godzilla,” directed by Gareth Edwards.
Rosen hails from Louisville and earned his B.A. from the University of Michigan and M.F.A. from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He began his editorial career as an assistant editor on several TV movies before earning his first break cutting seven episodes of the ABC series “My So Called Life.” While on that series, he met executive producer Alan Poul, with whom he later worked on HBO’s award-winning series “Six Feet Under,” where he edited eleven episodes. He reteamed with Poul as editor of the pilot for his CBS series “Swingtown,” and continued the collaboration most recently on another acclaimed HBO drama series, “The Newsroom,” editing nine episodes throughout the show’s three seasons.
His television work also includes multiple episodes of the NBC series “Friday Night Lights”; “Monk”; the Ed Zwick-Marshall Herskovitz series “Once and Again,” and its pilot, as supervising editor; NBC’s “The Event,” pilot, plus series supervising editor; the Steven Spielberg-Eric Bogosian/ABC series “High Incident,” as supervising editor; and the USA version of “Prime Suspect.”
Rosen has also worked on two projects for the SyFy Channel: the pilot of the 2009 series “Caprica,” and the 2012 cable movie “Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome.”
CHRIS LEBENZON (Editor) is a two-time Academy Award nominee, earning nods for his editing work on the Tony Scott-directed hits “Crimson Tide” and “Top Gun.” In addition, he has been honored by his peers for his work with Tim Burton, winning two Eddie Awards, for his work on “Alice in Wonderland” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” and also receiving an Eddie Award nomination for “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” “Alice in Wonderland” also marked Lebenzon’s first film as an executive producer.
Lebenzon’s creative collaboration with Burton includes the 2016 release “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,” as well as the animated feature “Frankenweenie,” “Dark Shadows,” on which he also served as an executive producer, “Corpse Bride,” “Big Fish,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Mars Attacks!,” “Ed Wood,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Batman Returns.” The two are currently in production on the animated family adventure “Dumbo,” set for a 2019 release.
In addition, Lebenzon has continued a long association with Tony Scott, editing such actioners as “Unstoppable,” “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3,” “Déjà Vu,” “Enemy of the State,” “The Last Boy Scout,” “Days of Thunder,” “Revenge,” and “Beverly Hills Cop II.”
His recent film credits include “Maleficent,” for director Richard Stromberg, and “The Last Witch Hunter,” for Breck Eisner. Previous credits include Michael Bay’s “Armageddon” and “Pearl Harbor”; Michael Tollin’s “Radio”; Rob Cohen’s “xXx”; Dominic Sena’s “Gone in Sixty Seconds”; Simon West’s “Con Air”; Martin Brest’s “Midnight Run”; and John Hughes’ “Weird Science.”
JOHN REFOUA (Editor) most recently served as editor on Michael Bay’s blockbuster action adventure “Transformers: The Last Knight.”
In 2016, he marked his fourth collaboration with director Antoine Fuqua, on the remake of the classic “The Magnificent Seven,” starring Denzel Washington. A key part of Fuqua’s team, Refoua first worked with him on the hit “Olympus Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler, followed by “The Equalizer,” also starring Washington,” and “Southpaw,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal.
Refoua was nominated for an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and an ACE Eddie Award for co-editing James Cameron’s blockbuster “Avatar.” He met Cameron while editing his FOX television series “Dark Angel,” and, after the show’s two-year run, was asked by Cameron to help finish the edit of “Ghosts of the Abyss,” the 3D IMAX documentary about the sinking of the Titanic. They went on to co-edit “Avatar,” which took almost three years to complete. The film also won Refoua the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Editing, from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.
Additionally, Refoua has collaborated with Tom Lennon and Ben Barant, creators of “Reno 911!” He worked with them on the first five seasons of the Comedy Central television series, and edited their feature film “Reno 911!: Miami,” as well. They continued working together on the feature “Balls of Fury.” Refoua also worked on the comedy “21 and Over,” written and directed by “The Hangover” screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
SUSAN MATHESON (Costume Designer) was born in South Africa and grew up in Baltimore. She studied drama at Vassar College before segueing into costume design. She continued those studies in Japan before moving to Los Angeles, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Otis Parsons Institute of Design and was named Designer of the Year by the Institute in 1992, for a white and green duchesse satin gown appliquéd with shamrocks. After a year of teaching illustration and design at her alma mater, she went on to design Barbie Dolls for Mattel and assorted toy characters for Disney. She also collected awards from Nike and Bob Mackie during this time of her career.
Matheson fashioned the wardrobe for her first feature in 1998, Tim McCanlies’ family drama “Dancer, Texas Pop. 81.” She has since created costumes in a wide gallery of genres on such films as Ben Affleck’s Oscar-nominated 2010 thriller “The Town”; Peter Berg’s acclaimed football drama “Friday Night Lights,” and his follow-up feature, the Middle East thriller “The Kingdom”; John Stockwell’s “Blue Crush” and “Crazy/Beautiful”; the Tom Cruise actioner “Jack Reacher”; Daniel Espinosa’s South African-set thriller “Safe House”; the 2011 horror reboot “Fright Night”; the Vince Vaughn comedy “Couples Retreat”; the Will Ferrell comedy “Semi-Pro”; and a trio of Adam McKay-Will Ferrell comedies: “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” “Step Brother” and “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”
She most recently reteamed with McKay on his upcoming biographical drama about Dick Cheney, “Backseat,” and also his high-stakes Wall Street drama, “The Big Short.” She also designed costumes for the latest incarnation of the “Terminator” franchise, “Terminator: Genisys,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the comedy drama, “Welcome to Me,” starring Kristin Wiig. Her additional credits include “Best Laid Plans,” “Panic,” “Highway,” “Perfect Opposites,” “Max Keeble’s Big Move” and “Honey,” with Jessica Alba.
