Academy Award® winner Ron Howard returns to direct the latest bestseller in Dan Brown’s (The Da Vinci Code) billion-dollar Robert Langdon series, Inferno, which finds the famous symbologist (again played by Tom Hanks) on a trail of clues tied to the great Dante himself. When Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Sienna Brooks (Felicity Jones), a doctor he hopes will help him recover his memories. Together, they race across Europe and against the clock to stop a madman from unleashing a global virus that would wipe out half of the world’s population.
Columbia Pictures and Imagine Entertainment present in association with LStar Capital, a Brian Grazer Production, Inferno. Starring Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Ben Foster and Sidse Babett Knudsen. Directed by Ron Howard, with a screenplay by David Koepp, based upon the novel by Dan Brown. Produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Executive Producers are David Householter, Dan Brown, William M. Connor, Anna Culp and Ben Waisbren. Director of Photography is Salvatore Totino, ASC, A.I.C. Production Designer is Peter Wenham. Edited by Dan Hanley, ACE and Tom Elkins. Costume Designer is Julian Day. Music by Hans Zimmer.
Inferno has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America for sequences of action and violence, disturbing images, some language, thematic elements and brief sensuality. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on October 28, 2016.
ABOUT THE FILM
Following up on the worldwide successes of The Da Vinci Code (2006) and Angels & Demons (2009) is Inferno, the third highly anticipated adaptation in Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series of novels. Inferno, the latest addition in the $1.2 billion film franchise, was the best-selling adult book of 2013, proving that readers around the world can’t get enough of Robert Langdon.
The film re-teams director Ron Howard, who most recently directed the acclaimed Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, with Tom Hanks, who returns in one of his signature roles playing the quick-thinking and resourceful Langdon. Hanks explains the enduring attraction of the franchise. “There is something Dan Brown has figured out – everybody likes a good puzzle, especially one you can actually figure out the clues to one at a time and solve,” he says. “These movies give that to the audience – it is almost an interactive film, and it has been like that since The Da Vinci Code.”
Borrowing its title from Dante’s masterwork, the Latin word for Hell, Inferno has the added component of a psychological thriller. In the film, Dr. Robert Langdon wakes up to face his biggest challenge yet – he has lost his memory. Haunted by feverish visions and intense headaches, he must find out what has happened to him, and why.
Hanks explains, “Hell for Langdon in the movie is both a state of mind and a very physical experience because he is wracked with pain in his head and he is tortured by the fact he is ignorant of the reasons why.”
“Without a doubt, Robert Langdon goes through his own personal hell at the opening of this movie,” says Dan Brown. ”He wakes up in a hospital room in possession of a mysterious artifact for which people are trying to kill him. He must decipher the artifact and follow a trail of clues to find out who wants him dead and why. At the end of the day, he realizes the stakes are far greater than his own personal drama – the future of the planet is at stake.”
Inferno is the most visually stylistic film in the series so far, with a series of cryptic dream sequences that take audiences inside Langdon’s head and lend an entirely different feel than previous installments. That is precisely what draws director Ron Howard to this series – out of 23 feature films made over more than three decades as a director, the only sequels he has chosen to helm are Angels & Demons and now Inferno. “There have been characters that I love as much as I love Robert Langdon, but I always want to push myself to do something different. It’s more interesting than repeating yourself,” Howard explains. “But that’s what’s so great about the movies based on Dan Brown’s books – each of them is so different, and he explores such different themes in each adventure. Inferno is the most stylistically different yet. With this series, I get to go back and revisit a character I love while continuing to push myself in new directions.”
In the film, Langdon must make sense of clues relating to Dante’s epic poem. Howard explains, “Langdon’s hallucinating mind is tormented by a man obsessed with Dante. He’s forced to pick up the pieces and make sense of this clue path that’s been laid before him.”
“Dante invented our modern conception of Hell,” says producer Brian Grazer. “In the book, Dante witnesses sinners on Earth punished by poetic justice. That becomes the basis of the puzzles Langdon has to solve in this movie. Dante described Hell; the painter Boticelli visualized Hell; but only Robert Langdon, the symbologist, can prevent Hell on Earth by stopping the release of a deadly virus.”
One of the reasons Brown’s books strike a chord is his genius at translating the real mysteries of history into pulse-pounding thrillers for modern audiences. In Inferno, the underlying source for Brown’s inspiration is Dante’s Inferno. Dante, the great Italian poet of the 14th century, sought to describe the journey of the soul toward God, with the first step being the rejection of sin. In the epic poem, Dante himself is led through nine circles of Hell, where he sees unrepentant sinners punished by poetic justice: fortune tellers have their heads on backwards, unable to see what lies ahead; corrupt politicians with “sticky fingers” are submerged in boiling tar. The greatest punishments are reserved for Dante’s greatest villains, all traitors: in Satan’s three mouths, to be chewed throughout eternity, are Cassius and Brutus, who murdered Julius Caesar, and Judas Iscariot.
For Brown, the challenge was to take a work of genius that has inspired readers and artists for 800 years and find the elements that would springboard him into a Robert Langdon thriller. The answer came as Brown imagined what a modern idea of Hell would be, coming up with two concepts that fit neatly together: on the one hand, an overpopulated world, in which billions of people are unable to find sustenance, and on the other, a disease that takes out half the world’s population. And for this Hell on Earth, Brown borrows Dante’s idea of poetic justice: in order to punish mankind for overpopulating the world beyond the planet’s means, a villain will release a deadly disease that will kill billions.
“I wanted to create a villain who is deeply troubled by the issue of overpopulation on earth and decides to fix the problem himself,” says Dan Brown. “I’d read Dante as a kid, both in high school and college, but in order to write this novel, I had to re-read it many times in order to figure out how to create a palatable thriller out of a thirteenth century epic poem.”
Of course, Tom Hanks returns as the Harvard symbologist. Howard says the role fits the man like a glove. “Part of the reason everybody loves Tom in this role is that, in real life, he is Robert Langdon,” says Howard. “Both are driven by curiosity, share a dry sense of humor, and are men who, when faced with a puzzle, are like a dog with a bone – they are fascinated by the world around them and have the wonderful kind of mind that is able to decode it. And that’s all on top of the fact that he’s one of the best actors of our generation.”
Hanks enjoys returning time and again to the role of Robert Langdon because there’s nothing quite like unraveling a riddle. “Dan Brown created a character that can always be called into play: there’s always going to be a mystery worth analyzing,” he says. “These movies are fun and you learn something.”
Once again, the international setting of the tale Dan Brown has spun offered the filmmakers a chance to surround Hanks with a cast of global actors: the British Felicity Jones as Sienna Brooks; the French actor Omar Sy as Christoph Bouchard; Indian star Irrfan Khan as Harry Sims; and Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen as Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey. Ben Foster, an American, also stars, as the bioengineer Bertrand Zobrist. “One of the thrilling aspects of a Dan Brown story is that the international setting truly offers the opportunity to cast the best person for the role, regardless of their nationality,” says Brian Grazer. “It’s important and necessary, because one of the ways Ron is telling the story of Langdon’s global adventure is in surrounding him with a cast that looks and sounds like the entire world.”
