In DELIVER US FROM EVIL, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Inspired by the book, which details Sarchie's bone-chilling real-life cases.
An Iraqi desert palm grove in the year 2010. Three combat hardened U.S. Marines descend into an eerie subterranean chamber, oblivious that something awaits them even more terrifying than the battlefield above…
…Four years later, in New York City, a mother, as if hypnotized, suddenly hurls her little boy into a lion’s den at the zoo, while a strange, hooded figure looms nearby…
…Strange noises from the basement and other strange phenomena frighten a family in the middle of a dense urban landscape…
…Archaic Latin writing and strange symbols are discovered in several different locations, opening a mystery which is perhaps too frightening to discover...
What is coincidence? What is imagined? And what is linked together in a sinister chain which stretches from one end of the world to another?
Sergeant Ralph Sarchie (ERIC BANA) of the NYPD has seen his share of darkness on the mean streets of the South Bronx. Assigned to the 46th Precinct in one of the toughest neighborhoods of the country, Sarchie has witnessed behavior on the outer edges of inhumanity, and it has begun to darken his soul, to the point of affecting his relationship with his wife, Jen (OLIVIA MUNN), and their young daughter, Christina (LULU WILSON).
But when the increasingly troubled Sarchie and his police partner Butler (JOEL McHALE), a sardonic ex-Army Ranger always ready for a fight, are summoned to investigate a bizarre incident, the events which follow will test the pragmatic Sarchie’s beliefs and understanding. He finds himself in a tenuous alliance with Joe Mendoza (EDGAR RAMÍREZ), a renegade priest whose own faith has been tested more than once, and who tries to convince a skeptical Sarchie that the increasingly horrifying occurrences are nothing less than an encounter with several cases of demonic possession.
Together, the policeman and the priest uncover layer after layer of evidence that what Mendoza describes as primary evil has taken root, and Sarchie is forced to question his entire belief system as they attempt to do battle with the malignant forces threatening the city, and even those he loves the most…his family.
Screen Gems’ and Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Deliver Us From Evil is a supernatural thriller that brings together the dynamic talents of director Scott Derrickson, whose most recent film was the smash hit Sinister, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer, responsible for some of the biggest blockbusters in motion picture history. The screenplay is by Scott Derrickson & Paul Harris Boardman, based upon the book by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Paul Harris Boardman, Glenn S. Gainor and Ben Waisbren. Scott Kevan is the director of photography, Bob Shaw is the production designer and Christopher Peterson is the costume designer. Music is by Christopher Young, and the editor is Jason Hellmann.
Deliver Us From Evil has a running time of 1 hour and 57 minutes.
The very fact that Deliver Us From Evil was finally brought to the screen, more than 10 years after the book on which it is based was acquired for filming, represented producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director/writer Scott Derrickson and author Ralph Sarchie’s unshakeable faith in the project.
“We read a proposal about 11 or 12 years ago that Ralph Sarchie brought to us,” recalls Bruckheimer, “and we thought it was interesting, intriguing and scary. It excited me, and we thought we could bring it to the big screen. The story was really compelling, and it was based on fact: how a tough, blue-collar detective in a rugged part of the Bronx, becomes convinced that some of the incidents he’s investigating go far beyond the norm.”
Executive producer Chad Oman, president of production for Jerry Bruckheimer Films, recalls that Sarchie, then still an officer in the Bronx’s 46th Precinct, had submitted the story as a six-page proposal for a book which would become “Beware the Night,” which was written by Sarchie with Lisa Collier Cool. “I took it home and read it one night at about midnight after my wife and kids went to sleep,” confesses Oman. “I got about three or four pages into it, and had to stop. I went into the room where my wife was to finish reading the proposal, because it was that frightening.”
Bruckheimer, company president Mike Stenson, and Oman were fascinated by the possibilities of merging a classic New York police story with a tale of the paranormal based on real events which Ralph Sarchie recounted in his book. “The basic idea that I sparked to,” says Oman “was taking a skeptical, meat and potatoes cop, who investigates something he can’t explain. The policeman has lost his faith, yet finds himself working with a priest who has complete faith in the existence of God, and seeing how both of them grow throughout the experiences they share.”
While Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool’s book might seem like an offbeat project for the producer, who has become best known for epic adventures and high octane action films, Jerry Bruckheimer has in fact from the beginning of his storied career sought out interesting stories based on fact, which have resulted in films both hugely-scaled and more intimate. Glory Road, Veronica Guerin, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Remember the Titans and Dangerous Minds were all based or inspired by true-life stories or incidents. “We look for great stories and characters anywhere we can find them,” notes the producer, “and Ralph Sarchie’s extraordinary story was totally compelling.”
In looking for appropriate screenwriters to tackle Sarchie’s book for the screen, Bruckheimer, Stenson and Oman set their sights on young Scott Derrickson (whose only filmed writing credit at that early point in his career was the feature Urban Legends: Final Cut) and his creative partner Paul Harris Boardman. “We love to nurture young talent,” notes Bruckheimer, “especially when it’s clear how talented they are. Even back then, it was clear that Scott was uncommonly gifted, with a maturity and creativity beyond his years.”
Derrickson, who by nature is drawn to themes which are both spiritual and “supernatural”—and sees strong links between the two—was immediately drawn by the compelling tales which Sarchie described in his book. “In the book,” says Derrickson, “Ralph talks about his experiences as a cop in one of the most dangerous crime districts of New York, but also his gradual involvement in investigating cases of the paranormal, which eventually led him to become an assistant to an exorcist.”
One of the challenges facing Derrickson and Boardman was how to mold the episodic nature of the book into a coherent narrative. Notes Chad Oman, “The book was a collection of stories about different paranormal incidents which Ralph Sarchie had experienced throughout his career. When Scott and Paul first tackled the project, their story was mainly focused on the spiritual-supernatural events, it wasn’t weighted towards the police procedural aspects of the story. Years later, when Scott returned to the project as a writer/director, he added a pretty equal story focused on the police aspects of the story, then merged the two together.”
“Jerry’s idea from the very beginning,” explains Derrickson, “was to blend the police and paranormal genres, which I thought was an extraordinary concept that people would want to see. Which I would want to see. The movie is not based on a true story in the full sense of the word, but rather inspired by paranormal cases in Ralph Sarchie’s book, strung together in a single narrative. The storyline that ties the different pieces together is fiction, but the scary sequences that you see in the movie are all based on real things which happened to Ralph.”
Although the film’s protagonist, Ralph Sarchie, is quite real, Derrickson invented the character’s counterpart, the unconventional priest, Joe Mendoza. Explains Derrickson, “Mendoza is an amalgam of two real people who were instrumental in Ralph Sarchie’s life in helping him recover his faith and take seriously what he was experiencing and investigating,” explains Derrickson, “and then ultimately train him to be an assistant in the rite of exorcism. One of them was a bishop who actually performed the majority of the exorcisms that Ralph was part of, and the other was a Catholic priest who wrote books on the subject. Rather than try to pick one of them, we blended the two into a single character, and then gave him his own fictional backstory.”
