On an ordinary day, Gerry Lane and his family find their quiet drive interrupted by urban gridlock. An ex-United Nations investigator, Lane senses that this is no ordinary traffic jam. As police helicopters buzz the sky and motorcycle cops careen wildly below, the city erupts into chaos.
Something is causing hordes of people to viciously attack each other - a lethal virus that is spread through a single bite, turning healthy humans into something unrecognizable, unthinking and feral. Neighbor turns on neighbor; a helpful stranger suddenly becomes a dangerous enemy. The origins of the virus are unknown, and the number of infected grows exponentially larger each day, quickly becoming a global pandemic. As the infected overwhelm the world’s armies and rapidly topple its governments, Lane is forced to return to his dangerous former life to insure the safety of his family, leading a desperate worldwide search for the source of the epidemic and a means to stop its relentless spread.
Paramount Pictures and Skydance Production present, in association with Hemisphere Media Capital and GK Films, a Plan B Entertainment/2DUX2 Production, a Marc Forster film, “World War Z.” The film is being distributed worldwide by Paramount Pictures Corporation, a Viacom, Inc. company.
“World War Z” began as a post apocalyptic horror novel by Max Brooks called World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, written in first person, individual accounts from those who experienced it. Producers Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner read the book in galley form. They, along with everyone at their production company, Plan B Entertainment, were captivated.
“Five years ago, I knew nothing about zombies. Now, I consider myself an expert,” recalls Pitt. “Max’s book treats the zombie genre as a global pandemic, spreading much like we’ve witnessed viruses such as SARS travel. What happens when this jumps the fire break…what happens when everything we concern our days with is rendered useless? What happens when power structures and societal norms are obliterated? How will we survive?”
“It resonated with us as something that was relevant and prescient, despite being a zombie book – or maybe because of it. We didn’t know - which made it even more compelling,” Gardner recalls.
The vast scope of the story also intrigued Kleiner, who was familiar with Brooks’ work, having read his companion book/field manual, The Zombie Survival Guide.
“The world scale – the intersection of zombies, politics, institutions – intrigued us and added really cool, contemporary elements unusual in the zombie genre,” says Kleiner.
However, the novel’s multi-person, testimonial approach did not necessarily lend itself to a motion picture screenplay. Ultimately, the filmmakers opted to tell the story through one protagonist as opposed to many but also endeavored to maintain the essence of the themes and plot points that initially riveted them.
“It was very apparent that the book’s structure was going to be a challenge to adapt. We did try to follow the narrative of the book but we found, having gone through the process, that the dramatic tension was significantly diminished, at least in cinematic terms. We needed to go back, essentially, to when the zombie outbreak occurred and make that the centerpiece of the film. We worked very, very hard to render the movie with authenticity, so it felt like this could happen to us, today, to people we know. And so while the structure differs, I hope the film evokes the feeling we had when we read Max’s book,” Gardner says.
Still working on the script, the team decided it was time to approach a director and turned to Marc Forster.
“Marc was likeminded in that he was committed to setting the movie in the real world and maintaining the material’s verisimilitude,” Gardner recalls.<;/p>
“I respect Marc as a director who has made many different kinds of films, yet with a common thread of dealing with core human issues – family, love, loss. I think he brought this humanistic approach to our film and I think that his openness, his not having pre-conceived notions of the limitations of zombie films, was really helpful,” adds Kleiner.
Plan B began by sending the book to Forster and like them, he was engrossed. “I thought it was a great read and it dealt with themes I am really interested in,” Forster says. “I sat down with Plan B and we started talking creatively about what we could do with the project. They had developed the script at that point, which they gave me, and that was the beginning of our discussion that eventually led to this film.”
“Zombie movies” have become their own genre and are currently enjoying a popular renaissance. Forster believes there is a thematic reason for their resurgence and many zombie hallmarks resonated with him and drew him to the project.
“I find zombie movies fascinating in that they were popular in the 70s, at a time of uncertainty and upheaval in society. And now when we are again living in a time of change and skepticism, zombies are popular. They’re such a great metaphor –representing a sort of unconsciousness and hold a mirror to what’s happening in the world. We human beings, as a species, are unconscious to a certain degree and ultimately we have to wake up,” Forster muses.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t encounter zombies in the zeitgeist. I see it in advertising banners inside the New Yorker, for Zombie Survival Kits. The Occupy Wall Street movement invoked a lot of zombie mythology and there’s obviously the great success of ‘The Walking Dead’ being the highest rated show on cable television. It’s a slippery slope trying to assign metaphors to something that I consider to be very popular but clearly that’s a part of it too. The language of the zombie world is more easily understood today, I think, because of everything that’s currently going on. People are tied to their screens and their monitors and their headphones - in the most basic sense, they do walk around like zombies by not interacting with other human beings. Also, at least for me, the world feels like a tenuous place…it feels unstable. It feels like there are big waves of emotion and behavior that are sweeping over us and it’s happening more and more quickly. But it does have roots in a historical love for the genre. For me, ‘World War Z’ is intense and real and fun…also non-stop, epic, scary and, I hope, ultimately satisfying,” Gardner says.
Indeed, part of the initial appeal of the project for Pitt was the heart-pounding action and race against time aspects of the story.
“Those zombies are scary as hell and the movie, I believe, works on numerous levels,” says Pitt. “But primarily it’s complete summer fun and, frankly, something I wanted to do for my sons to enjoy.”
To that end, Forster is reluctant to categorize “World War Z” solely as a “zombie movie.”
“It’s not just about zombies, it’s about a global apocalypse that happens to be spread by zombies,” Forster says.
“There are a lot of parallels to what we’re living through, culturally, that lend themselves to a ‘zombie movie,’ but the great thing about Max’s book is that he set it in a realistic time frame and within a reality-based framework. That’s what really intrigued me – I wanted to create a movie that feels real, so audiences feel like this could happen, this minute, to any one of us. The general premise is that anything can happen, in any kind of scenario, on any given day. No one is spared, everyone is susceptible. That’s the plotline in the movie but it’s also real life,” Forster says.
While the book tells the story through various first-person accounts of the epidemic, the filmmakers chose to tell the tale through one very special Everyman – Gerry Lane, ex-U.N. investigator, played by Brad Pitt.
“Gerry has gone to hot zones around the world – Rwanda, Bosnia – places of tremendous danger and turbulence and crisis. Ultimately he retreats from that line of work to focus on his family and live a more normal life. But when the zombie outbreak occurs, his former employer contacts him believing he is the only man for the job. He is essentially trying to figure out the identity of Patient Zero – where the epidemic really began and the whole movie is told through his point of view. It was really important for me that we build the movie around that; we experience everything as he does,” Forster says.
“It was an incredible experience working with Brad. He is a sublime actor and a true artist with impeccable taste, not just as the star of the film but also as the producer. His sensibility of what works, what is real versus what rings as false, is right on point. We’re not making a documentary, we’re making a film but at the same time, we wanted to keep it grounded in reality and he has a true sensitivity for that. Both of us had never done anything like this and in that sense it was a challenge - to work through this genre that was unfamiliar to the both of us and to try to create something fresh and new. I really enjoyed that tremendously, I couldn’t have wished for a better partner,” Forster says.
Forster’s eclectic filmography intrigued Pitt. From action films to period biographies and book adaptations – “He can’t be pigeonholed as a director and his experience and interest in many genres and types of film is a rarity. His most memorable moments on film are intimate and human. It was this quality juxtaposed against our massive global apocalyptic crisis that we believed would lead to an unusually authentic and grounded action thriller.”
Forster says that Gerry is “not your typical hero” and that is part of the character’s appeal.
“Several times in the movie, Gerry says that movement is life and he urges people around him to keep moving. I like that phrase a lot, because ultimately in life we can’t stand still, we have to move with the current otherwise we’ll drown. But all the while he is observing and adjusting – as the zombies take over, he sees little signs and starts to put things together. He makes crucial decisions in the moment. He is chosen for this journey because he has the unique ability to be thrown into extremely dangerous, chaotic situations and survive,” Forster says.
This is not a life Gerry particularly enjoys so he gave it up to spend more time with his family. Ironically, to protect his family, he must return to his previous, perilous job.
“Gerry can’t fly, he can’t beat up bad guys…He has no super-powers. He’s a dad, with a burning need to keep his family safe,” says Pitt. “To do that, he can only rely on his intellect, his instincts and his experience.”
“It was very important to cast an actress as his wife Karen who had both strength and vulnerability. Because when he leaves, she must rise to the occasion so that their kids feel safe, even as everything around them is disintegrating. But also you need to feel that when she’s alone, how much she misses him and fears that she won’t ever see him again,” Forster says.
Mireille Enos embodied those dual qualities of strength and vulnerability. “She came in and did a reading that was so beautiful and truthful and she possessed all these different layers that I saw in the character,” Forster says.
“World War Z” is the largest film Enos’ has ever worked on, and she describes the experience as “thrilling and surprising,” largely due to Forster’s approach.
“Marc is such a gentle and thoughtful human being. He puts you completely at ease. There was so much respect, warmth and collaboration on set. It was a gift to work with someone who has that much grace. I was in this huge action film, and yet the scenes I got to do with Brad were intimate and subtle – it was all those things because Marc is telling the story. He looks for those little ‘human pearls,’ that’s what he calls them. It was the best of both worlds,” Enos says.
Enos says her collaboration with Pitt was equally gratifying. “He is a wonderfully generous, open actor who keeps it light – he brings a lot of laughter on to the set. And you can see that he is always thinking about the story and the best way to tell it,” Enos says.