Just as he did in The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, Dan Brown touches on topics in Inferno that are highly relevant to today’s world. In Brown’s novels and in the films, Hanks points out, “There is always some degree of a question.” In Inferno, the questions revolve around overpopulation. “Are there really too many people being born? Is there a way we may be able to solve our overpopulation? Or will our world become a new version of Dante’s Inferno?”
Like its predecessors, Inferno is also a truly worldwide adventure. “That is one of the great bonuses of being in one of these movies,” says Hanks. “We have always gone to fascinating places, real places. On Inferno, we were actually on the roof of Basilica of San Marco in Venice and that is production value par excellence!”
“It’s always great when you’re making any movie when you can be in the actual locations,” says Howard. “Set construction is great, CGI is fantastic, but there’s nothing like when you’re actually in the place, and the way it influences everybody involved in front of and behind the camera.”
In typical Dan Brown fashion, the audience is right there with Langdon as he unravels each mystery, creating an unforgettable experience that audiences have come to expect from these films.
“Inferno has every reason to be exciting to audiences, because it has drama, it has action, it’s a thriller, it has a human dimension,” explains Grazer. “It has all these sort of thriller components, a very big international cast, you travel throughout the world in a very kind of exotic and in some ways almost a fantasy way and it’s driven by Langdon played by Tom Hanks.”
The film, Grazer points out, works well as part of the franchise while also standing on its own. “If you haven’t seen The Da Vinci Code or Angels and Demons for that matter, you will still love it, because it works as a separate unit, as a film independent of any of that. But it’s a great introduction to this global franchise.”
Ben Foster puts the experience into perspective. “I really love this series of films,” says Foster. “You learn something, there are great characters, you get to travel around the world and they keep you on the edge of your seat. It is good, fun moviemaking.”
ABOUT THE CAST
Shooting in locations all around the world also allows for a truly diverse cast and crew. “What’s so spectacular about doing these Dan Brown/Robert Langdon thrillers is that you get to create, in an organic way, a reason for an international cast to exist,” explains producer Brian Grazer.
At the center of the film, of course, is Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon. He says that Inferno marks a major point of departure for the character. “He usually knows everything there is to know about symbols, art, history, architecture, politics, and geopolitical cultures. But when the movie starts, he has no idea where he is or why,” says Hanks. “He goes to Venice, Florence and Istanbul – places he is supposed to know backwards and forwards, but he doesn’t. The mystery starts immediately – how did he get amnesia? Why is he here?”
Opposite Hanks is the Academy Award® nominated actress Felicity Jones, who stars as Dr. Sienna Brooks. For Jones, there is more to her character than meets the eye. “Sienna is a young woman who is a strong environmentalist, full of conviction,” says Jones. “Sienna Brooks is not everything she seems but on the surface she is someone that gets involved in a mystery relating to finding a deadly virus.”
That is one of the aspects that drew Jones to the role, she says: “This is really a contemporary story about paranoia, fear of governments, and who we can trust.”
For inspiration in playing her character, Jones says she went straight to the source material. “When I knew I had the part of Sienna, I read Dan Brown’s book – it was a really fun read,” she recalls. “Throughout filming, I would keep coming back to the book for Sienna and find little clues about her backstory that I could use in playing her. The book was a really good resource throughout filming.”
French actor Omar Sy, who plays the character of Christoph Bouchard, talks about the international cast and crew gathered for Inferno. “There are English, American, Italian, Hungarian, French, Indian, Danish and Swiss – all these people from around the world working towards the same goal, moving in the same direction and giving all their energy to the same project,” says Sy. “It is a very good feeling and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
For Sy, Inferno marked a welcome chance to play a role in dramatic opposition to a screen persona that is well-known in France, but not as famous in the US. “I have a background in comedy – I’m always smiling,” he explains, “but in this movie, Ron gave me the chance to play a tough guy, and I feel very lucky. It’s always been my dream to play this kind of a role. Actually, it was not difficult – I just cut out the smile!”
Ben Foster plays the complex Bertrand Zobrist, who is the main force behind setting the plot into motion. “The character I’m playing is a bioengineer, a provocateur I suppose, who is discussing the deadly realities of overpopulation,” Foster explains. “He is determined to create a virus and release it in protection of the Earth’s best interests.”
“The first thing Ron said to me was that he didn’t want people leaving the theater thinking my character was either the bad guy or the good guy,” Foster continues. “It was important to him that people are left with a question.”
Part of what makes Zobrist a fascinating target is that though his methods are insane, he lays out a methodical and (almost) convincing case for their necessity. “The dialogue was very tricky, because it was important to Ron and to David Koepp, the screenwriter, that all of our statistics were correct,” Foster says. “We are dealing with real facts, organized to make a compelling argument. Animals, farms, forests, and land have been cultivated to help an ecosystem survive. When you start looking at the human animal, those questions become personal and frightening very quickly.”
Indian superstar Irrfan Khan plays Harry Sims, Provost of the Command Risk Consortium. “Initially, Sims runs the consortium that is looking after Zobrist’s interests,” says Khan. “Zobrist is a client of the Consortium but the World Health Organization has an idea that he is trying to develop a virus that can reduce the world’s population by half so they are keen to question him. My mission in the film becomes to stop Zobrist’s dream from becoming reality.”
Though the film shot in so many dramatic, real-world locations, Khan says that the location that best reflects his character is one that was built on a soundstage: Sims’ office on the Consortium ship. “I love the way they created my office – it is so high-tech, precise and cool,” he says. “Everything is meticulous, and that is how the Provost is; he is doing a very dangerous, secretive job, and that is what the set reflects.”
Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen plays Dr. Elizabeth Sinskey, the leader of the World Health Organization who works to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. “She is chasing this virus with a very limited amount of time before it breaks out and kills us all,” she says. “She also shares a past with Robert Langdon.”
Best-known among US bingewatchers for her leading role in the Danish television series “Borgen,” Knudsen says she was drawn to the role by the fact that her character is something of an enigma initially. “I like that, for quite a while, Sinskey is a mystery woman,” says Knudsen. We do not know what her agenda is but she has a double agenda, just like every other character in the film. So we played around with that and had fun with it.”
Inferno also marked a first for Knudsen: she had never done stunt work before. “I did some underwater stuff on the cistern set,” she notes. “I had to go down into the water, secure a bag, and place it into a cube containment case. It was actually a difficult procedure, because I couldn’t see that well under the water. It was exciting – I didn’t know I could hold my breath for that long.”
The film keeps the line between who’s good and who’s bad up to interpretation, leaving the audience guessing. Explains Omar Sy, “The difference between this film and the previous two is that this is a chase and the clock is ticking, which keeps up the pace. Also there is a philosophical question about our existence on this planet that is very interesting. I wonder what side the audience will take.”
ABOUT THE LOCATIONS
Beautiful and historically significant locations form the backdrop to the mystery thriller Inferno. A huge 70% of the film was shot on location in the cities of Venice, Florence, Budapest, and Istanbul.
Filming kicked off in the spectacular St Mark’s Square as Langdon and Sienna follow the clues to Doge’s Palace.