Derrickson, whose The Exorcism of Emily Rose was highly regarded for its serious treatment of the phenomenon of demonic possession and exorcism, now found himself plunging even further into research for Deliver Us From Evil. “Monster movies are based on things that are not real phenomenon,” he observes. “Exorcisms are real. They happen often. And no matter what you think about them, they’re fascinating and they’re frightening. I’ve read a lot of documentation of cases and seen a lot of case videotapes, and they’re incredible disturbing and compelling. I think that there’s an inherent interest and fascinating in the connection that these kinds of films have to a real phenomenon in the world.
“I’m not really interested in trying to propagate people’s belief in the reality of demons or not,” says Derrickson, “but I do think that the phenomenon of exorcism is something that people need to take seriously. Religious faith is a subject that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, because it raises questions of morality, ethics, the afterlife, how we’re supposed to live, all the great questions.”
As often happens in the world of filmmaking, the property which would become known as Deliver Us From Evil entered a limbo stage which would extend for a decade…but with its main participants never giving up hope. The project was infused with new life in the aftermath of the huge success and critical acclaim of Derrickson’s 2012 film, Sinister. “I had a meeting with Clint Culpepper, the president of Screen Gems,” recalls Derrickson, “and he asked me what I would most like to do next. I told him about a project that I had written for Jerry Bruckheimer years before that I thought would make a tremendous movie. Clint read and loved the script, and said okay, let’s make it. I did one more rewrite, and the rest is on film.”
For Ralph Sarchie, who had kept the faith for a decade that his book and life experiences would one day be filmed, receiving a fateful e-mail from Scott Derrickson with the news still took him by surprise, if not shock. “I e-mailed back to Scott that ‘I think you sent this e-mail in error,’” laughs the ex-policeman. But he wrote back, ‘No, I really believe that we’re going to actually make this movie.’
After such a long gestation period, Jerry Bruckheimer and Scott Derrickson were determined not to compromise on their choice of actors to inhabit Ralph Sarchie and the other leading roles of Deliver Us From Evil. And to portray the Bronx police officer whose life and work inspired the story, the filmmakers focused on Eric Bana, one of the most versatile stars working today. “Clint Culpepper suggested the brilliant idea of casting Eric as Ralph Sarchie,” says Bruckheimer, “and Scott and I naturally agreed. He’s someone we think is a great actor, and love working with him.” Bruckheimer and Bana already enjoyed a collaborative history, as the producer and director Ridley Scott had helped to catapult the Australian-born actor to fame in his role as Delta Sgt. First Class “Hoot” Gibson in Black Hawk Down (which coincidentally was released in 2001, around the time Bruckheimer began to develop Ralph Sarchie’s book into a film). “Eric Bana is an amazing actor,” says Bruckheimer, “and getting him to play Sarchie is a win-win for us. We were really fortunate to have him in Black Hawk Down before he really hit stardom, and his work ever since has been exceptional in everything from Munich to Hanna.”
For Bana, the feelings expressed by Bruckheimer were entirely mutual. “Jerry being the producer of Deliver Us From Evil was a very big factor in my wanting to do the film. He gave me my first big American film. Black Hawk Down was really important film for me, personally, and a great thing for my career. It was Jerry and his team at Bruckheimer Films that brought me that project with Ridley Scott. We’ve kept in touch through the years, and there have been a couple of projects that we came close to, but just wasn’t the perfect fit…until this. I responded to the material straight away. I was at
home in Australia, and Jerry and I had a really great, long chat about the film and its potential, so I’m really excited to be working with him again.”
Bana was drawn to the role of Ralph Sarchie in Deliver Us From Evil because he saw something in Scott Derrickson’s previous work which transcended the horror genre. “Scott’s movies, like The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister, are really incredibly written and performed character films that are set in genres. And when I met with him, I felt that I just had to do the film. He has total respect for the genre, knows more about it than anyone I’ve ever met, but understands the importance of character and story.
“I was also attracted to the character of Ralph Sarchie,” continues the actor. “I was very much intrigued by the genre and subject matter that was wrapped around the story, but when I read the script, what jumped out to me the most was a brilliantly written, intense and fascinating character who I thought would be a really great challenge to play, and the kind of character that I like to go to the movies to see.
“I liked the fact that Sarchie was this really tough, experienced street cop in the Bronx, who ends up being exposed to a world that’s so far removed from the practicalities of police work. At the beginning, we have a character whose belief system is founded purely on facts and physical things. Ralph’s journey is what makes it so intriguing. This is the one time in his career where procedure is blocked because of inner demons and his past doings, and he has to deal with that. In this case, Ralph has to deal with something very dark from his past, and deal with it in a very dramatic way in order to move forward as a person. It’s a very relatable theme for people who are carrying secrets and things they’ve done in the past that they’d like to shake off. I like to believe that we don’t. We pay for it eventually, somehow, some way.”
Bana spent considerable time with the real Ralph Sarchie, but rather than talk about the film, “We would just sit around and chat. It was very helpful for me to meet Ralph prior to production because there was a certain physicality to him that was very important. Ralph would be very important to us throughout production as an adviser regarding the police work, but outside those parameters it was two guys chatting. He’s a really great guy.”
Finding the right actor to play the demanding role of Joe Mendoza, an unorthodox priest who has battled his own inner demons and enters into a partnership with Sarchie at first uncertain and then bonded by the recognition of the evil which they are facing, was not an easy task. However, it led Scott Derrickson and Jerry Bruckheimer directly to Edgar Ramírez, the actor who had already staked out a hugely versatile career, first in his native Venezuela and South America, then around the world. “I saw Edgar in the television miniseries Carlos,” says Bruckheimer, “and thought he was just amazing. He carried the entire five hour long show, speaking several languages and even changing his physicality. Edgar was absolutely fearless, and we thought he would be just perfect to play this tormented priest.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an actor work as hard at a role as Edgar Ramírez worked at forming the character of Father Mendoza,” observes Derrickson. “Edgar spent so much time investigating this Jesuit priest, a Latin American, a little bit of an outsider, a smoker and drinker who has made mistakes in the past. What began to emerge was a character who was certainly the character that I wrote, but had more layers than even I had imagined. That’s what a good actor does. A good actor brings more to the table than is even in the script, and Edgar did that through his research and preparation.”
“At the very beginning,” Ramírez explains, “Mendoza was a mere presence, serving as a catalyst for Sarchie to solve the cases that he was investigating. I told Scott that I felt that we needed to find a journey for the character, that Mendoza will discover something about himself by getting to know Sarchie, that he shouldn’t only have religious and philosophical answers for Sarchie, but that there’s something that Sarchie brings to him as well. There’s certain access that the priest doesn’t have, and certain information that the police officer doesn’t have, so they kind of feed each other in order to solve these cases. In the beginning, they couldn’t care less about working together, but one has what the other one needs in order to solve the case.”
“The relationship between Sarchie and Mendoza is as important, in many ways, than the relationship between Sarchie and his wife,” explains Eric Bana. “Mendoza is pretty much a Pied Piper for Sarchie, leading him down a path of trying to open his eyes and educate him. They absolutely become partners, and we were aided by a director who understood the importance of dialogue scenes as opposed to just non-stop action. It’s a very special relationship, and it was superbly cast with Edgar Ramírez. His preparation was absolutely fantastic, and Edgar is also really interesting and a lot of fun to hang around with. He brought real intensity but also gentleness to Mendoza, and he put a lot of thought into that character.”