“Mireille is a brilliant partner on set,” says Pitt of his co-star. “To keep a sense of freshness and to capture natural moments, many of the family scenes are riffed. This calls for a great understanding of the moment, and quick reflexive instincts. Mireille can embody the lovingness of the mother and flip to the ferociousness of the lioness protecting her young in an instant. As in any great relationship, she carried half the weight—a true ally.”
Enos notes that while Karen understands that Gerry must leave the family, “… she has a lot of very mixed feelings about Gerry volunteering for this mission. On one hand, it would be excellent if he could help to solve this world crisis. But it also means that she is left alone with the children, in a world where survival is not easy. At the critical moment when she needs him the most, and they really need to band together - he steps away. It’s complicated. And it ties into what Marc is trying to do with the movie, to look at the humanity within an incredibly dire situation. Not to get too heavy, but we are a world in crisis and Marc is making a smart film that makes us conscious of how delicate the human condition is.”
“World War Z” initially highlights this “human condition” through the intimate relationship between Gerry and his family, who he reluctantly must abandon for their own sake. To that end, it was important that the opening scenes between Gerry, his wife and his young daughters, portrayed by Sterling Jerins and Abigail Hargrove, seem playful and loving and real. Audiences had to feel their bond immediately because the world as they know it is soon violently and terrifyingly upended.
“It was so critical to get that relationship right. We looked long and hard and found two girls that are very talented but who also act very much like their own age and look very much like their own age. And then we made a point to have the four of them spend time together as a familial unit so when they got on set, that was out of the way. They’d already met and they’d already played games and eaten together and done some things that families do so they wouldn’t be distracted by meeting one another for the first time. It all came very naturally. Abigail is very much the older sister and Sterling is very much the younger sister and the baby of the family and Mireille is a parent and Brad is a parent, so there were a lot of boxes that were already checked. Beyond that, I think the best thing you can ever do to shore up dynamics like that in movies is to give them time to knit themselves together to be believable,” Gardner says.
Thierry Umutoni, Gerry’s friend and ex-boss, is the person who sets this double-edged, Faustian plan into motion – he arranges to whisk the family to safety by airlifting them to a secure aircraft carrier, on the condition that Gerry, with his very specific skill set, embark on a mission to literally save the world. South African actor Fana Mokoena plays Thierry and “World War Z” is his second movie with Marc Forster.
“I worked with him on ‘Machine Gun Preacher’ and he’s amazing. I come from a culture where directors are prescriptive and descriptive, but Marc trusts his actors. He gives you the leeway to explore and that’s very liberating, especially in a movie of this magnitude. There’s nothing better than when an actor is given the creative space to breathe and he (Marc) does that while also considering the bigger picture. He was always very sensitive to the actors, the story and the characters and brought that sensitivity to the whole project,” Mokoena says.
Mokoena is also one of the only actors in the film to have scenes with both Enos and Pitt.
“It was fantastic to work with both of them. Brad does such quality work but is also a great student of humanity. And Mireille is such a wonderful person, always smiling, concerned about everyone around her. And such an amazing talent, she brings out the best in everyone. She’s like a friend you want to have for life,” Mokoena says.
In a North Korean military prison under siege, Gerry meets a corrupt and recently imprisoned CIA agent (David Morse) who may or may not be deranged.
“My character has become rather cynical in his view of the world. He has done something he’s been punished for, but it’s a punishment that probably saved his life because it lands him in a jail cell in Korea and protects him from the really terrifying things happening outside. The information he has helps Gerry move to the next step,” Morse says.
From behind bars, he tells Gerry an outrageous and possibly true tale of his own first encounter with the virus and the way one nation chose to combat it.
Morse worked with Pitt on the film “Twelve Monkeys” and was delighted to reunite with him for this pivotal scene.
A wry, forthright Army Ranger, portrayed by James Badge Dale, runs the North Korean military installation. He follows his orders the best that he can while keeping his men alive in the face of the unspeakable anarchy exploding right outside his bunker.
“I am a big fan of David Morse, always have been. I had the pleasure of working with him before – he’s an incredibly gifted, humble, respectful actor. It was great just to watch him form this character, sitting in a prison cell, just trying things out. It is such a dynamic performance but on a moment’s notice, he can turn it around and make it so small, internal and truthful. The man is incapable of lying, he is always so present, just fantastic,” Badge Dale says.
He also enjoyed working with Pitt, in his dual actor/producer roles, both of which, he says, fed the other in a quiet, subtle way.
“If you didn’t know he was the producer, you wouldn’t because he doesn’t wheel that around. What he does is come in as a caring artist. He cares about the story, about the cast and crew and he makes sure that everyone is comfortable. He’s less concerned with himself than with everyone around him – it’s very selfless and creates a positive work environment,” Badge Dale notes.
Badge Dale has some on-screen combat background, from his work in the HBO miniseries “The Pacific.” However, this was an entirely new military experience for him and he relied on Freddie Joe Farnsworth, the seasoned stunt man and “World War Z” military technical advisor.
“I told Freddie I didn’t need to go to boot camp but I did want to spend some time with the guys who would be my fellow soldiers. So Freddie took the time to explain the weapons to us and run some drills with us so we could get to know each other and bond,” he explains.
Gerry’s hunt takes him from Korea to Israel where he witnesses first hand their indigenous, time-honored form of containment and protection – walls and barricades (some ancient, some new), all designed to keep their people safe. Until they don’t, of course. Gerry’s guide in Jerusalem is Jurgen Warmbrumm of the Mossad and even when the situation there deteriorates into violence and pandemonium, a combination of Gerry’s instincts and experience allow him to get out safely while learning another piece of vital information in his search for answers. Israeli filmmaker Ludi Boeken plays Warmbrumm.
“I’m actually a film director and producer and developing another project with Marc. I happened to be meeting with him in London about it and as we were talking, Marc suddenly looked at me and – even though we have known each other for a long time – said, ‘Have you ever acted in a movie? Would you read for me?’ I said, ‘Well, yeah, I’ve been in a few of my own movies, usually killers or bad guys.’ And I think he also knew that I had worked as a war reporter in the Middle East, not just in Israel, and I’ve known people like Warmbrumm,” Boeken says.
Daniella Kertesz, also from Israel, plays Segen, the Israeli Lieutenant who joins Gerry and becomes a critical, even lifesaving aide in his quest. “World War Z” is her first movie and she went through a version of bootcamp to become the resolute Segen.
Military advisor Farnsworth took Kertesz through the paces. "We put her in the platoons, taught her simple formations, with all the background and all the other extras. I only had four or five days to work with her but she took it really well,” Farnsworth says.
As a rule, the filmmakers tried to cast native actors to represent the various people Gerry meets as he travels the globe.
“Everything was about authenticity, both in terms of the quality of the acting and the representation of the globe. We went to each of the places where the characters were from and dove into the local talent pool to try and find the right people. We weren’t interested in people putting on accents and pretending they were from places they weren’t,” Dede Gardner explains.
In keeping with Gerry Lane’s transcontinental hunt for the cure to the spreading pandemic, “World War Z” filmed in far-flung locales, on land and often in the sea.
“First of all it’s called ‘World War Z’ so it was critical that we represent the globe. I think the planet is evident to a greater number of people than ever before – you can click a button and see what’s going on virtually anywhere. So it’s harder and harder to fake that. Audiences are smart, they know what different cities around the world look like and there is a point where you can’t engage in trickery nor do I think you should. I think movies benefit from different locales and different cultures and settings and different moods and I think that comes across on the screen,” Gardner says.
“World War Z” opens in Philadelphia as full-scale zombie pandemonium ensues. Glasgow doubled for Philly and although they are literally worlds apart, the cities share similar architecture, some of which was augmented during post-production. To further transform the Scottish city, the production replaced native signs, traffic signals and cars with their American counterparts. Also, Glasgow offered an ideal layout for showing maximum mayhem.
“The city is arranged in a square which gave us more opportunity to see the havoc and panic when the zombies invade the city,” says location manager Michael Harm.
Glasgow was also particularly hospitable to the hundreds of extras and personnel required to approximate the start of the pandemic.
“When we were on the smaller streets in the beginning of the sequence, we had over 200 people to make the streets look full. As we moved into the square for the mayhem scenes, we bumped it up to 700 people. But what was really lucky was there was an old Bank of Scotland building that was completely gutted. That offered about 50,000 square feet where the background artists could stay in between shots. And we used its four floors for make-up, wardrobe and catering,” Harm says.
Veteran second unit director Simon Crane orchestrated much of the “World War Z” mayhem.
“When we see the zombies for the first time, in Philadelphia, it goes from calm to 100% panic and action very quickly and Glasgow worked beautifully. Marc had a real passion for conveying the huge scale of the devastation and we tried to do that practically, in-camera, as much as possible. We approached the zombie attack like a pack of rabid dogs, running and taking people down. We were trying to bring across that fear and violence,” Crane says.
To accomplish this required carefully choreographed stunt work that began with a pre-visualized look at the action in the computer and culminated with, among other things, the sacrifice of several vehicles …
“We crashed over 150 different cars. We crashed the garbage truck and slammed Brad’s Volvo into an ambulance and various other things. It was big scale. At least 80% of the vehicles were written off,” Crane says. “Glasgow was great. We shut down blocks and blocks for controlled car crashes outside the main buildings. It was fantastic.”
Gardner notes that up until the arrival of the ‘World War Z’ production, Glasgow had not experienced the temporary influx of the army of people that populate a big, complicated movie – and, she says, the city could not have been more welcoming or accommodating.