St. Mark’s Square or Piazza San Marco is the symbolic heart of Venice; it has been referred to as the drawing room of Europe. With the grand St. Mark’s Church at one end, the Campanile bell tower rising in the middle and the elegant colonnaded arcade of famous cafes on three sides. The Doge’s Palace, situated on the water front of the square, is a Venetian gothic style building. As the name suggests, it was the resident of the Doge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Republic of Venice. The palace was opened as a museum in 1923.
The chase sequence through Florence takes Langdon and Sienna through the grand gardens of the Palazzo Pitti, leading to their escape route through a secret doorway in Boboli Gardens. The doorway leads to the Vasari Corridor, which runs entire length of the Ponte Vecchio and into the Uffzi Gallery. Having failed to capture their target, Sinskey and Bouchard reconvene in the Palazzo Courtyard.
The Palazzo Pitti is a huge palace dating back to 15th Century. It was most famously owned by the Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, and was the family’s official residence.
Rising behind the Palazzo are the majestic Boboli Gardens. They were originally designed for the Medici and are one of the earliest examples of the Italian Garden which later inspired those of many European courts. The gardens extend over a vast area forming an open-air museum with antique and Renaissance statues, grottoes and large fountains.
Unique to Florence is the Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge). It’s most striking feature is the multitude of shops built on its edges, held up by stilts. The bridge also carries Vasari’s elevated corridor linking the Palazzo Pitti to the Uffizi Museum, one of the finest art galleries of the world. First constructed by the Etruscans in ancient times, this bridge is the only one in the city to have survived World War II intact.
Continuing along the path of clues, Langdon and Sienna find themselves in the magnificent Hall of 500 at the Palazzo Vecchio.
The Palazzo Vecchio is the town hall of Florence and one of the most significant public places in Italy. Although most of Palazzo Vecchio is now a museum, it remains the symbol of local government. Since 1872 it has housed the office of the Mayor of Florence and it is the seat of the City Council. The Inferno production filmed for four days here to capture scenes of Langdon tracing his steps through the events that lead to his situation. The crew utilized several spaces at Palazzo Vecchio including the Hall of 500, the Hall of Geographical Maps or Wardrobe, and the First Courtyard.
Langdon and Sienna then follow the trail left by Zobrist to the Baptistery in Florence, also known as the Baptistery of St. John.
The Baptistery is situated in the Piazza del Duomo. Not only is the Baptistery one of the oldest buildings in the city (construction began in 1059), it is also one of Florence’s most important religious buildings. Renowned for its remarkable bronze doors, the “doors of paradise,” Dante and many other notable Renaissance figures were baptized here, as were all Catholic Florentines until the end of the nineteenth century.
It is an octagonal building, covered on the outside with white and green marble. On the inside, the dome is entirely covered with mosaic showing the Angelic Hierarchies, scenes from Genesis, the life of Joseph the Patriarch, the life of Jesus Christ, the life of St. John the Baptist and the Last Judgment.
Several scenes were filmed in Budapest, including much of the film’s stage work. Out on location, the city’s European feel was able to double for the locations in much of the rest of the film.
For example, the scene in which Langdon and Sienna discover the disappearance of the Dante death mask in Palazzo Vecchio was actually filmed at the Ethnographical Museum in Budapest. This is also where the incriminating CCTV footage is played back to Langdon and Sienna’s shock.
The Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is one of Europe’s largest, most important museums. Its diverse collections house more than 200,000 ethnographic artifacts, as well as historical photographs, manuscripts, folk music recordings, films, and videos of both Hungarian and international cultural interest.
Scenes in which Langdon and Sienna are chased through St Mark’s Basilica subterranean chapel in Venice were filmed in the basement of the remarkable Kiscelli Museum in Budapest.
Situated on the hillside in Buda, the Kiscelli Museum is the ensemble of a former baroque monastery and church. Over the decades, the building was also used as military barracks and hospital before it was purchased in 1910 by the Vienna-based art collector and furniture manufacturer Max Schmidt, who turned it into a luxurious mansion. In Schmidt’s last will, he left the property and land to the people of Buda on the provision that it become a park and museum open to the public. Despite being badly damaged in World War II, the property still stands and serves as a spectacular museum and art gallery.
The terrifying and grotesque scenes that play in Langdon’s visions were shot in a picturesque street to the side of the Hungarian State Opera House.
The Hungarian State Opera House was designed by Miklos Ybl, a major figure of 19th century Hungarian architecture, and was first opened to the public in 1884.
Built in neo-Renaissance style, with elements of Baroque, ornamentation includes paintings and sculptures by leading figures of Hungarian art. In terms of beauty and the quality of acoustics, the Budapest Opera House is considered to be amongst the finest opera houses in the world.
The Hungarian National Museum served as Harvard University for the scenes in which Langdon struggles to recover his memory.
The Hungarian National Museum (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum) is the oldest public museum in Hungary. The present building was constructed between 1837 and 1847, and it stands as a great example of Neo-Classicist architecture. Founded 200 years ago, the museum is dedicated to the history of Hungary and today it remains a symbol of Hungary’s national identity.
A small crew followed to the mystical city of Istanbul, Turkey, for a weekend to shoot scenes of Langdon, Sinskey and Sims’ arrival at the breathtaking Hagia Sofia.
The Hagia Sofia was once a church, then a mosque and is now a museum. Built by the order of the Eastern Roman emperor Justinian at the 6th century AD, it is the only building in the world that served to three religions; Pagan, Christian Orthodox and Sunni Islam.
There are large cisterns under the building which are described by historians as big enough for a boat to fit in. These cisterns were replicated by the Inferno art department for filming the climax of the movie on the studio lot in Budapest.
ABOUT THE DESIGN
Although many of the scenes set in Venice, Florence, and Istanbul were shot in those cities, some scenes were shot in Budapest, doubling for those cities. Very often, a single location within the film would actually be shot over different locations in different cities, and it was the job of production designer Peter Wenham to make those transitions seamless.
To make one city look like another, Wenham oversaw the transformation. There are obvious examples of his handiwork, like transforming the signage and license plates on cars from Hungarian into Italian – and less obvious examples. “The street lighting was very important,” he says. “In Florence, the lamps have extended iron arms that extend from the walls, and little lancets that are dominant. We fit shutters to the exterior of buildings – anyone who’s been to Florence has seen that. It was very important to give that illusion.”
Another illusion was Wenham’s transformation of Budapest’s Ethnographical Museum into the Italian space that houses Dante’s death mask. Although filming in the real space was impossible, Wenham notes that an imagined space suited the story better anyway: “In the real place, the actual mask is in a wooden cabinet with a bit of red silk behind it,” he says.
With free rein to imagine a more cinematic space, Wenham’s imagination was let loose at the Budapest museum. “The spaces themselves – the widths of the corridors, the transitional pieces into different areas – felt just right.” What wasn’t right was the neoclassical architecture of the city. “There’s a lot of variety of architecture in Budapest, but if there’s one thing it isn’t, it’s Italian.” To make the space work, Wenham’s department gave the museum a costume of sorts. “We went to considerable lengths with foaming, cladding, and latexing existing marble – we painted over that, and removed it afterwards. It was like putting on a new skin.”