To prepare for his role, Ramírez felt that “it was very important to understand what a priest thinks and feels when he’s not giving the sermon in church on Sundays. I was lucky enough to talk to priests who were open to share their everyday feelings and anxieties. I also researched exorcism, and the psychological and emotional consequences that come from performing such a rite. The interviews that I did and the information that I collected indicated that it’s very close to post-traumatic stress disorder, because when you face the devil, you are going to war.
The filmmakers then found their Jen Sarchie—the wife of Bana’s Ralph Sarchie, whose love for her husband is tested when he drifts further into the darkness which seems to envelop him as he combats everyday and then paranormal evil—with their casting of the dynamic Olivia Munn. A comedic television sensation on G4’s Attack of the Show! and, more recently, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, the vivaciously talented Munn has as of late won acclaim for more serious roles, including Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike, and her portrayal of Sloan Sabbith in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series, The Newsroom. “Olivia is really an up-and-comer,” notes Jerry Bruckheimer. “I think she’s brilliant in The Newsroom, with real depth to her acting. We had been following her career for a long time, and Deliver Us From Evil presented a great opportunity.”
“Jen is based on a real character,” notes Scott Derrickson, “and when I met the real Jen during my writing of the initial draft of the script, I was struck by her strength of character and manner of accepting and holding together the dark world that her husband had become part of, both as a cop and as an investigator into the demonic. And what Olivia understood was the most important thing about Jen’s character was that she has her own strength and didn’t want to be neglected while her husband was immersed in combating all kinds of darkness. What Olivia brought to the role was a perfect blend of strength, self-sufficiency and compassion for what it was that her husband was going through.”
“When Olivia’s name came up,” adds Eric Bana, “I was really excited about the opportunity. Scott, Olivia and I had some really good chats about the dynamic of Ralph and Jen’s relationship, and how to make it believable. We don’t have a lot of scenes together, so it was really important to establish a relationship that was both realistic, in terms of conflict and complexity, but also in terms of compassion and intimacy. It also helps that Olivia is a bunch of fun. She’s absolutely hilarious when the camera’s not rolling.”
“I felt like I won a radio contest when I heard that I was cast in this movie,” laughs Munn. “Like I called on the third Beyonce song of the hour and they said, ‘And you get to work with Eric Bana, Jerry Bruckheimer and Scott Derrickson.’ I was like, ‘That’s amazing, where do I pick up the tickets?’
“This is the kind of character I haven’t played before, continues Munn. “One thing that I love about Jen is her relationship to her family, Ralph and their daughter, Christina. One of the hardest strengths to have is just to hold back and love without any judgment. I wanted Jen to be the foundation of their home, so when Ralph’s off facing what he has to deal with, she’s at home pulling it all together, and not being the nagging wife who doesn’t understand.
“I grew up in a military family,” Munn continues, “and the one thing that you have know either dating or being married to a cop or a soldier is to be really understanding of the things they have to go through. As much as it may hurt you, it hurts them more, and you have to love them through it. Ralph and Jen have such a sweet relationship, and Eric and I got along from literally the second we met, and Lulu Wilson, who plays our daughter, is such an amazing little actress. Hopefully it shows the heart of the story and what Ralph Sarchie has to lose when things start to go down.”
Perhaps the most unorthodox casting in Deliver Us From Evil is Joel McHale as Butler, Ralph Sarchie’s sarcastic but loyal and lethal partner in the “Four-Six.” For years, McHale has kept television audiences in proverbial stitches as the acerbic host of E!’s The Soup and as the star of NBC’s comedy, Community. But McHale and Scott Derrickson have quite a shared history. “Joel has been my best friends for many, many years,” says the director/writer. “I’ve known him since he first moved to L.A., before he was any kind of actor or celebrity, before he even had an agent. I wrote the role of Butler for Joel, because I always thought there was something cop-like about him in real life, not his TV persona. Joel was a tight end for the University of Washington, he’s in amazing physical condition, he has a fascination for knives and there’s a volatility to him. The Joel you get in the movie is more like the real guy than the characters he plays on television.
However, Jerry Bruckheimer points out that McHale’s comedic skills are also called into play for his role in Deliver Us From Evil. “We wanted to bring some levity to the film, and Joel is the perfect choice. He fits right into the role.”
As McHale tells it, tongue firmly planted in cheek, Scott Derrickson casting him as Butler was an inevitability. “I have a lot of dirt on Scott,” confides the actor. “Photos. Recordings. He’s committed a lot of crimes that are legal in only a few countries. So I said that I would not expose him, and Scott offered me this role. He said ‘I’m going to give you this part,’ and I was like, ‘Awesome. I cannot wait to watch someone else do it.’ But eventually, Jerry and Screen Gems came on board, and thank God, I got it. And believe me, I’m still pinching myself right now, because it’s a thrill to do a role like this.”
McHale knew that people might think that the role of Butler is out of his comfort zone. To which he responds, “I get to fight with knives in this movie. That IS my comfort zone! Where I feel most comfortable is wielding steel.” The actor describes Butler as “an ex-Army Ranger from Seattle, one of those guys who just likes to fight. He would rather not be safe, so he transferred to the Bronx to get more action. Butler likes to make people uncomfortable. He likes to take that people think is normal and turn it around, such as wearing a Boston Red Sox hat all the time in the Bronx, home of the New York Yankees. He does it just to piss people off.
“Sarchie and Butler are very different from each other, but they work really well together,” notes McHale. “Sarchie is very dark and brooding, with a lot of baggage. The weight of the world is on him. And Butler is always making jokes and jabbing him. But Butler also recognizes that Sarchie has a kind of radar, a sixth sense, and when it goes up, we’re going to get into some real s—t. But Butler will gleefully go into those situations.”
“The relationship between police partners is super important,” adds Eric Bana. “I think in order to portray a cop accurately, the relationship between him and his partner needs to be completely realistic, and the reality is that there’s a lot of gallows humor and ribbing that goes on. Humor is what gets you through and especially with what these guys have to deal with. Fortunately for me, Scott cast Joel, whose comedy background was really beneficial. It meant that we were able to muck around with each other. They put us in a car and let us loose for 45 minutes one night, and we were just brutal to each other.” McHale was also delighted to work on a film from one of moviedom’s most legendary producers. “Jerry is, I believe, the most successful movie producer in history. He knows how to make a movie, how to sell a movie, and if you get him behind something, you’ve got a way better shot than usual. He’s always such a calm presence on set, and he’s got your back.”
The man selected to portray Sarchie and Butler’s nemesis in the film, Mick Santino, was Britain’s Sean Harris, who has proven over many years (including the Showtime series The Borgias, opposite Michael Caine in Harry Brown and in Ridley Scott’s feature Prometheus) that he can play virtually any role with equal verisimilitude and an almost ungodly devotion to the task. “Sean is scary, he’s brilliant, he makes unusual choices, and that’s why he’s the perfect person to play Santino,” says Jerry Bruckheimer. “Sean Harris is some sort of conjurer,” notes Joel McHale. “He became Mick Santino.”