“Glasgow was quite an operation. Even though they had not hosted a lot of big films, there was an unbelievable enthusiasm on the part of the city to not only have us but to try and make our jobs easier. The reception was just astonishing. To shoot the big opening zombie attack sequence, they shut down the main square of the city for us for over two weeks. And people rolled with it. They posted signs in their windows welcoming us. It was really terrific,” Gardner recalls.
Often the huge amount of extras and the associated personnel required to turn them into zombies became its own logistical circus.
“There were many, many thousands of extra man days on the film. We had big crowd scenes in Malta, playing for Jerusalem. There were big crowd scenes in Glasgow for Philadelphia. The airplane sequence had roughly 150 extras to fill the interior of the aircraft for five days of photography. And those scenes are even further complicated, because there were heavy zombie presences. That involves giant numbers of hair, make-up and wardrobe staff to achieve the look of what you’re trying to get. If you have 500 extras that need to look a certain way, that’s an awful lot of people required to get them ready. We were shooting one day with the full extra count and I remember coming on to the set and you literally couldn’t move because of the size of the crew that was there to get everyone ready. And then a couple hours later we sent the zombies away for a little break as we were going to do something else just with Brad and a few other people and it was like the set became barren. It was hilarious,” says producer Ian Bryce.
In keeping with the overall mantra of authenticity, the filmmaking team endeavored to ground the adrenalin-spiking zombie anarchy in reality. Gerry Lane is not a superhero but rather an astute, quick-witted, hyper-perceptive man. Crane had worked with Pitt several times before and they had a shorthand, in terms of how to accomplish the complicated action scenes.
“Brad had huge input into the strategy of how we would stage all the action and we always tried to keep it as real as possible. He’s a former U.N. worker, not a fighter. He’s a real person, a normal, everyday guy. So we tried to make everything as believable as possible. He’s very good at the action stuff and wanted to be as involved as possible, which of course also helped,” Crane says.
The Lane family finds temporary safety on an enormous aircraft carrier and, in fact, the British Navy vessel the Argus stood in for the American ship. Filming the arrival sequence was quite a feat, featuring actual helicopters, 500 extras, dozens of military vehicles and of course the huge, powerful and elegant aircraft carrier itself.
“It was great to work on a real aircraft carrier instead of on stage. The emotional intensity was so much more. It offered great scale and authenticity, which is what you want for this film, because on many levels, it is a war film. The world is at war with the zombies,” Forster says.
Of course, the most critical part of the film is the zombies themselves. Forster and company wanted to honor the genre but not be beholden to it, to create something original and organic to this particular story.
“With zombie movies, ultimately, everyone goes back to George Romero’s because they are so iconic. More recently, there was ‘28 Days Later’ and so on. So, as a filmmaker, you always try to do something new and different even though you are working within the framework of its history. And that’s what we tried to do with this. There are certain classic zombie elements that we brought along, but their movements and motivations will be different,” Forster says.
Specifically, filmmakers based their behavior on the “swarm theory,” a pattern of movement seen in nature that he underscored even before these quite unnatural creatures appeared on screen.
“It’s the way flocks of birds or fish or ants move together. There is almost a ‘swarm intelligence’ to it. I thought it would be interesting to see these zombies, who have no intellect since they are walking dead, react in this swarm mentality. There is not a real direction because the zombies are the undead. But as a whole, there is an unconscious consciousness.
When they are moving at this hysterical pitch, the zombies are their most dangerous – however they are not always aggressive. In ‘World War Z,’ the best but still horrific glimpses we have at the zombies are when they are dormant.
“When they are not provoked, they are stagnant, slow and wandering. When the feeding frenzy starts, it’s almost like a shark that smells blood. In the moment they sense that there's something to attack, they will just go for it. And that we establish very early, that they're drawn by sound,” Forster says.
The filmmakers deliberately and conscientiously created a credible “backstory” for zombie behavior; to do so, like Gerry, they began with their origins.
“A lot of work went into citing our zombie mythology in science. We hired a few different consultants who talked about everything from infectious disease to hive behavior to physiological defense mechanisms. How people or animals protect themselves in the face of a parasite, for example, and how do they survive that. It seemed much more interesting to us to root our zombies as much in fact as possible, knowing full well that they are not real. And then the second phase was figuring out how to express that. Once you get into that cluster of thought, a whole bunch of other doors open. There’s the zombie that has just turned – what the does the turn itself actually look like? How long does it take? How fast do they then turn on someone else? Do they need to be provoked to do so? What are the conditions that would provoke them? What does a zombie look like that’s been a zombie for an hour vs. one that’s been a zombie for a month? Then there’s obviously the question of speed. Zombies are historically slow. But we wanted both slow and fast zombies because different environmental circumstances in our film allowed for it,” Gardner says.
To create the zombie legion, the team turned to a combination of effects and artists – dancers, stunt people, prosthetics, make-up, CGI and carefully choreographed camera moves. And not every zombie was the same from scene to scene; each had their own specific dance, as designed by choreographer Alexandra Reynolds. The first human we see succumb to the zombie infection is played by movement specialist Ryen Perkins-Gangnes.
“I studied how people start to move when they have epileptic seizures and we based the change from human to zombie on that. Ryan is an incredible movement artist and was very good at conveying that contortionist movement, that literally was all him. I mean we added veins popping and we see his eyes change with CGI. The eyes were very important to me – I thought once the eyes change, the person really is the walking dead,” Forster says.
The future zombies began to learn their dance at workshops in pre-production where they drew on many influences, from insects to police attack dogs to Javier Bardem’s performance in ‘No Country for Old Men.”
“We started by trying to find out the zombies’ state of mind so we thought of movies that perhaps had a character without any humanity. We thought that Javier Bardem’s character in ‘No Country for Old Men’ had an interesting feel about it. So we spent a lot of time trying to recreate what it might feel like to be him, so the movement came from within. Alex also brought in many different images of insects feeding, how rapacious and relentless they are and their pace which can go from really fast to slow and rhythmical and really fast again. Also she brought in videos of Israeli police dogs, the way they latch on with their jaws and their bodies would flail and their spines would be twisting all over the place. So we became this sort of insect-y, jaw-driven creature devoid of any humanity or sense of future or past, just stuck in the present moment,” Perkins-Gangnes explains.
Alexandra Reynolds also worked with animation director Andy Jones and her “troupe” of zombies to explore and refine their motion. She did extensive and eclectic research to choreograph their gruesome dance.
“The script had such incredible imagery that truly resonated with me. I wanted to have an effect that was visceral and real and would absolutely stay with the hero and the audience. I looked at some Victorian medical journals. I examined how the body can go into shock and paralysis. All the time we were looking for something that we could no longer recognize as human but could stay in the realm of what was possible. I didn’t want to go into fantasyland; I wanted it to be much darker than that. Marc’s aspiration was that the zombies are unique and different and he asked me to improvise and experiment to find that new language,” she explains.
Costume designer Mayes Rubeo also contributed to this “new language,” with the idiosyncratic look of each zombie.
“We wanted to show the process from human to zombie through the costumes. Not everyone has the same bite, not everybody is hurt or traumatized in the same way. If you look at every zombie we have, every one of them has a specific design, including the aging of the wardrobe, the condition of the clothes, the amount of blood. We wanted to portray each one as an individual in a certain stage of the epidemic. This all came from our director Marc Forster, at the helm of this zombie operation,” Rubeo explains.
All this attention to detail was often horrifyingly revealed in giant sweeping shots, including a terrifying reveal of zombies climbing on top of each other to scale an “impregnable” wall. Often, Forster turned to these sweeping shots and eschewed the quick cuts and shaky frame.
“Certain movies lend themselves to a more frenetic camera and editorial style. In this one, we chose to have more stable camera moves. The idea of having thousands of zombies trying to get over a wall as helicopters shoot at them, I think those sequences have been extremely well executed,” Ian Bryce says.
In fact, in addition to traditional crane moves, actual choppers did shoot those zombies, albeit not with bullets.
“We did a lot of helicopter shots in Malta,” Bryce says. “Sometimes you just have to get in the helicopter to capture the scope of the set.”
With a notably versatile range of films to his credit, Marc Forster (Director) has persistently evaded categorization, having helmed a slate of major motion pictures of varying scale and genres for studios and independents alike, starring many of the industry's premier talent.
Acclaimed for his unique aesthetic and compelling visuals, Forster has tackled deeply emotional themes in his largely character driven films, ranging from stylish studio blockbusters to his modestly budgeted, Oscar-nominated Best Picture.
Forster’s filmmaking style was clearly evident in his first film, “Everything Put Together,” which he also co-wrote. This searing psychological drama was nominated for a Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival, and at the Independent Spirit Awards that year Forster won the ‘Someone to Watch’ award and was nominated for the Best Feature under $500,000 honor.
Forster broke through in a convincing way in 2001 with “Monster’s Ball,” which was a critical and commercial success and received two Oscar® nominations with Halle Berry winning for Best Actress. The film offered a powerful glimpse into the legacies of race, loss and redemption, as well as commanding performances by Berry, Billy Bob Thornton, Heath Ledger, Peter Boyle and Sean Combs.
In “Finding Neverland,” Forster recreated turn-of-the-century London, crafting the semi-autobiographical story of the inspiring friendship between J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan,” and the four young boys and single mother who lived next door. Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet, Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie, “Finding Neverland” was one of the most celebrated films of 2004, earning Forster a DGA Best Director nomination. It was also recognized as Best Film of the Year by the National Board of Review, and received seven Academy Award® nominations, five Golden Globe® nominations, and 11 BAFTA® nominations, all including Best Picture.