Budapest also proved to be a match for Venice, as Wenham recreated the crypts below San Marco. “Practically speaking, the action lends itself to either a set or a location not so precious at the Basilica itself,” he says. “We were able to shoot on the balcony, but the transition through the church is a combination of some set pieces that we’d built on stage mixed with some plate work. We found a museum in Budapest that worked – it was a very dusty, crumbly old place, and we put in a new floor that we replicated photographically from the real crypt floor. Then we put in the railings and built an altar for the religious artifacts.”
Other locations were built on sets in Budapest: for example, Wenham’s team created the subterranean cistern set below the Hagia Sophia. To suit the story, the water in the set is a bit deeper than it is in real life, and Wenham’s set is, by his estimation, about one-fifth the size of the real place; with blue screen on two sides, the VFX team added to Wenham’s set to make it look even larger.
Wenham was also intricately involved in the design of the Hell Street sequences – cryptic dream sequences in which the visions of Dante’s Hell come to life in Langdon’s mind. “It’s a bizarre environment we created,” he says. “We’re not in Europe. We’re not in America. We wanted it too look like a normal street with normal people, until you look at it a bit more closely and see that it’s very odd. The cars are all black. We blended the signage with the tonality of the buildings themselves. The road workers in the middle of the road are using pikes, like those in Botticelli’s map of hell. All of these subtleties are peppered into a seemingly normal, contemporary landscape that gets more and more bizarre as Langdon’s mind gets deeper and deeper into his confusion.”
Zobrist’s deadly virus, Inferno, was made by the prop department with the following recipe: 40% water, 30% vegetable oil and 30% tomato ketchup.
Ron Howard enlisted the help of philosopher and futurist Jason Silva to help build the harrowing YouTube video Zobrist produces to support his idea that over population will lead to human extinction.
The prop department made a total of 15 Dante Death Masks for the film, ensuring they would never be caught without one.
Whilst filming in Florence, the production made a donation to the Palazzo Vecchio for the restoration of home of Dante’s death mask.
When Vayentha falls from the ceiling in the Hall of 500, in order to protect the ancient flooring, the SFX department manufactured a fake pool of blood made out of red silicone.
Langdon and Sienna were dressed in Ferragamo.
Whilst in Florence, Ron Howard was honored by the mayor and presented with the Keys to the City. In ancient times, when it was common for European towns to be ringed by walls, visiting dignitaries were presented with a key to the city gate as a gesture of trust and kindness. Today’s gesture of presenting keys is similar in sentiment if not in function.
For the drone scene chasing Langdon and Sienna through Boboli Gardens, the camera team had to deploy two drones; one to follow the actors and the other to film the action.
Ana Ularu had never driven a motorbike before taking the part of Vayentha… now she is hooked and is looking forward to getting her license!
For filming Langdon’s visions of hell, the special effects department purchased 9,000 liters of fake, sugar-based blood.
ABOUT THE CAST
TOM HANKS (Robert Langdon) is an award-winning actor, producer and director. One of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards®, he won his first Oscar® in 1994 for his moving portrayal of AIDS-stricken lawyer Andrew Beckett in Jonathan Demme’s Philadelphia. The following year, he took home his second Oscar® for his unforgettable performance in the title role of Robert Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump. He also won Golden Globe Awards for both films, as well as a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for the latter.
Hanks has also been honored with Academy Award® nominations for his performances in Penny Marshall’s Big, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and Robert Zemeckis’ Cast Away, also winning Golden Globes for Big and Cast Away.
Hanks was most recently seen in Stephen Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Tom Tykwer’s A Hologram for the King, and Clint Eastwood’s Sully. His upcoming films include James Ponsoldt’s The Circle.
In 2013, Hanks was seen starring in Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominated film Captain Phillips, for which he received SAG, Bafta and Golden Globe nominations as well as in AFI’s Movie of the Year Saving Mr. Banks with Emma Thompson.
His other feature credits include the Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachoski film Cloud Atlas; Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; the animated adventure The Polar Express, which he also executive produced and which reunited him with director Robert Zemeckis; the Coen brothers’ The Ladykillers; Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and Catch Me If You Can; Sam Mendes’ Road to Perdition; Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile; Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle; Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own; Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, and Splash; and the computer-animated blockbusters Cars, Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
Hanks’ work on the big screen has translated to success on the small screen. Following Apollo 13, he executive produced and hosted the acclaimed HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon,” also directing one segment, and writing several others. His work on the miniseries brought him Emmy, Golden Globe and Producers Guild Awards, as well as an Emmy nomination for Best Director.
His collaboration with Steven Spielberg on Saving Private Ryan led to them executive producing the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” based on the book by Stephen Ambrose. Hanks also directed a segment and wrote another segment of the fact-based miniseries, which won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Miniseries. In addition, Hanks earned an Emmy Award for Best Director and an Emmy nomination for Best Writing, and received another Producers Guild Award for his work on the project.
In 2008, Hanks executive produced the critically acclaimed HBO miniseries “John Adams,” starring Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson. It won 13 Emmy Awards, including the Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe for Best Miniseries, and a PGA Award. More recently, Hanks and Spielberg re-teamed for the award-winning HBO miniseries “The Pacific,” for which Hanks once again served as executive producer. The ten-part program won eight Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries, and brought Hanks his fourth PGA Award.
In 2012, Hanks executive produced the HBO political drama starring Julianne Moore and Ed Harris, which follows Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate in his 2008 Presidential campaign. GAME CHANGE was awarded Emmy and Golden Globes for Best Miniseries/Television Film as well as earning several other awards and nominations. In 2013, Hanks served as host, narrator and historical commentator for the two hour National Geographic television movie based on the best-selling book Killing Lincoln. In 2013, Hanks and Playtone produced the Emmy nominated CNN documentary series, “The Sixties,” and in 2014, the HBO miniseries, “Olive Kitteridge,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Elizabeth Strout. In 2015, “Olive Kitteridge” won eight Emmy awards, including Outstanding Limited Series, three Critics’ Choice Television Awards, a DGA award and a SAG award. In 2015, Hanks and Playtone produced “The Seventies” and in 2016, “The Eighties.”
In 1996, Hanks made his successful feature film writing and directing debut with That Thing You Do, in which he also starred. He more recently wrote, produced, directed and starred in Larry Crowne, with Julia Roberts. Under his and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone banner, they produced 2002’s smash hit romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding, with his wife Rita Wilson. Other producing credits include Where the Wild Things Are, The Polar Express, The Ant Bully, Charlie Wilson’s War, Mamma Mia!, The Great Buck Howard, Starter for 10 and the HBO series “Big Love.”
In 2013, Hanks made his Broadway debut in Nora Ephron’s “Lucky Guy.” His performance earned him Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Tony nominations.
In 2002, Hanks received the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was later honored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center with the Chaplin Award in 2009. In 2014, Hanks received a Kennedy Center Honor.
FELICITY JONES (Sienna Brooks) is best known for her Academy Award®, BAFTA, SAG and Golden Globe-nominated starring role opposite Eddie Redmayne in James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything. Inspired by Jane Hawking’s memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, the movie details the love story between Stephen Hawking, the Cambridge cosmology student, and Jane Wilde, the arts student he fell in love with at University in the 1960s.