“Sean embodied the Santino character in a way that was deeper than I expected,” says Derrickson. “Sean understood the character from the inside out. Because he’s British and lives in London, I didn’t have an opportunity to read him for the role. I cast him based on his performance in Harry Brown. I saw how deep he went into that role, and I’m not exactly sure why, but I knew that Sean was the guy to play Santino. He’s the only person that we offered the role to. I had confidence that he could do it, and I was thankfully proven to be right.”
Derrickson and Bruckheimer assembled the remainder of the fine cast, including Dorian Missick and Mike Houston as Sarchie and Butler’s fellow NYPD officers, Gordon and Nadler; Olivia Horton as the tormented and possibly possessed Jane Crenna; and seven-year-old native New Yorker Lulu Wilson as Ralph and Jen Sarchie’s daughter, Christina. Meanwhile, a top team of New York-based film veterans were to comprise the crew, as the company set forth on a two-month adventure filming on some of the most challenging locations, and in some of the most skin-and-soul drenching weather conditions, of their considerable careers.
There is plenty of moody, atmospheric rain which falls on screen in Deliver Us From Evil, some of it thanks to the special effects team…most of it thanks to Mother Nature.
June 8, 2013, was fated to be the single rainiest day in the 145-year-long recorded meteorological history of New York City, with rainfall measuring at 4.16 inches.
Thankfully, being a Saturday, that was an off day for the Deliver Us From Evil company.
However, that entire month of June was the wettest one in NYC history, with 10.26 inches of rain drenching the venerable city in a Noah’s Ark-like deluge, and from that, the film’s company was definitely not spared. Especially when one considers that Monday, June 3rd, 2013 was the first day of principal photography of the film, which would continue for 41 soggy shooting days until the end of July. “Somehow, our films always seem to shoot under extreme weather conditions,” muses Jerry Bruckheimer. “We’ve survived hurricanes, tornadoes, sand storms, blizzards, earthquakes…and now, a New York City summer!”
True to the script’s greatly atmospheric backdrops, the first two days of filming were actually at the first of only two locations outside of New York City limits, in the nearly medieval confines of a mostly shuttered building which was part of the still active Nassau County Correctional Facility in East Meadow, Long Island. Cast and crew were compelled to pass through multiple well-guarded barred gates to access the dark, chilling confines of the interior sets—a psychiatric ward for the criminally insane housing, among others, Jane Crenna, portrayed by Olivia Horton (putting her eight years of training with The Joffrey Ballet to good use with her slinking, catlike movements). Jane’s horrifying physical state gave make-up special effects designer Mike Marino the first opportunity to perform his considerable artistry. “We used 30 or so prosthetics on Olivia Horton to create Jane Crenna’s self-inflicted wounds,” explains Marino, whose team worked alongside make-up department head Lori Hicks and hair department head Jerry DeCarlo’s units. “As opposed to monster movie makeup, this film is supposed to be grounded in reality. So all of the makeups that we did on Sean Harris, Chris Coy and Olivia Horton were based on a huge library of photos that I’ve found of people who inflicted wounds on themselves.” For Olivia Horton, it was a four hour makeup process…which, as things would turn out, was literally half of what Sean Harris would have to endure for the exorcism sequence which climaxes the film.
Two nights later would see the crew filming the first of many night shoots in the production’s primary location: the gritty, fascinating, vibrant, culturally diverse, teeming and often steaming borough of the Bronx, in which Sgt. Ralph Sarchie served with the 46th Precinct of the New York Police Department.
The Bronx is a symphony of urban monochrome, a gritty poem of red, brown and beige brick occasionally interrupted by splashes of brilliant greenery. Tenements virtually unchanged for a century or more vie for space with modest, mostly working-class single or two family homes. This unique landscape provided Derrickson, highly creative director of photography Scott Kevan and acclaimed production designer Bob Shaw with a richly atmospheric backdrop against which to play out the drama and terror of the story. “The Bronx, for me, is visually compelling because it’s a part of New York that I haven’t seen very much of on screen,” says Kevan. “It’s a fresh place to be photographed, and I think that’s exciting. There are blocks and blocks of incredibly designed buildings in various states of disrepair, elevated subway trains, all of which fit in perfectly with the visual style of the film.”
“In terms of filmmaking, the Bronx has been undershot,” agrees Bob Shaw. “It has a very rich architectural history, and gave us a great opportunity for some really interesting textures.”
The Bronx does not yet, and may never, have cool, gentrified neighborhoods so prevalent in large swaths of Brooklyn, or hipster coffee houses by the bucketload. Instead, the Bronx has a completely authentic vibe, a rich stew of residents who are primarily African-American, Latino, Caribbean and African emigres, along with remnants of the huge Italian, Irish and Jewish populations who preceded them, music from merengue to rap to soca to soukous blaring out of shop and apartment windows, mingled smells of ethnic cooking wafting in the summer wind. Derrickson, Kevan, Shaw and location manager James D. Lee and his team of scouts, selected locations which ranged across the entire borough, particularly the South Bronx and West Bronx.
“We decided to shoot in the Bronx because that’s where it takes place,” says Jerry Bruckheimer matter-of-factly. “It gives the film real verisimilitude, and the locations are fantastic. Many of them are real places where Ralph Sarchie worked and patrolled, and it adds an exciting element to the movie.”
“It was never an option in my mind not to shoot in the Bronx,” states Scott Derrickson, “because the Bronx is not like any other place in the world. “The architecture, the people, the feeling, the density, the building structures…the Bronx is a character in the movie. And because of the proliferation of crime in the particular district where Ralph worked in the ‘Four-Six,’ I wanted to shoot in that area. While we were filming, Ralph would constantly point out buildings and tell extraordinary stories of things and people that he had encountered as a cop. It’s a very alive place, not as rough as it used to be back when Ralph was a police sergeant. The NYPD and city government have done a really good job of cleaning up that area compared to what it was 15 years ago.”
While the Bronx would provide a great urban stage on which the characters would play out the suspense and drama of Deliver Us From Evil, responsible for appropriately attiring the actors was costume designer Christopher Peterson, who was determined to match the filmmakers’ desire for realism while at the same time using clothing as a means to explore the personalities on screen. “We wanted to make an extraordinary effort to make the ordinary interesting,” says the designer. “The starting point is always the script, and both Scott and Jerry really wanted this to be a character-driven piece. Since he’s playing a policeman, Eric Bana as Ralph Sarchie wears bulletproof vests, and I thought that rather than hide it, we should make a feature of it. That way, we see Eric’s athleticism but it also has components of reality. As Father Mendoza, Edgar was even more of a challenge, because since time immemorial, audiences have seen priests as the guy in black with the white collar. I thought it would be more interesting to have him moving through the film as a dark central figure without the use of traditional ecclesiastical garments. So we’ve got Edgar in basic t-shirts, jeans and a fantastic black leather jacket, then a black suede trench coat.”
Since Peterson had already designed for Olivia Munn when they worked together on Magic Mike, the designer knew that “she has great instincts not only about acting, but also about clothing. She’s very smart about keying into the emotional punch of a garment and how it can affect a scene. When you have someone as beautiful as Olivia playing a Bronx mom like Jen Sarchie, you have to bring it down to a realistic level. Olivia made the point that Jen is a mother with a child on the way, not somebody who’s checking her lipstick every five seconds.”