Forster’s next film was 2005’s reality-bending thriller “Stay,” starring Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts and Ryan Gosling. He followed that with the imaginative comedy “Stranger Than Fiction,” starring Will Ferrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson and Queen Latifah. “Stranger Than Fiction” premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival to critical and audience acclaim, and earned a Golden Globe ® nomination for Ferrell.
In 2007, Forster adapted the New York Times best-selling and beloved novel “The Kite Runner.” The film earned a Golden Globe® nomination for Best Foreign Language Film and a BAFTA bid for Film Not In The English Language.
Following “The Kite Runner,” Forster directed the 22nd James Bond franchise’s “Quantum of Solace.” The film, starring Daniel Craig, was the first Bond film ever to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget, and became one of the highest grossing films in the franchise’s history, with a worldwide box office of more than $586 million. Forster’s gripping indie action drama “Machine Gun Preacher,” released in September 2011, starring Gerard Butler, was based on the true story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing criminal who becomes a crusader for refugee children in Sudan.
Born in Germany and raised in Switzerland, Forster came to the United States in 1990 to attend NYU Film School, graduating in 1993.
Matthew Michael Carnahan (Co-Writer) is an American screenwriter, producer, and soon to be director. In 2006, Matthew was named by Variety as one of Hollywood's “Top Ten Screenwriters to Watch." His first produced feature writing credit, "The Kingdom," was commissioned and directed by Peter Berg and starred Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, and Jason Bateman. Matthew went on to write and produce "Lions for Lambs," starring Robert Redford, Tom Cruise, and Meryl Streep, and then went on to write "State of Play," which starred Ben Affleck, Russell Crowe, and Rachel McAdams. Matthew adapted “World War Z” for Paramount pictures, starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. He recently completed adapting "The Snowman" for Martin Scorsese and Working Title. Next, Matthew is set to make his feature directorial debut from a script he wrote, entitled "Violent Talent," with Garrett Hedlund attached to star and Tracy Falco attached to produce. He is also developing a pilot for HBO with director Steve McQueen. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Matthew resides in Virginia with his wife and three daughters.
In film, J. Michael Straczynski (Co-Writer) credits include five produced movies in six years: “Changeling” for director Clint Eastwood, “Ninja Assassin” for the Wachowkis, “Thor” for Kenneth Branagh, “Underworld: Awakening,” and “World War Z” for Paramount and Brad Pitt. At present, he is writing the feature film adaptation of Valiant Comics “Shadowman.”
In television, Straczynski has written over 300 produced episodes and six TV movies, creating and produced such series as “Babylon 5,” for which he also directed a two-hour TV movie, “Crusade” and “Jeremiah.” His other credits include “Murder, She Wrote” and “The Twilight Zone.”
He has written over 300 published comics for Marvel, DC and Image, including “The Amazing Spider-Man” for seven years, followed by “Thor,” “The Fantastic Four,” and others. His “Superman: Earth One” hardcover graphic novel hit the NY Times Graphic Novels Bestseller List for thirty-two weeks and spawned a recently published sequel. He is currently writing volume three of that series and writing two new series for Dark Horse and Dynamic Comics.
In 2013, Straczynski launched Studio JMS, his own mini-studio/imprint. Through Studio JMS he is producing, writing and directing “Sense8” for Georgeville Television and Netflix in collaboration with the Wachowskis, and will soon be directing his first feature film, “The Flickering Light,” financed by Motion Picture Capital.
This May, Straczynski debuted his Joe’s Comics imprint (a subsidiary of Studio JMS) through a deal at Image Comics. Ten Grand, the first of four planned monthly comics, premiered to best-selling status, selling over 70,000 copies. The next title, “Sidekick,” will debut in July 2013.
Born in New Jersey, Straczynski's family moved twenty-one times in his first eighteen years, which is how he developed a love of words and writing: the neighborhoods were always changing, but the books in the library were always the same. He received degrees in Psychology and Sociology from San Diego State University, and was a reporter for many years, publishing over 500 articles in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, Writer's Digest, Penthouse, Twilight Zone Magazine, and TIME, Inc. He has also written a book on scriptwriting, three published novels and multiple published short stories.
In addition to being nominated for a British Academy Award for his screenplay for “Changeling,” Straczynski has received the Eisner Award, the Inkpot Lifetime Achievement Award, the Saturn Award, the Hugo award (twice), the Ray Bradbury Award, the Christopher Foundation Award, the Space Frontier Foundation Award and the E Pluribus Unum Award from the American Cinema Foundation, in addition to a dozen other awards, including two Emmy’s for Babylon 5.
He writes ten hours a day, every day, except his birthday, New Year's Day and Christmas Day.
Writer-director Drew Goddard (Co-Writer) was a key figure in four of the most popular television series of the late 1990s and early 2000s: "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (The WB/UPN, 1997-2003), "Angel" (The WB, 1999-2004), "Alias" (ABC, 2001-06) and "Lost" (ABC, 2004-2010). His association with those series and their respective creators, Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams, brought him not only the enduring admiration of the shows’ rabid fan communities, but also several major industry awards. More importantly, his work on the series provided him with the pathway to success in feature films with the Abrams-produced "Cloverfield" (2008) and "The Cabin in the Woods" (2012), produced by Whedon. Goddard’s exceptionally prolific and celebrated efforts, all completed over a fairly short period of years, made him one of the fastest-rising talents in the entertainment business.
Damon Lindelof (Co-Writer) earned a film degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before heading west to pursue a television writing career. His early credits include episodes of “Nash Bridges” and “Crossing Jordan”; in 2004 he began working with writer-director-producer J.J. Abrams to create a television series about the survivors of a mysterious plane crash in the South Pacific. “Lost” brought together a number of creative talents that would reteam for Star Trek, which represents Lindelof’s first feature credit as a producer. Since then, he has worked as a writer and producer on Ridley Scott's "Prometheus" and most recently the anticipated sequel to Star Trek, INTO DARKNESS.
Max Brooks (Co-Writer) is the author of the two bestsellers "The Zombie Survival Guide" and "World War Z". He has also written for "Saturday Night Live", for which he won an Emmy.
Brad Pitt, (Producer/Gerry Lane) one of today's strongest and most versatile film actors, is also a successful film producer with his company Plan B Entertainment.
Last year, Pitt reteamed with Andrew Dominik for “Killing Them Softly.” This is the second time Pitt has starred and produced a Dominik film, the first being "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” for which he was named Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival. Following his work in “World War Z”, Pitt played a supporting role in Cormac McCarthy’s “The Counselor” directed by Ridley Scott and appeared in Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” a film he also produced with his company Plan B.
In 2011, Brad gave two of his most complex and nuanced performances in Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” and Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball,” films he also produced. Brad won the New York Film Critics Circle Award and the National Society of Film Critics Award for both roles. Additionally, Brad was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, and an Academy Award for his work in “Moneyball.” The movie also received an Academy Award Best Picture nomination. “Tree of Life” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards as well. In previous years, Brad was an Academy Award® nominee for his performance in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkeys," for which he won a Golden Globe Award. He was also a Golden Globe Award nominee for his performances in Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Babel."
In 2009, Pitt starred in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” as Lt. Aldo Raine; and appeared in Joel and Ethan Coen's comedy thriller "Burn After Reading." Opposite George Clooney, his "Burn After Reading" co-star, he also appeared in Steven Soderbergh's hits "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's Twelve" and "Ocean's Thirteen." It was Pitt's role in Ridley Scott's Academy Award®-winning "Thelma and Louise" that first brought him national attention. He soon went on to star in Robert Redford's Academy Award®-winning "A River Runs Through It," Dominic Sena's "Kalifornia" and Tony Scott's "True Romance." Pitt also received critical acclaim for his performances in the two David Fincher films: "Se7en" and "Fight Club." His recent films include Doug Liman's "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," which was one of 2005's biggest hits and Guy Ritchie's "Snatch."
Pitt's Plan B Entertainment develops and produces both film and television projects. Plan B has thus far produced such films as Martin Scorsese's "The Departed," Michael Winterbottom's "A Mighty Heart," Robert Schwentke’s “Time Traveller’s Wife,” Rebecca Miller’s “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” Tim Burton's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Ryan Murphy's "Running with Scissors," Wolfgang Petersen’s "Troy," Ryan Murphy’s “Eat Pray Love,” Mike White’s “Year of The Dog” and Matthew Vaughn’s “Kickass.” The company is currently in post-production on Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave,” starring Michael Fassbender and pre-production on Rupert Goold’s “True Story” starring James Franco and Jonah Hill.
Dede Gardner (Producer) is President of Plan B Entertainment where she oversees a wide range of film and television projects. Gardner produced Terence Mallick’s 2011 Palme d'Or, winning The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn. The film was also nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Most recently, she produced Marc Forster's World War Z, starring Brad Pitt; Steve McQueen's Twelve Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti; and Andrew Dominik's Killing Them Softly, starring Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Richard Jenkins, and Ray Liotta.
In 2010, Gardner produced Ryan Murphy’s Eat, Pray, Love based on the best-selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert and starring Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, and Richard Jenkins. In 2009, she produced Robert Schwentke's The Time Traveler’s Wife, starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana, and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, directed by Rebecca Miller and starring Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Keanu Reeves, and Blake Lively.