Soon after, Jones landed the hotly-contested lead roles in several films hitting the big screen soon, including Disney’s Star Wars: Rogue One, directed by Gareth Edwards, in theaters worldwide on December 16, 2016, and J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls opposite Liam Neeson, in theaters January 6, 2017. She will also be seen in Collide with Nicholas Hoult and Ben Kingsley.
Jones’s past film credits include The Invisible Woman, the story of Charles Dickens’s secret mistress, in which she stars with Ralph Fiennes, who also directed; Rupert Goold’s drama True Story opposite Jonah Hill and James Franco; Breathe In, which reteamed her with director Drake Doremus; and Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
American audiences first took notice of Jones in 2011 as the star of Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy, in which she appeared opposite Anton Yelchin. The film debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim, earning the Grand Jury prize for American Dramatic Film and Jones a Special Jury Award for acting. She also was named Breakthrough Actor at the Gotham Awards and Breakthrough Performance by the National Board of Review.
Prior, Jones was seen in films including David Hare’s Page 8; Julie Taymor’s film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, also starring Dame Helen Mirren; Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Cemetery Junction alongside a stellar cast including Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson and Matthew Goode; and Brideshead Revisited. Her extensive TV credits include the critically acclaimed BBC adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank;” a guest-starring role on HBO’s hit series “Girls;” and Jane Austen’s “Northhanger Abbey.”
A veteran of the stage, Jones recently earned rave reviews in Michael Grandage’s production of “Luise Miller.” Additional theater credits include “That Face” at the Royal Court and Enid Bagnold’s “The Chalk Garden,” which earned her an Outstanding Newcomer nomination at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards.
Acclaimed by the critics and the entire world as one of the best actors of his times, IRRFAN KHAN (Harry Sims) hails from India. Born and brought up in Jaipur into feudal Nawab family, though he had no one from the entertainment field in his family, his passion since childhood was acting. While he was doing his masters, he earned a scholarship to study at the premium institute National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi. An actor par excellence, who has carved his own path by defying the conventional paths in Indian entertainment industry, he has changed the rules of the Hindi film industry to redefine heroism in Hindi cinema. His kind of films has made youngsters in India come back into cinema looking for an alternative entertainment and seeking more from cinema then given usually. Having a body of work of more then eighty films in India, he has a remarkable list of films, including Paan Singh Tomar, Haasil, Life In A Metro, Maqbool, The Lunchbox, Piku and Talvaar, which embarked the beginning of a new definition of entertaining cinema in India. In the west, he has many films, including The Namesake, New York, I Love You, A Mighty Heart, The Darjeeling Limited, The Amazing Spider-Man, Life of Pi, and Jurassic World as well as in the HBO series “In Treatment.” His upcoming credits include a Japanese-American TV series. He has won three Filmfare Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Independent Spirit Award nomination in 2011. The actor has received a national award for best actor award in 2012 for his film Paan Singh Tomar, he became a recipient of the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India.
OMAR SY (Christoph Brouchard) is an award-winning actor, comedian, comic writer, and television personality quickly establishing himself as an international star. Having starred in over 30 films in 15 years, Sy became a household name in France with the smash hit The Intouchables, his third film with directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano. His performance earned him a César for Best Actor in 2012, and the BAFTA- and Golden Globe-nominated film went on to gross over $425 million worldwide, $166m of that coming from France. He reteamed with Nakache and Toledano in 2014 for Samba.
In December, Sy will be seen in Hugo Gélin’s Demain Tout Commence.
Over the last several years, Sy broke into American film by starring in X-Men: Days of Future Past with Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Michael Fassbender, as well as Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World with Chris Pratt. Both films went on to achieve the highest worldwide box office grosses in their respective franchises, with Jurassic World currently ranking as the third highest domestic and worldwide gross ever.
Sy more recently starred in John Wells’ Burnt with Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Lily James, and Alicia Vikander, as well as Roschdy Zem’s French-language period piece Chocolat.
SIDSE BABETT KNUDSEN (Elizabeth Sinskey) is considered one of the best Danish actresses of her generation, working in theater, television, and film.
From 1987 to 1992, Knudsen trained in acting at the Theater De L’Ombre in Paris. Upon returning to Denmark, Knudsen played various roles at the leading theatres in Copenhagen, including Dr. Dante, Betty Nansen and The Royal Danish Theatre.
Knudsen made her screen debut in the 1997 improvisational comedy Let’s Get Lost by Danish director Jonas Elmer, for which she received both the Robert and Bodil Awards for Best Actress. Knudsen played the lead Julie – the film’s script was only an outline, requiring the actors to improvise their roles and dialogue. Critics called Knudsen’s performance dominating. Film critic Kim Skotte of Politiken wrote that Knudsen had hit a new tone with a “special ability to capture the modern woman’s uncertainty and strength.”
Knudsen played the lead character in Susanne Bier’s 1999 romantic comedy The One and Only. The film became one of the decade’s biggest box-office hits in Denmark. It marked a new direction in modern Danish romantic comedies with credit given to Knudsen’s acting style. She again earned both the Robert Award and the Bodil Award for Best Actress.
Knudsen has over the past decade portrayed many different lead characters in film and at the theater, always showcasing her great dramatic and comic talent, for which she has been recognized with great critical acclaim and many nominations and awards.
In 2006 Knudsen received nominations for her lead role in Susanne Bier’s After the Wedding. The film was nominated for the Academy Award® for Best Foreign Language Film, and Knudsen won among others Best Actress at the Rouen Nordic Film Festival.
Knudsen has had great success, in Denmark and abroad, for the lead as Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg in the critically acclaimed Television Drama-series “Borgen,” for which she also received the Golden Nymph Award as Outstanding Actress in Monte Carlo 2011 and a BAFTA in 2012. The series consisted of three seasons and all have been running successfully in numerous countries. Knudsen’s great success with “Borgen” has led to international opportunities.
Internationally, Knudsen’s first foreign project was the lead in the UK feature The Duke of Burgundy directed by Peter Strickland then feature film A Hologram for the King from German director Tom Tykwer. In October, she will be seen in HBO series “Westworld.”
Knudsen has also starred in two French feature films: L’Hermine, for which she received the French César award, and La Fille de Brest, which will open on Toronto film festival in September 2016.