The first evening of filming in the Bronx featured scenes of Edgar Ramírez inside and out of Joe Mendoza’s modest apartment, located on Morris Avenue, a street of brownstones built from 1906 to 1910 which was deemed a landmark block by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Foundation. The delighted and occasionally rowdy residents of the street happily watched cast and crew go about their business, sitting on stoops, watching the video monitors and in effect creating something of a block party. The following two nights brought the company to a rather sinister house on Bainbridge Avenue in the Fordham district, built in 1905 with a gloomy stone exterior perfect for the frightening goings-on inside the residence of the Alberghetti family. The two nights also brought torrential rains to New York, courtesy of Tropical Storm Andrea, with signs and portents that more such meteorological conditions could be in the offing for weeks to come…as indeed they were.
During the filming on Bainbridge Avenue, Scott Derrickson turned nature’s fury to his own benefit, simply setting the exterior scene with Eric Bana, Joel McHale and the actors portraying the Alberghettis in the middle of a rainstorm…without the need for special effects rain towers! It was fortuitous that in Derrickson and Paul Harris Boardman’s script, so many exterior scenes featured rain, for the following week brought more near-biblical deluges for the film’s introduction of Sgt. Ralph Sarchie in an alleyway on Anderson Avenue. The company found some relief with the shooting of a powerful interior scene with Eric Bana and Edgar Martinez in a chapel designed and built by production designer Bob Shaw and his art department on the top floor of the North Central Bronx Hospital, with an incredible nighttime vista of the flickering lights of the Bronx and Manhattan outside of a panoramic window. Ferocious rains delayed by one day shooting inside of the famed Bronx Zoo, America’s oldest and largest zoological parks.
The clouds parted long enough to allow filming of nighttime scenes of Sarchie and Butler investigating a bizarre event inside of the lush, nearly tropical oasis of the 114-year-old Bronx Zoo, America’s oldest and largest zoological park. The mingled smells of a thousand animals combined with honeysuckle and other flora, as well as an oratorio of sounds from the avian inhabitants, created a magical atmosphere for the company throughout the night. Deliver Us From Evil is, astonishingly, the first feature to be permitted to film inside of The Bronx Zoo since Ken Russell’s Altered States in 1980. “The authorities of the Zoo are rightfully discerning in allowing filming,” notes Jerry Bruckheimer. “I think they were pleased that we wanted the Bronx Zoo to rightfully portray itself.”
After enjoying some green space in Barretto Point Park at the edge of the East River in Hunts Point, for a scene in which Ralph and Jen Sarchie watch their little daughter, Christina, play a game of soccer, the following two days saw the company filming with Eric Bana, Edgar Ramírez and Joel McHale at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, which had been coverted by Bob Shaw into a re-creation of the 46th Precinct. Originally built in 1901 as the 50th Precinct of the NYPD in 15th century palazzo style as part of “The City Beautiful” architectural movement, the extraordinary building was brought back to life as a police station, so realistically that Ralph Sarchie, an on-set adviser, was stunned by the realism with which his former workplace had been re-created. Sarchie could not help but to invite several of his former fellow officers from the “Four-Six” to the set to marvel at Bob Shaw’s ingenuity. “I can’t explain the way I felt when I walked onto that set,” says Sarchie. “I was in a building that wasn’t really the Four-Six, but I felt like I was actually in the Four-Six. And any of the cops that came to the work had the same reaction. We couldn’t believe our eyes. It exceeded my expectations to the point where I had to keep looking to believe it.”
One of the most enjoyable locations for the company, for sheer gustatory reasons, was in a still heavily Italian neighborhood on East 187th Street, lined with restaurants, delis, grocery stores, fresh pasta shops, bakeries and churches (no surprise, then, that crew members kept ducking into the salumerias and cheese shops and exiting with loaves of bread, cannoli and containers of fresh mozzarella). A little less exciting, but of crucial importance for a scene in which Sarchie and Mendoza discuss the reality of demonic possession, was American Legion 774, was converted by Bob Shaw and the art department into a smoky, crowded firehouse recreation room and bar. The working class home of Ralph Sarchie and his family was an amalgam of two separate houses (and sets later built on an Astoria Kaufman Studios soundstage) on the leafy, bucolic Yates Avenue in Morris Park.
Eric Bana found that shooting in the Bronx helped him find and sustain his New York accent. “To be completely honest,” confesses the Australian-born Bana, “I think the accent would have been impossible if we had shot out of town. You can put your homework in, and listen to tapes, but shooting in the Bronx and being around New Yorkers every day was absolutely essential for me. And again, having Ralph Sarchie on set was extremely helpful. I had a great dialect coach, Nadia Venesse, who was also working with Edgar and Olivia. We’d done quite a few films together and have a shortcut process, and she was brilliant, as always.”
It was sheer irony that just as New York’s rainiest month ever came to a welcome close, the company went behind the protective closed doors of Stage H at Astoria Kaufman Studios, across the East River from Manhattan in the borough of Queens where, among many other sets to come, Bob Shaw had created little Christina Sarchie’s bedroom…the site of some of the film’s most frightening sequences. Kaufman Astoria has an amazing history of its own, originally built by Famous Players-Lasky in 1920, and host to some of the most fabled movies ever made, from the Marx Brothers comedies The Cocoanuts and Animal Crackers to numerous films directed by the likes of the New York-based Sidney Lumet and Woody Allen. Kaufman Astoria was designated a national historic district and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
But just a couple of days later, cast and crew were back out on the streets of the Bronx, on a day so hot and humid that the company was dissolving into liquefaction. One of the worst heat waves to hit the city in years, temperatures for much of that week exceeded 95 degrees, with humidity bringing the heat index to as high as 105. A fading brownstone on Topping Avenue in the Mt. Hope district was used for the strange and seedy house occupied by ex-Marine Jimmy (Chris Coy) and his wife, and Shaw and company created a truly bizarre environment for Jimmy’s combat buddy, Griggs, a few blocks away on the legendary Grand Concourse. The huge, labyrinthic and truly eerie basement of one of the Concourse’s faded art deco apartment buildings was the site of one of the film’s key suspense/action sequences, and Bob Shaw took full advantage of what was already there. “The basement was beneath an absolutely enormous apartment building which stretched from one end of the block to the other,” notes the production designer. “Just mapping out the different levels of the basement, with boilers and pipes, from very tall to short spaces where you can’t even stand, all in the same building, was amazing. It would be such an enormous thing to build, and this gives us great production just by showing up and doing a little abatement.”
A claustrophobic stairwell in a tenement building on Anderson Avenue in Highbridge—with the Shrine of Baseball, Yankee Stadium, looming in the near distance—provided stunt coordinator George Aguilar and fight coordinator Chuck Jeffreys with a challenge of choreographing a vicious knife fight between Joel McHale’s Butler and Sean Harris’ Santino. “It was such a workout doing it,” says McHale, “and thank God we’re not using real knives because I would have bled out a week ago. George and Chuck taught us a Filipino knife fighting style, which is terrifying and wonderful all at the same time. The fight is a hurricane of slices, cuts and stabs, and that’s what it should be, because that’s what real knife fights look like.”