In 2007, Gardner produced the internationally acclaimed drama The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Directed by Andrew Dominik and starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, the film received Best Film nominations from the Empire Awards and the London Film Critics Circle. In addition, Pitt earned the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival, and Affleck and cinematographer Roger Deakins received Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Cinematography. Also in 2007, Gardner produced the real-life drama A Mighty Heart. Directed by Michael Winterbottom and starring Angelina Jolie, the film was an official selection at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. For her portrayal of Mariane Pearl, Jolie received Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award, and Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Gardner's producing credits also include the independent features Year of the Dog, starring Molly Shannon and Laura Dern, and Running with Scissors, starring Annette Bening and directed by Ryan Murphy.
Plan B Entertainment is currently in production on Rupert Goold's True Story, starring James Franco and Jonah Hill, and on ABC’s pilot The Returned, directed by Charles McDougall. The company is also in development on several other TV projects and on films with such directors as David Fincher, James Gray, and Greg Mottola.
Gardner received her degree in English from Columbia University before beginning her career as a location scout in New York City. She then took a position at Innovative Artists and subsequently joined the literary department at the William Morris Agency. Prior to her work at Plan B, Gardner served as executive vice president of production at Paramount Pictures. During her seven-year tenure at the studio, she was involved in the development and production of such films as Election, Orange County, Zoolander, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.
Jeremy Kleiner (Producer) grew up in New York City and attended Harvard University. He began his career as an intern at Errol Morris’ Fourth Floor Productions and then worked as a creative executive at Dick and Lauren Shuler Donner’s company before joining Plan B in 2003. At Plan B, he produced Steve McQueen's forthcoming “Twelve Years a Slave,” (Fox Searchlight/New Regency) and the forthcoming “True Story” (New Regency) starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. He was also an executive producer on Plan B productions “Kick-Ass,” “Eat Pray Love” and “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.”
As a producer of DreamWorks/Paramount Pictures’ box office smash hits “Transformers,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Ian Bryce (Producer) was and is an integral component of the filmmaking team whose collective imaginations have brought the popular toys and comic book characters to the screen. Together they have created a fresh, new film franchise which has earned box office receipts well over $2.6 billion worldwide and is certain to continue to entertain audiences for years to come. This coming May 2013, the fourth installment of the highly-anticipated series will go before cameras with even more innovative characters, a brand new cast and the latest in 3-D technology.
Most recently Bryce produced Paramount’s high octane “World War Z,” starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos. The post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Marc Forster is based on the best-selling novel by Max Brooks. The film was shot on location in and around London and is slated to be released this summer.
Bryce is no stranger to big action adventure films. He produced Sam Raimi’s mega-blockbuster “Spider-Man” starring Tobey Maguire as the web-casting superhero, which was the top-grossing film domestically of 2002. The following year, he produced Antoine Fuqua’s drama “Tears of the Sun” starring Bruce Willis, and in 2005, he produced Michael Bay’s “The Island.” After producing “Transformers,” he went on to executive produce “Hancock” starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron and Jason Bateman for director Peter Berg.
In 1999 Bryce won a Golden Globe Award and earned both Academy Award® and BAFTA nominations for his work as a producer on Steven Spielberg’s widely acclaimed World War II drama “Saving Private Ryan.” The movie won Best Picture honors from numerous critics’ organizations, including the New York, Los Angeles and Broadcast Film Critics associations. Bryce also shared a Producers Guild of America Award for the film. He went on to produce Cameron Crowe’s nostalgic comedy-drama “Almost Famous,” which won a Golden Globe for Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and received a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Picture in 2001.
Bryce’s other producing credits include “Forces of Nature” starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock; the action thriller “Hard Rain” with Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater; Penelope Spheeris’ big-screen version of the classic television series “The Beverly Hillbillies”; and Jan de Bont’s blockbusters “Twister” and directorial debut film “Speed.”
Born in England, Bryce started his career as a production assistant on the third installment of the first “Star Wars” trilogy, “Return of the Jedi.” He moved up to second assistant director on Steven Spielberg’s “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” and later served as a production manager on “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” In addition, Bryce served as the line producer/production manager on Philip Kaufman’s “Rising Sun,” and was an associate producer/production manager on Tim Burton’s smash hit “Batman Returns.” He also worked as a production manager on such films as Francis Ford Coppola’s “Tucker: The Man and His Dream,” Ron Howard’s “Willow” and Joe Johnston’s “The Rocketeer.”
In addition to overseeing several tent-pole projects for Paramount, Bryce is currently developing original motion pictures under his own banner via a first-look deal with the studio.
Brad Simpson (Executive Producer) is a film producer and partner in Colorforce. He began his career at the legendary New York independent production company Killer Films. He was an executive and producer there from 1996-2003.
While there, he co-produced “Far From Heaven,” which was nominated for four Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. The movie was an Official Selection in the 2002 Venice, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals and appeared on over 100 critics' top ten lists for the year. Simpson was an associate producer on Kim Pierce's acclaimed “Boys Don’t Cry,” for which Hillary Swank won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress. “Boys Don’t Cry” also played at the Venice, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals. He also produced “Party Monster,” which played in Competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival and was featured at the 2003 Berlin Film Festival. Simpson was a co-producer on “Home at the End of the World” and an associate producer on “Camp,” which played in competition at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
While working at Killer Films, Simpson was an executive on a series of acclaimed independent films including “Velvet Goldmine,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “Happiness” and “One Hour Photo.”
From 2003-2007 Simpson was president of Appian Way, Leonardo DiCaprio's production company. While there, he moved the company into a permanent and successful relationship with Warner Brothers.
In 2008, he partnered with Marc Forster to form Apparatus. In 2010, he produced the sleeper hit “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” for Fox 2000. In 2011, he produced the follow up, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules,” which made headlines for opening as a surprise number one at the domestic box office. He is an executive producer on Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” starring Gerard Butler which premiered at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival and was released by Relativity.
In March of 2012, Simpson joined Nina Jacobson’s Colorforce as a partner. Founded by Jacobson in 2007, Colorforce is responsible for “The Wimpy Kid” franchise, “One Day” and “Hunger Garmes.” In the summer of 2012, Color Force entered into a first look deal for cable television with F/X productions.
Simpson graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Modern Culture and Media from Brown University. He serves on the Board of Directors of 826LA, Dave Eggar’s Los Angeles based education charity. He is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas.
David Ellison (Executive Producer) formed Skydance Productions to create and produce elevated event-level commercial entertainment. The company focuses on tent-pole action, adventure, science fiction and fantasy films along with modestly budgeted comedy and genre films. Skydance strives to be filmmaker friendly in a town where it is increasingly difficult to get films made. In 2010, Skydance entered into a four-year production, distribution and finance deal with Paramount Pictures. The first film to be released under the deal was “True Grit,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s take on the Charles Portis novel. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and earned $250 million worldwide.
Skydance produced the Paramount feature “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” produced by J.J. Abrams and directed by Brad Bird. The film was released on December 16, 2011, and made over $460 million worldwide. Skydance also produced the Christopher McQuarrie film “Jack Reacher,” with Tom Cruise, the comedy “The Guilt Trip,” starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” starring Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson.
Upcoming releases include, Star Trek: Into Darkness, starring Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, set for release on May 17, 2013, the Marc Forster thriller “World War Z,’ starring Brad Pitt, which is set for release on June 21, 2013, and the untitled Jack Ryan project, directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Pine and produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld. Currently in development is “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” written by Tom O’Connor. The company will also be co-producing “Without Remorse,” written by Shawn Ryan.
Ever the film enthusiast, Ellison grew up in Northern California and attended the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinematic Arts. While in school, Ellison produced and starred in the World War I drama “Flyboys,” which combined his love of film and aviation. He is an accomplished pilot with over 2000 flying hours, a commercial multi-engine instrument rating and a helicopter rating. In 2003, at 20 years old, Ellison was the youngest airshow pilot performer at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Airventure Show in Oshkosh, WI, where he was one of six pilots performing as the “Stars of Tomorrow.” Ellison is actively involved with Conservation International, where he is a member of the Board of Directors and sits on several committees.
Dana Goldberg (Executive Producer) joined Skydance Productions in 2010 as president of production. She was formerly president of production at Village Roadshow Pictures, where she was involved with the company’s entire slate of films including the “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise, the “Matrix” trilogy, “Training Day,” “Get Smart” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” She also served as executive producer on many of the company’s films, including “I Am Legend,” “The Brave One” and the Academy Award©-winning animated feature “Happy Feet.” Prior to joining Village Roadshow in 1998, Goldberg spent three years with Barry Levinson and Paula Weinstein at Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures where she was vice president of production. She began her career in entertainment as an assistant at Hollywood Pictures. Goldberg has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences since 2007.
Recently, Goldberg produced through Skydance, the Christopher McQuarrie film “Jack Reacher,” with Tom Cruise, the comedy “The Guilt Trip,” starring Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen, and “G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation,” starring Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum and Dwayne Johnson.
Upcoming films Goldberg executive produced through Skydance include “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” starring Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine, set for release on May 17, 2013 and the untitled Jack Ryan project, directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Chris Pine and produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura and Mace Neufeld.
Paul Schwake (Executive Producer) is the Chief Operating Officer & Chief Financial Officer for Skydance. Paul joined the company in 2009 and was instrumental in securing the co-finance, co-production agreement with Paramount Pictures. Paul secured Skydance’s syndicated credit facility led by JP Morgan and six other banks.