BEN FOSTER (Bertrand Zobrist) currently stars opposite Chris Pine and Jeff Bridges in David Mackenzie’s critical smash Hell or High Water. He recently finished playing Stanley Kowalski in the Young Vic’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Gillian Anderson at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn; the production originated last year at London’s Young Vic. In the last year, Foster has appeared in The Finest Hours for Disney and director Craig Gillespie, and as Lance Armstrong in the Stephen Frears-directed film The Program. In 2013, Foster made his Broadway debut in a revival of Lyle Kessler’s play “Orphans,” opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge. Other notable film credits include Pete Berg’s hit Lone Survivor opposite Mark Wahlberg; John Krokidas’ Kill Your Darlings in which he played poet William Burroughs; David Lowery’s critically acclaimed debut Ain’t Them Bodies Saints opposite Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck; Oren Moverman’s The Messenger opposite Woody Harrelson, Fernando Mereilles’ 360, Nick Cassavetes’ Alpha Dog, Braden King’s Here, Baltasar Kormakur’s Contraband, Ratner’s X-Men: The Last Stand, and James Mangold’s 3:10 To Yuma opposite Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. He made his film debut playing the lead in Barry Levinson’s film Liberty Heights. On television, Foster memorably recurred as Russell Corwin in HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” In 2011, Foster stepped into a new role as a producer of Oren Moverman’s Rampart and played a memorable role in the film opposite Woody Harrelson. Earlier this year, he directed the newly released music video for Emily Wells’ track “Pack of Nobodies.” Foster recently finished shooting the film Hostiles, reteaming with Christian Bale for director Scott Cooper.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker RON HOWARD (Director / Producer) is one of this generation’s most popular directors. From the critically acclaimed dramas A Beautiful Mind and Apollo 13 to the hit comedies Parenthood and Splash, he has created some of Hollywood’s most memorable films.
Howard directed and produced Cinderella Man starring Oscar® winner Russell Crowe, with whom he previously collaborated on A Beautiful Mind, for which Howard earned an Oscar® for Best Director and which also won awards for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. The film garnered four Golden Globes as well, including the award for Best Motion Picture Drama. Additionally, Howard won Best Director of the Year from the Directors Guild of America. Howard and producer Brian Grazer received the first annual Awareness Award from the National Mental Health Awareness Campaign for their work on the film.
Howard’s skill as a director has long been recognized. In 1995, he received his first Best Director of the Year award from the DGA for Apollo 13. The true-life drama also garnered nine Academy Award® nominations, winning Oscars® for Best Film Editing and Best Sound. It also received Best Ensemble Cast and Best Supporting Actor awards from the Screen Actors Guild. Many of Howard’s past films have received nods from the Academy, including the popular hits Backdraft, Parenthood and Cocoon, the last of which took home two Oscars®. Howard was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image in December 2005, and by the American Cinema Editors in February 2006. Howard and his creative partner Brian Grazer, were honored by the Producers Guild of America with the Milestone Award in January 2009, NYU’s Tisch School of Cinematic Arts with the Big Apple Award in November 2009 and by the Simon Wiesenthal Center with their Humanitarian Award in May 2010. In June 2010, Howard was honored by the Chicago Film Festival with their Gold Hugo – Career Achievement Award. In March 2013, Howard was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. In December 2015, Howard was honored with a star in the Motion Pictures category, making him one of the very few to have been recognized with two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Howard is currently in post-production on a documentary series about the rock legends The Beatles. He is also working on the series “Breakthrough,” in its second season, and on “Mars,” both for NatGeo.
Howard’s recent films include In The Heart of the Sea, based on the true story that inspired Moby Dick; the critically acclaimed drama RUSH, staring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brüel, written by Peter Morgan; and Made In America, a music documentary he directed staring Jay Z for Showtime.
Howard also produced and directed the film adaptation of Peter Morgan’s critically acclaimed play Frost / Nixon. The film, which was released in December 2009, was nominated for five Academy Awards® including Best Picture, and was also nominated for The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by the PGA.
Howard’s portfolio includes some of the most popular films of the past 20 years. In 1991, Howard created the acclaimed drama Backdraft, starring Robert De Niro, Kurt Russell and William Baldwin. He followed it with the historical epic Far and Away, starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Howard directed Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise and Delroy Lindo in the 1996 suspense thriller Ransom. Howard worked with Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise and Kathleen Quinlan on Apollo 13, which was re-released recently in the IMAX format.
Howard’s other films include the comedy The Dilemma staring Vince Vaughn and Kevin James; his adaptation of Dan Brown’s best-selling novels Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, staring Oscar® winner Tom Hanks; the blockbuster holiday favorite Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey; Parenthood starring Steve Martin; the fantasy epic Willow; Night Shift starring Henry Winkler, Michael Keaton and Shelley Long; and the suspenseful western, The Missing, staring Oscar® winners Cate Blachett and Tommy Lee Jones.
Howard has also served as an executive producer on a number of award-winning films and television shows, such as the HBO miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”; Fox’s Emmy Award winner for Best Comedy, “Arrested Development,” a series which he also narrated; Netflix’s release of new episodes of “Arrested Development”; and NBC’s “Parenthood.”
Howard made his directorial debut in 1978 with the comedy Grand Theft Auto. He began his career in film as an actor. He first appeared in The Journey and The Music Man, then as Opie on the long-running television series The Andy Griffith Show. Howard later starred in the popular series Happy Days and drew favorable reviews for his performances in American Graffiti and The Shootist.
Howard and long-time producing partner Brian Grazer first collaborated on the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash. The pair co-founded Imagine Entertainment in 1986 to create independently produced feature films.
DAVID KOEPP (Screenplay) has written and directed the films Premium Rush (2012), Ghost Town (2008), Secret Window (2004), Stir of Echoes (1999), The Trigger Effect (1996), and Suspicious (1994). He wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for the films Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014), Angels and Demons (2009), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), War of the Worlds (2005), Zathura (2005), Spider-Man (2002), Panic Room (2002), Snake Eyes (1998), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Mission: Impossible (1996), The Shadow (1994), The Paper (1994), Jurassic Park (1993), Carlito’s Way (1993), Death Becomes Her (1992), Toy Soldiers (1991), Bad Influence (1990), and Apartment Zero (1989).
Premium Rush, Zathura, and Ghost Town were co-written with John Kamps.
Koepp was born in Pewaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from UCLA’s film school in 1986. He lives in London with his wife and children.
DAN BROWN (Based Upon the Novel By / Executive Producer) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including The Da Vinci Code, Inferno, The Lost Symbol, Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and Digital Fortress. There are more than 200 million copies of Dan Brown’s books in print worldwide, and his novels have been translated into 56 languages. He lives in New England with his wife and is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher before turning his efforts fully to writing. Visit him at www.danbrown.com and follow him at @AuthorDanBrown on Twitter.
Academy Award® and Emmy® award-winning producer and New York Times bestselling author BRIAN GRAZER (Producer) has been making movies and television programs for more than 30 years. As both a writer and producer, he has been personally nominated for four Academy Awards®, and in 2002 he won the Best Picture Oscar® for A Beautiful Mind. He has produced many Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning television shows including the drama series “24,” which ran for 9 seasons and the comedy series “Arrested Development.” He latest television production, “Empire,” is a critic and fan favorite.