Thankfully, McHale had by then recovered from a pulled hamstring he suffered in a scene where Sarchie and Butler chased Jimmy (Chris Coy) down a city street in the rain. “They offered stunt guys,” notes Coy, “but Joel was just as much into his role as I am into mine, and I want to live it like he wants to live it. Joel and I probably sprinted five miles that night, but while you’re doing it, there’s an adrenalin rush and you don’t notice it.” For this scene, Coy underwent extensive makeup by Mike Marino which rendered him as somewhat animalistic. “Our inspiration was a wolf,” notes Marino, “so we made Chris’ pupils smaller, his eyes lighter, fingernails longer and self-inflicted injuries more extensive than we see Jimmy in the film earlier. We even widened his cheekbones to accentuate the animal look.” Marino and tattoo designer Anil Gupta also designed the numerous tattoos worn by the characters played by Bana, McHale and Coy.
All in all, though, McHale felt that he was in pretty good fighting shape for the film. “When I arrived to start shooting, I saw that Eric already had arms the size of tree trunks, and I thought that if I’m supposed to be a badass knife fighter, I’d better try to be in as good a shape as him. I hit the weights hard, and my diet kicked in. I was only eating steam at a certain point. I was doing an average of two hours a day weight training, and then three hours of knife fighting.”
The second foray outside of New York City and into Long Island was for filming at a Bronx Zoo lion habitat, designed by Bob Shaw and constructed at the Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The nature of the scene, which involves much action inside of the habitat, demanded that such an environment be built rather than to shoot in real habitats inside of the Zoo…not to mention the extensive visual effects work courtesy of supervisors Robert Habros and Curt Miller. “We brought in all of the old school techniques to bring the habitat scenes together as opposed to just pushing the digital button,” explains Habros, including green screen, compositing and split screen. Surprisingly in these CGI heavy cinematic times, Habros claims that “I’m trying to be as invisible as possible. My job is to service the storytelling and I think Scott wants the film to be as natural, believable and as close to real as possible. Any visual effects work that we do has to blend right in.”
The company then returned to Kaufman Astoria Studios for major sequences on various sets, including Santino’s apartment building hallway, the 46th Precinct communications room and finally, the Precinct’s stark observation room, the site of the intensely terrifying, climactic exorcism sequence. All roads led to this sequence, and the atmosphere on set was suitably tense throughout the incredibly rigorous week of filming. Even for hardened New York production veterans, witnessing the shooting of this scene was something to behold, including the ghastly sight of the possessed Santino as portrayed by Sean Harris. “We developed that makeup over a couple of months,” explains special effects make-up designer Mike Marino. “Originally it was just a camouflage makeup that slightly morphed into a more demented, evil-looking camouflage, and after some 35 odd designs later, Sean finally came in for tests and we decided at the eleventh hour to put a Latin invocation with occult symbols and cuneiform that appears in the film on his body as if Santino had carved them himself. This became an eight hour a day process in which we applied more than 150 prosthetics to Sean.” Luckily for Marino and his makeup team, Harris had developed a close working and personal relationship with them, and had infinite patience. “He entertains us and himself, and we get through it. We couldn’t have asked for anybody better than Sean.”
Along with other unusual tasks for the film, Marino and his crew also created a cat entirely from fabricated materials. “No animal parts were used, we sculpted and built it from scratch. Totally fake,” assures Marino.
As per the overriding philosophy set forth by Derrickson, visual effects supervisors Habros and Miller oversaw extraordinary impressive work on the exorcism sequence, but as Habros notes, “it’s a great combination of acting, stunt work, prosthetics and Drew Jiritano’s special physical effects. I’m there to help blend the scenes between each of those departments and those disciplines.”
Edgar Ramírez truly threw himself body and soul into the exorcism sequence, and emerged after the week of filming completely drained. “I loved that Scott envisioned the scene taking place not in a bedroom or a church, but in an interrogation room in a police station,” observes the actor. It felt very real and very intense, because we were all very committed. We weren’t treating it like a horror scene, but a dramatic scene.”
Both Bana and Ramírez were impressed with the chilling power which Sean Harris brought to the sequence. “Sean has a fascinating working method and an intensity that I’ve not often seen on a movie set,” observes Eric Bana, “and he did an incredible job. We were all very respectful of his process, but he has a great sense of humor and brought absolute magic to his character.” Adds Ramírez, “Sean’s level of commitment was really mind-blowing. We never met and never talked until we began shooting the exorcism scene. He made me very nervous, in a good sense. He really channeled something dark and uncomfortable, and I feel a lot of respect for him because in many ways Sean is playing the most difficult character in the movie. He really went down the rabbit hole and put himself through a lot.”
Although Christopher Young, who also wrote the highly original and sonically disturbing scores for Derrickson’s The Exorcism of Emily Rose and Sinister and numerous other films in the horror/fantasy/thriller genre, wrote the film’s atmospheric score, the director also incorporated The Doors as an integral part of the story. “I’ve loved The Doors since I was a kid,” confesses Derrickson, “and for this story, I thought about the whole concept of the band’s name, which came from Aldoux Huxley’s The Doors of Perception. The doors that separates the material and immaterial worlds. There’s a textural quality to the music that is very cinematic, it cries out for cinematic love. It wasn’t just the value of the songs, or the meaning of the songs, but there are places where the lyrics are referenced in the movie and it becomes part of the narrative trail that Sarchie is tracking.”
In the end, despite the rigors of filming on the New York locations, the company agreed that the film could not possibly have been done any other way. “It was so special to be able to film in the Bronx,” confirmed Eric Bana. “We’ve been through storms, a heat wave, mostly night shooting, and whilst it’s been extremely challenging and made it harder from a physical production standpoint, the production values, the sights, sounds and people of the Bronx were fantastic. In this day and age, where the audience has to put up with so much fakery and CGI and cities that are cheating for other cities, it’s really special to be in the proper world of the story. We were in real places every single day, and I think we got great mileage out of that in the film.”
The final leg of the Deliver Us From Evil shoot, took the company some 6,842 miles away from the Bronx in far-off Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the film’s opening sequence, set in 2010 Iraq. Abu Dhabi has become very film-friendly in recent years, with an active film commission and expert local production personnel attracting such films as The Bourne Legacy, The Kingdom and Syriana. “We always like to film where we can get the most production value,” notes Jerry Bruckheimer, “and Abu Dhabi had everything we needed: a great desert landscape, terrific accommodations, a very cooperative film commission and really wonderful crew.”
While still in New York, the three actors, portraying Marines engaged in a desert firefight before coming upon a mysterious underground chamber, received military training from one of film’s foremost experts in that field, Harry Humphries. A former Navy SEAL, Humphries has a long and storied history with Jerry Bruckheimer, having applied his expertise to The Rock, Con Air, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, Bad Boys II, King Arthur, National Treasure: Book of Secrets and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, as well as the television series, Soldier of Fortune, Inc. “Harry showed up in New York and basically said “I’m going to give you guys eight weeks of basic training in four hours,” recalls Chris Coy, “and he succeeded. By the end of it, I felt like if the zombie apocalypse happens next week, I’ll be fine. He taught us everything from how to properly hold a sidearm, how to patrol, call out contacts, how to go from linear to flat formation. Considering that I come from a military family, it was an incredible experience for me.”