Prior to joining Skydance, Paul partnered with producer Bill Todman, Jr. and real estate banking billionaire Edward Milstein and formed Level 1 Entertainment, where he served as COO. At Level 1, Paul produced the comedies “Grandma’s Boy” and “Strange Wilderness,” with Adam Sandler. He also produced “Rendition” with Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and director Gavin Hood. Additionally, Paul led Level 1’s television production activities.
Prior to joining Level 1, Paul helped form Spyglass Entertainment Group with producers Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum where he served as CFO for seven years. During his tenure, Spyglass released over 20 films including “The Sixth Sense,” “Bruce Almighty” and “Seabiscuit.” Previously, Schwake served as vice-president of finance at Morgan Creek for seven years. During Paul’s tenure, Morgan Creek produced and released over 30 films including “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves,” “Ace Ventura,” “Last of the Mohicans” and “True Romance.”
Schwake also served as an auditor at Price Waterhouse for five years auditing clients in the entertainment industry and worked at Walt Disney Studios in the accounting department for four years.
Graham King (Executive Producer) is an Oscar®-winning producer, who has worked with some of the industry’s foremost talents on both major motion pictures and independent features. He is also a partner in GK Films, the company he founded with Tim Headington in 2007.
Most recently, King acted as an executive producer on the Warner Bros.’ historical drama “Argo.” The film won the Academy Award®, Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice Movie Award, and BAFTA for Best Picture. Directed by and starring Ben Affleck, “Argo” was named as one of the Top 10 Films of the Year at the AFI Awards and by the Nation Board of Review, while also appearing on over 150 other critics’ lists of the top ten films of 2012. To date, “Argo” has grossed over $231 million worldwide.
In 2011, King served as a producer on four very diverse films. He received Best Picture Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations, as a producer on Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed fantasy adventure “Hugo.” He also produced Gore Verbinski’s animated comedy “Rango,” featuring the voice of Johnny Depp in the title role, which won an Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. That same year, he produced Angelina Jolie’s feature directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” which received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and the independent drama “The Rum Diary,” starring Depp. King was also a producer on Tim Burton’s gothic supernatural thriller “Dark Shadows,” starring Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Eva Green and Helena Bonham Carter.
King previously won a Best Picture Academy Award® as a producer on Scorsese’s 2006 crime drama “The Departed,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. The film won a total of four Academy Awards®, also including Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.
He received his first Best Picture Academy Award® nomination, and won a BAFTA Award, for his producing work on Scorsese’s widely praised Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator,” starring DiCaprio. Additionally, he was honored by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) with a Golden Laurel Award as Producer of the Year.
King has a number of other projects forthcoming that he will produce under the GK Films banner, including the screen version of the smash hit musical “Jersey Boys”, based on the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, and an untitled Freddie Mercury project. King will also serve as producer on the new action franchise “Tomb Raider.” The film, which will be based on the Lara Croft video game franchise, will be distributed by MGM studios.
King’s earlier producing credits also include the romantic thriller “The Tourist,” pairing Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie; Ben Affleck’s crime drama “The Town,” starring Affleck and Jeremy Renner; Martin Campbell’s thriller “Edge of Darkness,” starring Mel Gibson; the historical drama “The Young Victoria,” starring Emily Blunt; and the drama “Blood Diamond,” starring DiCaprio. In addition, he served as a co-executive producer on Scorsese’s Academy Award®-nominated epic drama “Gangs of New York,” starring DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz.
King was previously the President and CEO of Initial Entertainment Group, which he founded in 1995. During King’s tenure as President and CEO of Initial Entertainment Group, he served as an executive producer on such films as Steven Soderbergh’s Academy Award®-winning® ensemble drama “Traffic”; Michael Mann’s biographical drama “Ali,” starring Will Smith in the title role; and “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys,” produced by and starring Jodie Foster. King went on to executive produce the television miniseries “Traffic,” for which he received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Miniseries.
A native of the United Kingdom, King moved to the United States in 1982 and was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2009.
Tim Headington (Executive Producer) and Graham King formed the Los Angeles-based production company GK Films in 2007. Under the GK banner, he and King recently produced the Academy Award nominated Martin Scorsese 3-D adventure film “Hugo,” and Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” Their previous productions include “The Rum Diary” starring Johnny Depp, “The Tourist” starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, “Edge of Darkness” starring Mel Gibson and the three-time Academy Award®-nominated romantic drama “The Young Victoria.” Headington was an executive producer on Gore Verbinski’s animated adventure “Rango” as well as Ben Affleck’s “Argo,” which won the Academy Award® for Best Picture in 2013.
Headington first met King in 2004 when he invested in King’s former production company, Initial Entertainment Group, as it was financing and producing the award-winning film “The Aviator,” directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Ben Seresin, ASC / BSC (Director of Photography) made his first foray into cinematography on a major studio motion picture working with director Michael Bay on the second installment of his blockbuster “Transformers” franchise, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Soon after, Seresin joined Tony Scott on the critically acclaimed, real-life action-adventure saga “Unstoppable” starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. His work can currently be seen in director Allen Hughes’ thrilling crime drama “Broken City” starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Born and raised in New Zealand, to a Russian father and New Zealand mother, Seresin moved to Australia at the age of 18 to pursue a career in film. There he worked as an assistant for four years before relocating again to the UK. Seresin had no formal training in cinematography, but learned from studying the work of eminent cameramen, in particular Vittorio Storaro and Darius Khondji.
At age 17 he worked as an electrician on his first movie, and by the age of 19, was a first assistant cameraman on an Australian anamorphic feature. Over the next six years, Seresin spent his time working between the UK and Australia, initially as an assistant and then as an operator. In 1992, Seresin permanently relocated to the UK to pursue a career as a director of photography of commercials and independent feature films.
In 2000 Seresin worked as second unit DP on “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” followed the next year by shooting second unit for “Terminator 3.” This led to regular US-based work. Seresin has spent subsequent years working and living between the US and the UK. In 2007 he spent five weeks overseeing principal photography on “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” for cinematographer Dariusz Wolski who needed to begin work on another project.
Seresin’s work on the independent film “The James Gang,” (his first feature film) earned him the Néstor Almendros Giovanni Autori della Fotografia Cinematografico Award from the Istituto Cinematografico Dell’Aquila and the A.I.C. (the Italian Association of Directors of Photography.)
He has been awarded many times for his commercial work and regularly collaborates with such notable commercial directors as Frank Budgen, Ringan Ledwidge and Fredrik Bond.
Nigel Phelps (Production Designer) has enjoyed a prodigious career as a production designer with credits encompassing a wide range of projects from Rob Cohen’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor” and Wolfgang Petersen’s “Troy,” to Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” “The Island” and “Pearl Harbor,” and Phillip Noyce’s “The Bone Collector.”
Phelps began his career working with Academy Award® winner Anton Furst. He started as an illustrator on Neil Jordan’s “The Company of Wolves,” and then worked as assistant art director on Stanley Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket.” Then Phelps served as art director for Furst on Tim Burton’s “Batman.”
Shortly thereafter, Phelps moved to Los Angeles, and designed cutting-edge music videos and commercials for a variety of influential directors, including Mark Romanek, Alex Proyas, Michael Bay and Joe Pytka. This work garnered Phelps multiple nominations for MTV Video Awards. His first feature credit as a production designer came on the futuristic science-fiction film “Judge Dredd.” He followed with “Alien: Resurrection” for acclaimed filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and he later renewed his collaboration with Neil Jordon on “In Dreams.”
Currently Phelps is designing spectacular sets for “1950,” a wartime drama chronicling the life of an American newspaper correspondent covering the Korean War. The film is set to be directed by Rob Cohen.
Roger Barton (Editor) began working in television in the editorial department of the hit series “Hart to Hart.” He soon made the transition to motion pictures and in 1997 was an associate editor on the decade’s biggest blockbuster, “Titanic.” He quickly moved up the ladder, honing his skills on such films as Michael Bay’s “Armageddon,” “Pearl Harbor,” “Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen,” and “Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon.
Among his other films are “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith” for George Lucas, “Get Rich or Die Tryin’,” for Jim Sheridan, “Speed Racer” for the Wachowski’s, and “The Grey” for Joe Carnahan, to name a few. Roger is currently finishing Marc Forster’s “World War Z.”
Roger resides in Los Angeles, California with his wife Andrea and son Aidan.
Matt Chessé, A.C.E. (Editor) is an Oscar nominated film editor from San Francisco, California. Born into a family of painters, actors and puppeteers, he grew up in Green Rooms, theater balconies and his grandfather’s creative studio which produced a copious amount of paintings and puppets. His grandfather’s work ethic and tireless pursuit of artistic expression made a deep impression. A proud member of the Bay Area film community, Matt began on sets and film shoots, as a production assistant. This is Matt’s ninth film with Director Marc Forster, including “Monster’s Ball,” “Finding Neverland,” “Stranger Than Ficton” and “The Kite Runner.” His other credits include Gavin O’Connors “Warrior” and Scott Coffey’s “Ellie Parker,” and numerous commercials. He is currently Co-Editng and Exec Producing the indie feature “Fort Bliss,” starring Michelle Monaghan.
Scott Farrar (Visual Effects Supervisor) joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1981 as a camera operator on “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” In 1985, Farrar received an Academy Award® for Best Visual Effects for his work on “Cocoon,” and two years later he was promoted to Visual Effects Supervisor for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Farrar’s ability to carry out the vision of filmmakers has earned him several additional honors including Oscar® nominations for “Backdraft” in 1991, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” in 2001 and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in 2005. Farrar earned British Academy Award nominations for his breakthrough work on “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and his futuristic environments in Minority Report. In 2007, he received an Oscar® nomination for Best Visual Effects for his work on “Transformers”. Most recently, Farrar was the Visual Effects Supervisor on “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” which was recognized for Best Visual Effects at the 2011 Hollywood Film Festival.