Over the years, Grazer’s films and TV shows have been nominated for a total of 43 Oscars® and 158 Emmys. At the same time, his movies have generated more than $13 billion in worldwide theatrical, music, merchandising and video grosses. Reflecting this combination of commercial and artistic achievement, the Producers Guild of America honored Grazer with the David O. Selznick Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. His accomplishments have also been recognized by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which in 1998 added Grazer to the short list of producers with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On March 6th, 2003, ShoWest celebrated Grazer’s success by honoring him with its Lifetime Achievement Award. In May 2007, Grazer was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In January 2009, Grazer and his creative partner, Ron Howard, were honored by the Producers Guild of America with the Milestone Award. In November 2009, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts honored them with the Big Apple Award, and in May 2010, they were honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center with its Humanitarian Award. In February 2011, Grazer was the Motion Picture Sound Editors 2011 Filmmaker Award recipient. In 2012, Grazer was awarded the Innovation and Vision award by the Alfred Mann Foundation for his charitable humanitarian efforts. In 2013, Grazer was awarded the Abe Burrows Entertainment Award by the Alzheimer’s Association and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by PromaxBDA.
In addition to A Beautiful Mind, Grazer’s films include Apollo 13, for which Grazer won the Producers Guild’s Daryl F. Zanuck Motion Picture Producer of the Year Award as well as an Oscar® nomination for Best Picture of 1995; and Splash, which he co-wrote as well as produced and for which he received an Oscar® nomination for Best Original Screenplay of 1984.
Grazer first book A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, released in April 2105, spent 4 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. For decades, Grazer scheduled “curiosity conversations” with notable experts from scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders. The book offers a peek into some of these conversations and inspires readers to unleash their own curiosity.
Grazer is in post-production on American Made, starring Tom Cruise, and Lowriders. He is currently in production on The Dark Tower based on Stephen King’s bestselling series; the second season of “Empire” and the upcoming series “Shots Fired,” both for Fox Television; the second season of “Breakthrough,” the new series “Mars,” and “Genius,” all for NatGeo.
Grazer’s additional television productions include NBC’s “Parenthood” based on his 1989 film, and NBC’s Peabody Award winning series “Friday Night Lights.” Other television credits include Fox’s hit Golden Globe and Emmy award winning Best Drama Series “24,” Fox’s Emmy award winning Best Comedy Arrested Development, TNT’s “Great Escape,” Fox’s “Lie To Me,” staring Tim Roth, CBS’s “Shark,” NBC’s “Miss Match,” WB’s “Felicity,” ABC’s “SportsNight,” as well as HBO’s “From the Earth to the Moon,” for which he won the Emmy® for Outstanding Mini-Series. In 2012, Grazer produced the 84th Academy Awards® hosted by Billy Crystal.
Grazer also produced Peter Morgan’s critically acclaimed play Frost / Nixon directed by Ron Howard. The film, was nominated for five Academy Awards® including Best Picture, and was also nominated for The Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by the PGA.
Other films include the critically acclaimed films Get On Up, a docudrama about “Godfather of Soul” James Brown; the Formula One drama RUSH, staring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brüel, directed by Ron Howard; Made In America, a music documentary starring Jay Z for Showtime; J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood and staring Leonardo DiCaprio; Tower Heist, staring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy; the drama Robin Hood, directed by Ridley Scott and staring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett; the adaptation of Dan Brown’s best-selling novel Angels & Demons, staring Tom Hanks, and directed by Howard, which opened in May 2009; the drama Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Angelina Jolie; the Ridley Scott directed drama American Gangster, staring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington; the big screen adaptation of the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code; the tense drama The Inside Man, directed by Spike Lee and starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster; Flightplan; Cinderella Man; the Sundance acclaimed documentary INSIDE Deep Throat; Friday Night Lights; 8 Mile; Blue Crush; Intolerable Cruelty; Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Nutty Professor; Liar, Liar; Ransom; My Girl; Backdraft; Kindergarten Cop; Parenthood; Clean and Sober; and Spies Like Us.
Grazer began his career as a producer developing television projects. It was while he was executive-producing TV pilots for Paramount Pictures in the early 1980s that Grazer first met his longtime friend and business partner Ron Howard. Their collaboration began in 1985 with the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash, and in 1986 the two founded Imagine Entertainment.
DAVID HOUSEHOLTER (Executive Producer) produced Bad Teacher as well as She’s Out of My League. He was an Executive Producer on the comedy hits Trainwreck, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, The Other Guys,Step Brothers, and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. Householter also Co-Produced Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Elf. He recently finished up with Passengers, and he’s currently working on Jumanji.
WILLIAM M. CONNOR (Executive Producer) has over two decades of filmmaking experience. His wide-ranging work includes films such as As Good As It Gets, Apollo 13, Salt, Frost/Nixon and The Bourne Legacy.
He worked with director Ang Lee on Life of Pi, which received four Academy Awards® and received a Director’s Guild of America award as an Assistant Director on Apollo 13, directed by Ron Howard.
Connor has collaborated with Ron Howard on more than a dozen films including Cinderella Man, The Da Vinci Code and In the Heart of the Sea.
Some of his early production work includes Scent of a Woman, starring Al Pacino and The American President starring Michael Douglas. Connor was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and graduated from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.
ANNA CULP (Executive Producer) is the Executive Vice President of Motion Pictures at Imagine Entertainment. She is currently in production on the television series, “GENIUS: Einstein,” starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, for National Geographic Channel and Fox 21. Prior to that, she was an Executive Producer the documentary “Prophet’s Prey” directed by Amy Berg for Showtime, an Executive Producer on Get On Up directed by Tate Taylor for Universal Pictures, Co-Producer on Katy Perry: Part of Me 3-D, for Paramount Insurge and an Associate Producer on Ron Howard’s Angels & Demons for Sony Pictures.
Culp joined Imagine Entertainment as the assistant to Oscar®-winning producer Brian Grazer, working on numerous projects including A Beautiful Mind, 8 Mile, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. She was promoted within the company in 2002, serving as Creative Executive, Director of Development, Vice President, and Senior VP until being promoted to her current position at the beginning of this year. During that time, she served as a production executive on Ron Howard’s Cinderella Man, starring Russell Crowe, and The Da Vinci Code, starring Tom Hanks, as well as J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Clint Eastwood.
Culp is currently developing Under the Banner of Heaven based on the book by Jon Krakauer and adapted by Dustin Lance Black; and a reboot of Imagine’s 1984 hit comedy Splash, starring Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell. Culp started her film career in production on numerous commercials and films before graduating from the University of Richmond.
BEN WAISBREN (Executive Producer) is Chairman and President of LSC Film Corporation, which co-finances major motion pictures with Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. He is also an attorney with the international law firm of Winston & Strawn, where he advises clients in the U.S. and Europe in the media & entertainment and finance sectors. His clients include independent production and distribution companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, investment banks and commercial banks.
Earlier in his career, Waisbren was a managing director and head of investment banking restructuring at Salomon Brothers in New York, following a legal career at a large Chicago law firm, Lord, Bissell & Brook, where he led a national bankruptcy litigation practice.
Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in early 2013, Mr. Waisbren was the President of Continental Entertainment Capital LP, a direct subsidiary of Citigroup, with operations in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Before that, he was a managing director of a global hedge fund company, Stark Investments, where he was a co-portfolio manager in the fixed income and private equity areas, and responsible for investments in the feature film industry, and the formation of the firm’s structured finance fund and a related, branded middle market leveraged lender, Freeport Financial.
Waisbren served as a member of the Board of Directors of France’s Wild Bunch, S.A., a pan-European motion picture production, distribution and sales company, from 2005 until 2009, in connection with private equity investments that he managed.