The subject matter of Deliver Us From Evil raised questions to be pondered not only by audiences, but also by the filmmakers and actors who starred in the film. “During pre-production,” says Eric Bana, “I was exposed to some materials and tapes about exorcism which, on the one hand, were beyond fascinating, beyond interesting and beyond scary. They are materials not for public consumption, so I had mixed feelings about seeing some of them…one in particular did have an effect on me, and I found it extremely difficult sleeping and being in a room by myself for a week after seeing it.
“My thoughts are that there is definitely something that exists which, unfortunately, leads to a very large amount of human suffering,” continues Bana. “However that’s described or diagnosed is actually completely irrelevant. At the center of it is a massive amount of suffering and pain. Ralph Sarchie, in doing what he calls ‘The Work,’ goes and helps people deal with these things. I have no doubts that there will be moments when audiences will be truly scared, but it’s really something truly different, which is always exciting. I think that a lot of Sarchie’s journey in the film, whilst sometimes brutal, is fascinating, entertaining and thought-provoking.”
Adds Edgar Ramírez, “In his previous films, Scott Derrickson gives you the chance to believe that whatever happens in the movie was either the creation of a sick mind, or the influence of an evil force or spirit. So depending on what your beliefs and background were, then you could pick one of the two. In Deliver Us From Evil, Scott offers us the same choice. I like the possibility of completing the information myself. . I think there is a huge amount of evil out there, evil that we cannot understand or grasp. But at the same time, this journey of playing Mendoza also taught me that there’s a huge amount of compassion and solidarity, and people who want to do good for the world.”
“Whatever your beliefs,” says Jerry Bruckheimer, “there are some phenomena which cannot be entirely explained by science or medicine. Deliver Us From Evil explores the gray areas which may or may not be supernatural or paranormal. If you are already a believer, then Ralph Sarchie’s story will confirm what you know. And if you’re not, then the story is perhaps food for thought…but at the very least, a really exciting two hours in the movies.”
ERIC BANA (Ralph Sarchie) was first introduced to American audiences in the title role of Mark “Chopper” Read in the feature film Chopper, which premiered at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and was then released in the U.S. to critical notice after its Australian success. Bana earned awards from the Australian Film Critics Circle and the Australian Film Institute for his portrayal of “Chopper.”
Bana was seen co-starring in Jerry Bruckheimer’s production of Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down as Delta Sgt. First Class “Hoot” Gibson, one of a group of elite U.S. soldiers opposite Josh Hartnett, Ewan MacGregor and Tom Sizemore. The war epic was based on journalist Mark Bowden’s best-selling account of the 1993 U.S. mission in Mogadishu, Somalia. Following the successful U.S. release of Black Hawk Down, Bana starred in the Australian comedy, The Nugget, a film in which he portrayed a working class man whose life is suddenly changed by discovering a “nugget” that provides him, and his two friends, with instant wealth.
Shortly thereafter Bana starred in the title role of Bruce Banner in The Hulk for director Ang Lee and Universal Pictures, based on the Marvel Comics character. He was also featured as Hector the Prince of Troy in Warner Bros.’ Troy for director Wolfgang Petersen. The film was based on Homer’s The Iliad, and co-starred Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. The following year, he starred in Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed Munich, about the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Bana also appeared as the title role in the Australian film, Romulus, My Father, based on Raimond Gaita’s best-selling memoir, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Next, he played the title role in Curtis Hanson’s Lucky You for Warner Bros., opposite Drew Barrymore. Following Lucky You, Bana starred as Henry Tudor, opposite Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson, in The Other Boleyn Girl.
Bana co-starred in J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster hit, Star Trek, as the villain, Nero. He was also featured in the Judd Apatow film, Funny People, opposite Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, The Time Traveler’s Wife opposite Rachel McAdams, based on the best selling novel by Audry Niffenegger and Joe Wright’s action-thriller Hanna, opposite Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett.
His first film as a director, the drama documentary Love The Beast, had its U.S. premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009, starring Bana, Jay Leno, Dr. Phil, and, from BBC’s Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson. The film explores the meaning of his 25-year-long relationship with his first car, and the importance of the bonds that form through a common passion.
Bana’s recent film credits include Deadfall opposite Olivia Wilde and Charlie Hunnam, and Closed Circuit opposite Rebecca Hall. He was most recently seen opposite Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch and Ben Foster in Peter Berg’s acclaimed box office hit Lone Survivor based on The New York Times bestseller, “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10,” by Marcus Luttrell.
Bana currently resides in Australia with his wife and two children.
EDGAR RAMÍREZ (Joe Mendoza) is among a select group of young actors on the rise in Hollywood. The Venezuela born Ramírez next stars opposite Robert De Niro in Hands of Stone, a film about the legendary boxer, Roberto Duran. Ramírez also recently starred in the thriller Holland, Michigan, with Naomi Watts and Bryan Cranston.
Ramírez won a wide array of awards attention and critical acclaim for his starring role in director Olivier Assayas’ Carlos, for which he received a 2011 Golden Globe nomination in the category of Best Actor in a Television Miniseries, a 2011 SAG Awards nomination in the category of Outstanding Actor in a Television Miniseries, a 2011 Emmy® Award nomination in the category of Best Lead Actor in a Television Miniseries or Movie, and won the Cesar Award for Best Newcomer (Male). Ramírez also received nominations for Best Actor by the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle, the London Film Critics Circle and for a Prix Lumieres Award in the category of Best Actor. Ramírez played Carlos, a legend in the espionage world for over 30 years. Ramírez spoke several languages for the role, which shot in numerous locations, including France, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Lebanon and Yemen. The project was released theatrically by IFC, and as a three-part miniseries by Sundance Channel. Carlos premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and won Best Television Miniseries at the 2011 Golden Globes, as well as being voted Best Foreign Language Film by the Los Angeles and New York Film Critics Circles.
Ramírez last starred in the Academy Award®-nominated Zero Dark Thirty, directed and produced by Academy Award®-winner Kathryn Bigelow. The film starred Jessica Chastain and chronicled the decade-long hunt for Al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden. Additionally in 2012, he starred as Ares – God of War in Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans for Warner Bros. and Legendary Films, alongside Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson. He was awarded the 2012 Alma Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role in the film. Additional film credits include L’Orenoque (aka The Passenger) opposite Juliette Binoche, Steven Soderbergh’s Che: The Argentine, his biopic about Ernesto “Che” Guevara with Benicio Del Toro, as well as Sony Pictures’ political thriller Vantage Point, opposite Forest Whitaker and Dennis Quaid. He also starred in The Bourne Ultimatum opposite Matt Damon, and made his American film debut in director Tony Scott’s Domino, opposite Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke.
Internationally, Ramírez last starred as Simon Bolivar in the epic Libertador: The Liberator, directed by Alberto Arvelo (Venezuela/Spain), and Greetings to the Devil, in which a former guerilla is reluctantly drawn into the vengeance scheme of one of his victims. The film had a Latin American release, and premiered in Fall 2012 on HBO Latino. He also made his producing debut on Cyrano Fernandez, a Venezuelan-Spanish production based on the French play Cyrano De Bergerac, in which he also starred. For his performance in the film, Ramírez won the Best Actor Award in the official selection of Territorio Latinoamericano.