Prior to coming to ILM, Farrar worked as a freelance cameraman in the LA area. In 1975, he was invited to visit the set of the then unknown “Star Wars” and saw the first motion control system in action. Inspired by what he saw, he began work for Robert Abel and Associates, and eventually for Doug Trumbull working on “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”
A California native, Farrar received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts in Theater Design with an emphasis in Film from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Simon Crane (Stunt Coordinator, 2nd Unit Director) is one of the busiest action directors working today. Simon began his career as a stunt performer in England on films such as: 007’s “The Living Daylights,” “Indiana Jones - Last Crusade” and “Total Recall.” He established himself as the leading stunt double for actors including: Timothy Dalton as James Bond, Kevin Costner in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and Mel Gibson in “Air America” & “Braveheart.”
He is famed for the world’s one and only daring plane-to-plane transfer in “Cliffhanger” and is renowned for his unique style in an impressive array of stunt coordinating credits including: “Goldeneye,” “Titanic,” “The Mummy” and “The World Is Not Enough.” His legacy took hold following the success of “Braveheart” and “Saving Private Ryan” where he was revered for his vision in creating battle scenes never before seen.
The films “Vertical Limit” in New Zealand and “Laura Croft: Tomb Raider” in the UK marked his start in action direction. Over the years he has added to these credits memorable films such as: “Terminator 3,” “Troy,” “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “X-Men 3,” “Jumper,” “Quantum of Solace,” “Hancock,” “Salt,” “MIB 3,” “World War Z” and the most recent action/thriller, “All You Need Is Kill.”
Simon currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and four children.
Mexican born Mayes C. Rubeo (Costume Designer) is one of the most diverse and creative talents working in costume design today.
The daughter of Silvio Castillero, a photojournalist, and Esperanza Botello, a homemaker and mother of twelve, Mayes had a unique upbringing but one that gave her a solid grounding to realize her ambitions in life.
Having completed her studies in costume design at the Los Angeles Trade Tech, earning an Associate Arts Degree from UCLA, she later studied History of Art at the Institute Statale d'Arte in Italy. In the early days of her career, Rubeo credits Enrico Sabbatini as her primary mentor. She also worked as an assistant costume designer and costume supervisor for designers such as Shay Cunliffe, Erica Phillips and Ellen Mirojnick.
Although Rubeo boasts collaborations with main stream directors, such as Oliver Stone ("Born on the of July") and Paul Verhoven ("Total Recall,”) it was working with independent filmmakers John Sayles and Maggie Renzi ("Men with Guns" "Sunshine State" and "Casa DeLos Babys") that really inspired Mayes as she learned invaluable lessons in the art of making quality movies on a shoestring budget.
In 2002, Rubeo garnered a Costume Designers Guild Award nomination for the TV movie" Fidel," starring Gael Garcia Bernal. The film covered fashion decades from the '30s to the '90s, exhibiting costuming styles from soldiers at war, to high society galas and Mambo dancing in Havana nightclubs. Most recently, she has worked on features with major directors Mel Gibson ("Apocalypto") James Cameron ("Avatar," for which she was recently nominated for another CDG Award) James Wong ("Dragonball") and Andrew Stanton (“John Carter.”)
A prolific, Italian-born film composer who had his start with the teen horror franchise "Scream," Marco Beltrami (Composer) was raised in the U.S. and underwent intensive musical training both abroad and at Yale University, composing music for symphonies and dance ensembles before entering the world of film and television scoring with projects like "Hellboy" (2004) and blockbuster sequels such as "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" (2003). Outside of his genre work, Beltrami held that contemporary film music should include a variety of musical styles and instruments, which he put to use with his critically acclaimed work on the Scandinavian film "I am Dina" (2002) before returning to mainstream films with his traditional sweeping music for "3:10 to Yuma" (2007). After writing the scores for the long-awaited sequel "Live Free or Die Hard" (2007) and the comic book actioner "Max Payne" (2008), he penned the Oscar-nominated music for "The Hurt Locker" (2009), which propelled him onto the upper tier of Hollywood composers.
Mireille Enos (Karen Lane) received both a Golden Globe and Emmy nomination for her role as detective Sarah Linden on AMC’s “The Killing.” As the first female lead in an AMC drama, the press has praised her performance in what The Hollywood Reporter has called her “breakout role.” She is currently in production on Season 3, which will premiere June 2, 2013.
Enos was most recently seen in the Warner Bros. crime drama “Gangster Squad,” for director Ruben Fleischer. The film, starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn and Emma Stone, follows a specially recruited team of LAPD officers dedicated to combating the influx of East Coast gangsters to Los Angeles in the 1940 and 50s.
In addition, she has wrapped production on three other films including “Ten,” directed by David Ayer starring Sam Worthington, Terrence Howard and Arnold Schwarzenegger, “Devil’s Knot,” and “Queen of the Night,” both directed by Atom Egoyan. In “Devil’s Knot,” Enos stars opposite Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon playing Vicki Hutcheson, an important witness in the murder trial of the West Memphis 3. Egoyan was so impressed with her work in the film, he cast her opposite Ryan Reynolds in the psychological thriller “Queen of the Night.”
From 2007-2010, Enos starred in the HBO drama “Big Love.” Impressed by her range and versatility, producers gave Enos a double role to play as twins Jodean and Kathy Marquart.
In 2009, Enos returned to the stage starring opposite Annette Bening, David Arquette and Julian Sands in Joanna Murray-Smith’s comedy The Female of the Species at the Geffen Playhouse. In 2005, Enos won the role of Honey in the Broadway revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? opposite industry veterans Bill Irwin and Kathleen Turner. It opened to glowing reviews and earned her a Tony nomination for “Best Featured Actress in a Play.” Enos joined the original cast when the play was transferred to London’s West End in 2006. Born to an American father and French mother, Enos was raised in Houston where she attended schools for the dramatic arts. While studying acting during her third year at Brigham Young University, she was invited to join a two-month project at the Classic Stage Company in New York City. She bought a one-way bus pass and the rest, as they say, is history.
James Badge Dale (Speke) one of Hollywood’s most respected young actors, is gearing up for an impressive 2013 as his work will be seen in four major and eclectic pictures, including “World War Z.”
In Shane Black's “Iron Man 3”starring opposite Robert Downey, Sir Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Jon Favreau he plays the unique villain ‘Eric Savin’. In Bruckheimer/Disney’s “The Lone Ranger” directed by Gore Verbinski, Dale will star opposite Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer as 'Dan Reid,' the grizzled and morally flawed head of the Texas Rangers and brother to Hammer’s title character.
Dale recently completed “Parkland.” The film recounts the dramatic true story of the chaotic events that occurred at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd 1963. Dale plays ‘Robert Oswald’ the brother of Lee Harvey Oswald in the ensemble cast alongside Jacki Weaver, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, Zac Efron and Marcia Gary Harden. Written and directed by award-winning journalist and novelist Peter Landesman, the dramatic thriller is produced by Playtone partners Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman, Exclusive Media, and The American Film Company.
Dale was last seen in Paramount’s “Flight” directed by Robert Zemeckis starring Denzel Washington in a role for which he was asked to transform himself, losing 20 lbs in six weeks in order play the memorable character 'The gaunt young man'. Within the past year, Dale starred alongside Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan” in “Shame,” the much buzzed about controversial and sexually charged drama directed by Steve McQueen. He followed with Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey," starring Liam Neeson, a film centering on the survival of eight men in the wilds of Alaska hunted by a pack of wolves.
His other notable film credits include; Robert Redford’s historical drama “The Conspirator,” starring Robin Wright and James McAvoy and Martin Scorcese’s Academy Award-winning film “The Departed.”
On television Dale starred in AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Rubicon.” constructed in the vein of the political thrillers “Parallax View” and “Three Days of The Condor.” His most recognized role in television was his lead performance as ‘Robert Leckie’ in the Emmy and Peabody awarded HBO's epic miniseries "The Pacific." The 10-hour event intertwined stories of three U.S. Marines in the Pacific battles against Japan during World War II. Executive produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman.
Dale is the son of late Broadway, film and television star Anita Morris and two-time Tony Award-winning Director/Choreographer, Grover Dale. He followed his parents onto the stage making his Off Broadway debut in 2003 with The Flea Theatre Company. Since then, he has returned to the New York stage to work with The New Group and New World Stages.
Daniella Kertesz (Segen) was born in March 1988 in Jerusalem, where she was raised. She studied at the Jerusalem Music and Dance Academy. She moved to Tel Aviv at age 14 and went on to study at the Ironi Alef School of Arts. At the same time, she appeared in her fist TV series, “Adumot.” After graduating high school, she won lead parts in several television productions, including “Screens,” “The Naked Truth,” “Custody” and “Loving Anna.” After a year and half trip to India and Nepal, she resumed her studies in Paris at the Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School, which she completed in a year. She then attended the Berty Tovias International Theatre School in Barcelona. “World War Z” marks her movie debut. Her next film is the horror-thriller “AfterDeath.”
Matthew Fox (Parajumper) was recently seen in the Summit Pictures film “Alex Cross” starring opposite Tyler Perry and opposite Tommy Lee Jones in the WWII feature “Emperor.”
In spring 2011, Fox made is West End debut in the original play “In a Forest Dark and Deep” written and directed by Neil LaBute. The play starts with two sibling in a mid-western cabin during a violent storm. As the play goes on the audience soon realizes their assumptions about the characters are not what they seem.