He was Executive Producer of Warner Bros. Pictures’ 300; Blood Diamond; V for Vendetta; Nancy Drew; The Good German; Poseidon; and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. In addition, he was Executive Producer of the following independent studio releases: Cassandra’s Dream; First Born; Next; Bangkok Dangerous; and Gardener of Eden. For Sony Pictures Entertainment, he served as an executive producer of Columbia Pictures’ 22 Jump Street, Sex Tape, The Equalizer, Chappie, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Aloha, Pixels, Goosebumps, The Night Before, Concussion, The 5th Wave, The Brothers Grimsby, and The Magnificent Seven; TriStar Pictures’ Ricki and the Flash and Money Monster; Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2; and Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer.
SALVATORE TOTINO, ASC, A.I.C. (Director of Photography) is currently one of the foremost recognized cinematographers in cinema. Born and raised in Brooklyn New York, he is a regular fixture on director Ron Howard’s team. In addition to Inferno, the duo collaborated on films such as The Missing, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon, The Dilemma, Made In America, The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons.
Totino most recently lensed the next installment of the Spider-Man franchise, Spider-Man: Homecoming, for director Jon Watts. Totino also recently shot Baltasar Kormakur’s Everest, as well as Concussion for Peter Landesman. Other impressive credits include Changing Lanes, directed by Roger Michell, People Like Us for Alex Kurtzman and Oliver Stone’s American football drama Any Given Sunday.
Totino has also gained a reputation as one of the finest commercial and music video DOPs of his generation. Today, he has over 500 commercials on his resume, having contributed to high profile campaigns like Jack Daniels, Nike, Jaguar, The GAP and H.I.S. Jeans, winning a Clio Award for the latter. He lit the music videos for such celebrated bands as Radiohead, REM, Bruce Springsteen, Sound Garden, U2, and many others.
PETER WENHAM (Production Designer) began his career in the entertainment business in 1987 working at the BBC, after studying interior design and architecture at De Monfort University. He moved onto building his foundation of experience by working at Independent Television (ITV) and London Weekend Television (LWT) in the United Kingdom as an Art Director for a range of successful television programs including “Poirot” (1989-1996), among many others. He then ventured into film and television movies and received Emmy Award Nominations for Outstanding Art Direction for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special for both “Hornblower: Mutiny” (2001) and “Hornblower: Duty” (2003). He was also nominated for an ADG award for Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).
Wenham’s success in television and television movies led to his career working as a Supervising Art Director in feature films in the United Kingdom. His Supervising Art Director credits include The Bourne Supremacy (2004), Kinky Boots (2005), The Queen (2006), which was nominated for an ADG Award for Excellence in Production Design, and Blood Diamond (2006). His work on The Bourne Supremacy led to becoming the Production Designer for The Bourne Ultimatum (2007), which he was nominated for an ADG Award for Excellence in Production Design. After Bourne, Wenham’s career took him to the United States as he Production Designed films such as Columbia Pictures’ Battle Los Angeles (2011), Universal Pictures’ Fast Five (2011), Sony Pictures’ 21 Jump Street (2012), Summit Entertainment’s Now You See Me (2013), Marvel Studios’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), and Columbia Pictures’ Pixels (2015). Wenham is currently working on Paramount Pictures’ M:I 6 – Mission Impossible.
DAN HANLEY, ACE (Editor) is an elected member of the American Cinema Editors with a career that spans over 30 years and over 30 feature films. During that time he has worked very closely with Ron Howard, editing all of his films from 1982’s Night Shift to 2016’s Inferno. He and editing partner, Mike Hill, won an Oscar® for their work on Apollo 13 (1995). Hanley went on to be nominated three more times with Hill for A Beautiful Mind (2001), Cinderalla Man (2005), and Frost/Nixon (2008).
As a kid, TOM ELKINS (Editor) made dozens of 8mm films, some of them horror, with titles like The Killer Trike. His professional career began when he was hired by the national pizza chain Godfather’s Pizza to make humor-based training videos and TV commercials.
He later broke into feature films, initially as a production assistant (Gattaca), then as a production coordinator, with credits that include Mel Gibson’s Payback and The Big Lebowski for the Coen Brothers.
Elkins eventually moved into feature editing as an assistant, and had the good fortune of working with — and learning from — Oscar®-winning editors such as Mike Hill and Dan Hanley (The Da Vinci Code, The Missing) and David Brenner (Wanted). He joined Wes Craven’s team, and editor Patrick Lussier, for Cursed and Red Eye, and continued moving up the ladder. Lussier went on to direct White Noise II for Gold Circle Films, on which he gave Elkins his first opportunity as a feature film editor.
Among other credits, Elkins edited 2009’s thriller, The Haunting in Connecticut, the success of which helped earn Elkins the opportunity to direct the sequel to that film, on which he was also editor.
Most recently, he edited the box-office hit Annabelle (New Line/Warner Bros.) and is currently editing Flatliners for Sony Pictures.
JULIAN DAY (Costume Designer) started out with a degree in Theatre Studies, graduating from Birmingham University.
He then went on to work at Morris Angels, the original ‘Angels the Costumiers’ for a year which formed his initial interest in Costume.
Day started to design feature films at the turn of the century and using his now renowned dynamic and edgy resources, created looks on some of the British indie epics which include My Summer of Love, Last Resort, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Nowhere Boy and Control.
Recent highlights include Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, In the Heart of the Sea, Our Kind of Traitor, Alpha Papa, RUSH, Brighton Rock, and Jude Law’s Dom Hemingway
He is in much demand now because of his eclectic and unusual style.
He has a keen interest in archived and vintage French work wear and American Hunting apparel.
Forthcoming projects this year include Terminal and the much anticipated Jo Nesbo’s exciting thriller The Snowman
HANS ZIMMER (Music) has scored more than 120 films, which have, combined, grossed over 24 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. His upcoming film projects include Sean Penn’s The Last Face. Zimmer has been honored with an Academy Award®, two Golden Globes, three Grammys, an American Music Award, and a Tony Award. His most recent Academy Award® nomination for Interstellar marks his 10th career Oscar® nomination. In 2003, ASCAP presented him with the prestigious Henry Mancini award for Lifetime Achievement for his impressive and influential body of work. He also received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010, and in 2014 was honored with the Zurich Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award. Zimmer recently completed his first concerts in the UK, “Hans Zimmer Revealed,” at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, and concluded his first ever European tour, “Hans Zimmer Live,” on June 5, 2016.
Other recent releases include: Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Mark Osborne’s The Little Prince, Peter Sollet’s Freeheld, Simon Curtis’ Women in Gold, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, Ron Howard’s Rush, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, History Channel’s miniseries The Bible, the Christopher Nolan-directed films Inception, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Some of Zimmer’s most notable works include his scores for Rain Main, Driving Miss Daisy, Thelma & Louise, Crimson Tide, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, Mission: Impossible II, Hannibal, Pearl Harbor, Tears of the Sun, Spanglish, The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, the Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar films, The Da Vinci Code, Frost/Nixon, and The Lion King, for which he won the Academy Award®.