JEFFREY A. OKUN (Visual Effects Supervisor) has been creating outstanding visual effects for films over the past two decades, with another ten years’ experience in various industry capacities such as sound editing, cinematography, picture editing, and production management, dating back to his work with legendary movie title designer Saul Bass at Bass/Yager Design.
Okun is known for creating “organic” and invisible effects, as well as spectacular ‘tent-pole” visual effects that blend seamlessly into the storytelling aspect of a project. He won the VES (Visual Effects Society) Award for Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects for his work on Ed Zwick’s “The Last Samurai,” and earned additional nominations for “Blood Diamond,” which reunited him with Zwick, and Scott Derrickson’s 2008 reboot of the 1950s classic, “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
Okun has also delivered wide-ranging effects in award winning films such as “Stargate,” Dean Devlin’s feature producing debut; “Sphere”; “Red Planet”; “Deep Blue Sea”; “Lolita”; “The Last Starfighter”; the Oscar-nominated film “Hitchcock”; “The Watch”; and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” among other high-profile projects. He also oversaw the 3D conversion of the 2010 hit “Clash of the Titans.” His work will next be seen in Albert Hughes’ upcoming release “Alpha.”
As VES Board Chair, Okun has fostered a global community and focused attention on bringing business and creative education to artists, facilities and studios. Under his leadership, the VES was a key player in the creation of a worldwide software anti-pirating alliance with the U.S. Government to ensure that all facilities have a fair and level playing field from which to bid.
Okun created the visual effects tracking and bidding software that is in wide use within the industry today, as well as the revolutionary visual effects techniques dubbed the PeriWinkle Effect, an underwater blue screen technique, the “Pencil Effect,” which accurately predicts the final visual effects count and budget, and the Medusa Array, a tracking marker system using lasers. He also created and co-edited both the first and second editions of the VES Handbook of Visual Effects, an award-winning reference book covering all aspects of creating visual effects, techniques and practices.
The Hollywood native is a respected member of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the Academy of Television Arts and Science, and an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC).
LORNE BALFE (Composer) is a Grammy Award-winning, Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated film composer from Inverness, Scotland. Lorne is known for composing the scores to Michael Bay’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” the animated features “Penguins of Madagascar” and “Home,” as well as “Terminator Genisys.” He most recently composed the scores for “The LEGO® Batman Movie” and “Ghost in the Shell.”
Lorne composed the score for “Manny,” a documentary about the life of Manny Pacquiao, eight-division world champion and ten-time world title-winning boxer, which premiered at SXSW in 2015. Immediately following the release of “Penguins of Madagascar” in 2014, Lorne completed the score for “Home,” starring Rihanna, Jim Parsons and Steve Martin, released in March 2015. Also in 2015, he completed the score for the highly anticipated, most recent installment of the Terminator franchise, “Terminator Genisys.”
In addition to recognition for producing two of Hans Zimmer’s Oscar-nominated scores, “Sherlock Holmes” and “Inception,” Lorne has also received significant recognition for his work in the United Kingdom. In 2009, he was nominated for the Discovery of the Year World Soundtrack Award for his score for the BAFTA award-winning film “Crying with Laughter.” The same year he was nominated for the prestigious Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. While working in the UK, Lorne composed the scores for “Ironclad,” “The Sweeney,” “Not Another Happy Ending,” starring Karen Gillan, and “Side by Side.” His music was featured in the BBC and Sundance Channel miniseries “Restless,” starring Hayley Atwell, Rufus Sewell and Charlotte Rampling, for which he received a 2013 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Composition. Lorne recently continued his work with director Nick Love of “The Sweeney,” composing the score for Love’s latest film, “American Hero,” starring Stephen Dorff.
In the U.S., Lorne worked alongside director Scott Walker for “The Frozen Ground,” starring John Cusack, Nicolas Cage and Vanessa Hudgens. In collaboration with composer Rachel Portman, he completed the music for the feature documentary “Girl Rising,” directed by Academy Award nominee Richard E. Robbins, which features narration by Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett. After years of work with director Shane Salerno, Lorne’s music in the highly secretive feature documentary “Salinger,” was finally released in September 2013.
Lorne has found additional footing in the video game world. In 2011, he composed alongside Jesper Kyd for the game “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations” and earned a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Music. A year later Lorne was already hard at work as a solo composer for “Skylanders: Giants” and “Assassin’s Creed III,” that earned him his second BAFTA nomination for Best Original Music, as well as a nomination for the BSO Goldspirit Award for Best Score for a Video Game. In late 2013, “Skylanders: Swap Force” was released, as well as “Beyond: Two Souls,” featuring performances by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, for which Lorne received a BAFTA nomination for Best Original Music. He has since composed scores for all of the most recent “Skylanders” games by Activision.
Lorne began his career in Hollywood providing additional music on several major motion pictures, including “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “Rango,” “Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Madagascar 3,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and the 2009 Golden Globe-nominated film “Frost/Nixon.”
Lorne’s role as a score producer on 2008′s “The Dark Knight” earned a Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture. In 2009, Lorne was music producer and composer of the “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” video game, and score producer for Guy Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes,” which earned a 2010 Oscar nomination for Best Original Score. Only a year later, Lorne produced the score for Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” which also earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score.