Fox starred on the Emmy Award winning ABC adventure/drama "Lost," for six seasons. The story follows the battered survivors of a plane that crashed on a large, forbidding island somewhere in the South Pacific. Fox plays a doctor and the de facto leader of the group, striving to keep them together as stress and fear pull them apart. In 2005, Fox shared the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award and was nominated for Golden Globe and Television Critics Association Awards for achievement in dramatic acting. In 2010 he was nominated for an Emmy for “Outstanding Leading Man in a Drama Series.”
Fox also starred in the Warner Brothers feature “Speed Racer,” the live action update of the 1960’s cartoon; the Sony thriller “Vantage Point” which depicts the attempted assassination of the president from five different points of view; “We are Marshall” about the 1970 plane crash that killed members of the West Virginia based Marshall Football team along with most of the coaching staff, sports commentators and many of the local boosters. He first drew critical and audience praise for his work in FOX Network’s hugely successful series "Party of Five," winner of the 1996 Golden Globe for Best Drama.
Hailing from a ranch in Wyoming where his family raised horses and barley, Fox enjoyed the all-American upbringing that led him to play football at Columbia University where he also studied Economics. With every intent of being a successful Wall Street broker, Fox was instead swayed to modeling, leading to some commercial spots and he has been acting ever since.
David Morse (Burt Reynolds) has long been recognized as an actor of great talent and versatility in film, television and theatre. Morse made his motion picture debut in Richard Donner's acclaimed drama “Inside Moves” and then went on to star in two Sean Penn directed dramas, “The Indian Runner” and “The Crossing Guard” (Independent Spirit Award nomination – Best Supporting Actor). Morse has starred in countless standout film roles such as Alex and Andrew Smith's independent film, “The Slaughter Rule” opposite Ryan Gosling; Scott Hicks' “Hearts In Atlantis” with Anthony Hopkins and Hope Davis; Frank Darabont's highly acclaimed prison drama, “The Green Mile” (Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Cast Performance); Lars Von Trier's musical drama “Dancer In The Dark” (which won the Palm d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival) opposite Bjork and Catherine DeNeuve; and Taylor Hackford's thriller “Proof Of Life” alongside Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe. Morse's other feature film credits include: “16 Blocks,” “Down In The Valley,” “Nearing Grace,” “The Dreamer,” “Crazy In Alabama,” “The Negotiator,” “The Rock,” “12 Monkeys,” “The Good Son,” “Personal Foul,” “Disturbia,” “Passengers” and the Oscar winning film “Hurt Locker.”
Morse was most recently seen in Peter Hedges’ “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” with Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton and “Shanghai” directed by Mikael Hafstrom and co-starring John Cusack. Morse recently wrapped production on a trio of films; Nick Cassavettes’ “Yellow” co-starring Sienna Miller, Melanie Griffith and Ray Liotta, Josh Waller’s “McCanick” and Marc Forster’s “World War Z” with Brad Pitt.
In television, Morse is currently on the HBO critically acclaimed series “Treme,” created by Emmy Award Winner David Simon. As part of an ensemble cast that includes Steve Zahn, Melissa Leo and Khandi Alexander, Morse plays a police Lieutenant in a Post-Katrina New Orleans police precinct.
Morse portrayed George Washington in the HBO mini-series “John Adams” with Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney for which he received an Emmy Nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Miniseries. He played a rival to Hugh Laurie’s character in a multi-episode arc on the critically acclaimed television series “House,” for which he received an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Guest Appearance. Morse is best known for his role as Dr. Jack "Boomer" Morrison in the Emmy- winning ensemble drama, “St. Elsewhere.” His other TV series roles include CBS’s “Hack, ABC's “Our Family Business” and the sitcom, “Big Wave Dave’s.” Morse also starred in the telefilms “Diary Of A City Priest,” “Murder Live,” “Prototype,” “Stephen King's The Langoliers,” “When Dreams Come True,” “Six Against The Rock,” “Down-Payment On Murder,” “A Place At The Table,” “Winnie,” “Brotherhood Of The Rose,” “Cry In The Wild,” “Cross Of Fire” and TNT's “Tecumseh: The Last Warrior.”
On stage, David starred in the Seattle Rep world premiere presentation of "Redwood Curtain" and worked in over thirty productions from 1971 to 1977 with the Boston Repertory Company. He made his Broadway debut in the role of Father Barry in the theatre adaptation of "On the Waterfront," and triumphantly returned to the Off-Broadway stage in Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, "How I Learned to Drive." For this starring role, Morse won the Drama League Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Drama Desk Award and the Obie Award. Additionally, Morse won DramaLogue and LA Weekly awards for his performance in the Los Angeles production of "Of Mice and Men." Other stage appearances include the Off-Broadway productions of "The Trading Post," "Threads" and "A Death in the Family." Morse was most recently seen on stage in the Tony Nominated Broadway play, “The Seafarer”, directed by Conor McPherson.
Fana Mokoena (Thierry) is a South African actor who won universal attention for his portrayal of General Bizimingu in the 2004 film “Hotel Rwanda,” opposite Don Cheadle. He previously worked with director Marc Forster on his film “Machine Gun Preacher, “ in which he portrayed John Garang, leader of the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. Other film credits include supporting roles in “Inside Story,” “Man on Ground,” for which he received the Africa Movie Academy Award, “Safe House” and “Violence.”
He is best known in South Africa for his lead roles in the television series “Yizo Yizo,” “Generations” and “The Lab.” He won the 2010 South Africa Film and Television Award for his work in “The Lab” and Best Supporting Actor Avante Award for “Yizo Yizo” in 1999. He earned an International Emmy Award nomination for his performance jn the miniseries “Hopeville” and had a starring role on the South African series “Soul City.”
Abigail Hargrove (Rachel Lane) was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up in the Dallas area until she was nine. She and her family relocated to Los Angeles where she began her acting career. Her previous credits include two independent films, "I.D." and "Butterfly Circus.” She also made an appearance on the long-running daytime drama “General Hospital.”
The youngest of five daughters, Hargrove and her sisters sing in a band and she is studying drumming. Her hobbies include horseback riding, camping, skating, soccer and reading.
In addition to “World War Z,” Sterling Jerins (Constance Lane) will be seen in James Wan's “The Conjuring” out this summer, as well as the independent features “Lullaby” and “Butterflies of Bill Baker.” Most recently a recurring role of NBC's “Deception,” Sterling is next set to lens Rob Reiner's “And So It Goes” starring opposite Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas, shooting this summer in Connecticut.
Sterling was born in New York City, where she lives still with her family. Sterling's mother, Alana Jerins, was an actress in experimental theatre in both NY and Europe. Her grandfather is Latvian artist, Ansis Jerins, and her father is artist Edgar Jerins. Older sister, Ruby Jerins, is also an actress (“Shutter Island,” “Nurse Jackie.”) Surrounded by an artistic family and a city of high art & culture, it is no surprise that Sterling would step into the creative arena as well. Besides acting, drawing, and ballet, she also very much enjoys school, cooking, and playing with her family dog, Dotsy.
Born in Amsterdam, Ludi Boeken (Warmbrumm) started out as a war correspondent for BBC and Dutch TV in the Middle East and covered South and Central America and Africa.
He subsequently directed over 25 investigative documentaries (Emmy Award for ‘Who Killed Georgi Markov’ (BBC Panorama), the prize-winning "The Other Face of Terror" (Channel Four) and "Gypsyland" (Channel Four) covering Human Rights subjects as well as terrorism, arms trade, torture, etc.
He then produced many feature films such as ‘Vincent and Theo’ by Robert Altman (satrring Tim Roth), ‘Silent Tongue’ by Sam Shepard (starring Richard Harris, Alan Bates and River Phoenix), 'La Fracture du Myocarde' by Jacques Fansten, ‘Train of Life’ by Radu Milhaelianu, before directing his first feature film “Britney Baby One More Time.” (Sundance 2002).
His second feature film was "Deadlines" co-directed with Michael Lerner starring Anne Parillaud and Stephen Moyer (“Best Feature Film” – Santa Barbara Film Festival 2005, "Best European Film" award at the Avignon Film Festival 2004, "Best British Feature Film” at the Cherbourg Film Festival 2005, “Best Actress" award for Anne Parillaud at the Paris International Film Festival 2004).
His latest feature film as director is “Saviors in the Night “(Unter Bauern), the award-winning tale of a group of German farmers who, throughout the Nazi period, save a Jewish family on their farm. The film stars Veronica Ferres, Armin Rohde, Lia Hoensbroech and Martin Horn, and is currently in the theatres in the USA, after having opened the NY and San Francisco Jewish film festivals.
Boeken produced Christian Duguay's “J’Appeloup,” the horse jumping saga starring Guillaume Caneet and Daniel Auteuil, which was the top grossing French film of 2013. Boeken is preparing to direct “Un Mec Sympa,” a French thriller, and “Nelson,” a film about which he won’t divulge a thing.
Fabrizio Zacharee Guido (Tomas) is no newcomer to the entertainment industry. At the age of 13 he has already produced, written, directed, and starred in a number of projects. He got his first credit at the age of four where he played Arturito in the short film “Juan the Brave.” He has since worked on five other short films including “The Monster,” where he played the lead. He made his television debut as Drew McNeil on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and appeared in Valeria Golino’s” Opera Prima Miele.” His first studio film is “World War Z.” He is currently producing a short that will be shot on location in his grandmother’s back yard.