Additional past international film credits include Elipsis; El Don (The Boss), directed by J.R. Novoa (Venezuela/Spain); La Hora Cero (The Magic Hour), a short film directed by Guillermo Arriaga, the acclaimed screenwriter of Amores Perros and 21 Grams (Mexico); El Nudeo (The Knot), directed by Alejandro Wiederman (Venezuela); Yotama Se Va Volando (Yotama Flies Away), directed by Luis Armando Roche (Venezuela/France); Punto y Raya (Step Forward), directed by Elia K. Schneider (Venezuela/Spain/Chile/Uruguay), a nominee for Oscar® consideration for 2004 Best Foreign Language Film; and Anonimo (Anonymous), directed by Enelio Farina (Venezuela).
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Ramírez grew up all over the world due to his father’s job as a military attache. He has made his home in such diverse countries as Austria, Canada, Colombia, Italy and Mexico and is fluent in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish as a result. Throughout his travels Ramírez developed a great love and ability for intercultural communication, a skill he parlayed into a degree in journalism. He specialized in political communications and initially intended on becoming a diplomat.
In 2000, before turning to acting full time, Ramírez was the executive director of NGO Dale Al Voto, a Venezuelan organization skin to Rock the Vote. In order to foster democratic values among young people, Ramírez and his team created cutting edge campaigns for radio, television and cinema. The campaign was well received by audiences throughout the country. He also lent his expertise to various Venezuelan multilateral organizations, including the Organization of American States, Transparency International and Amnesty International.
Currently, after three years of contribution to UNICEF including Haiti Relief, Anti-Violence and Children’s Rights campaigns, Ramírez serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in Venezuela. He joins a distinguished list of International Ambassadors that includes Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Shakira, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Orlando Bloom, Judy Collins and Mia Farrow. He also has been active in the awareness campaign for breast cancer in Venezuela, specifically highlighting the disease’s prevalence in the male community.
OLIVIA MUNN (Jen Sarchie) stars in Aaron Sorkin's hit HBO drama series “The Newsroom”. The series, which also stars Jeff Daniels and Sam Waterston, is currently in production on the third season. She can currently be seen as a correspondent for the critically praised Showtime documentary series, “Years of Living Dangerously.” Up next she stars alongside Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor and Gwyneth Paltrow in Mortdecai, an action comedy for director David Koepp.
Munn was last seen on the big screen opposite Channing Tatum in the hit film Magic Mike for director Steven Soderbergh. In addition to her work on “The Newsroom,” she also had a recurring role on the 2013 season of Fox’s “The New Girl,”. Munn got her first big break when she joined the Emmy Winning Comedy Central series “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 2011, becoming only one of five female cast members to ever be on the show.
SEAN HARRIS (Mick Santino) has become noted for a hugely versatile body of work both in his native England and in the United States. He became well known to American television viewers in the role of Micheletto in The Borgias, and as one of the stars of Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and opposite Michael Caine in Harry Brown.
Born in London’s Bethnal Green, Harris trained at Drama Centre. He began his career with numerous appearances on British television series, among them Minder, The Bill and Kavanagh QC, and portrayed Thomas in the television movie Jesus. He portrayed Joy Division’s ill-fated Ian Curtis in Michael Winterbottom’s feature 24 Hour Party People in 2002, followed by numerous roles on the big screen in Trauma, Creep, Asylum, Brothers of the Head, Isolation and Outlaw. On television, Harris appeared in the mini-series See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Wedding Belles, and was a series regular on Meadowlands, Ashes to Ashes and Waking the Dead. Harris portrayed Bob Craven in the critically acclaimed Red Riding trilogy, and then won audience favor as Stretch in Harry Brown.
Since then, Harris has continued to divide his work between feature films and television. In addition to his role on The Borgias, he has also appeared in the series Five Daughters and the mini-series Southcliffe and Jamaica Inn; and in the motion picture Brighton Rock and A Lonely Place to Die. Most recently, Harris completed roles in the feature films ’71, Serena, The Goob and as Macduff in Macbeth, which stars Michael Fassbinder in the title role.
JOEL McHALE (Butler) is one of the busiest actors in the business right now. He currently stars on NBC’s hit comedy series Community, which is currently in its fifth season. He most recently starred in Warner Bros.’ romantic comedy Blended alongside Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, and stars as Robin Williams’ son in A Friggin’ Christmas Miracle.
McHale was seen in Seth MacFarlane’s comedy smash Ted, a live action tale of a boy and his teddy bear. His other film credits include What’s Your Number?, The Big Year, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World and The Informant.
In addition, McHale continues to satirize pop culture and current events each week on E!’s The Soup. His quick wit and sharp comedic timing have made the show a pop culture phenomenon and have led to his 2013 spinoff series, The Soup Investigates. McHale also performs his stand-up around the country to sold-out audiences.
Born in Rome and raised in Seattle, Washington, McHale was a history major at the University of Washington where he also was a member of their championship football team. He received his Master’s of Fine Arts from UW’s Actor’s Training Program.
McHale lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons.
SCOTT DERRICKSON (Director/Screenwriter) is the director, screenwriter and producer behind some of today’s most successful films. He recently executive produced Italian actress/filmmaker Asia Argento’s latest film Incompresa, which garnered excellent reviews in Un Certain Regard at the most recent Festival De Cannes.
Derrickson also wrote, directed and executive produced the hit horror film Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, from Summit Entertainment and Blumhouse Productions. The film garnered positive critical reviews and earned $87 million at the worldwide box office. Derrickson is writing and producing the planned sequel Sinister 2, which begins production in 2014.
His previous credits include directing Twentieth Century Fox’s The Day the Earth Stood Still, starring Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, which earned over $230 million worldwide. Additionally, Derrickson wrote and directed the 2005 hit horror film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, which earned more than $140 million at the worldwide box office. The film won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film and was listed as one of the “Top 100 Scariest Films Ever Made” by the Chicago Film Critics Association. That same year, Derrickson wrote the drama Land of Plenty, which was directed by Wim Wenders and starred Michelle Williams.
Denver, Colorado born Derrickson graduated from Biola University with a B.A. in Humanities with an emphasis on literature and philosophy, a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis on film and a minor in theological studies. He earned his M.A. in film production from USC School of Cinematic Arts.
JERRY BRUCKHEIMER (Producer) has for 40 years produced films and television programs of distinction and quality, in the process becoming the most successful producer of all time in both mediums. His productions, with the familiar lightning bolt logo, have not only delighted audiences all over the world, but greatly impacted popular culture over the decades.
Bruckheimer’s films have earned worldwide revenues of over $16 billion in box office, video and recording receipts. In the 2005-6 season he had a record-breaking 10 series on network television, a feat unprecedented in nearly 60 years of television history. His films (19 of which exceeded the $100 million mark in U.S. box office receipts, three of which are on the all-time top ten list and two of which surpassed a billion dollars in international box office) and television programs have been acknowledged with 43 Academy Award® nominations, six Oscar®, eight Grammy Award® nominations, five Grammys, 23 Golden Globe® nominations, four Golden Globes, 118 Emmy® Award® nominations, 22 Emmy®s, 31 People’s Choice Awards nominations, 15 People’s Choice Awards, 12 BAFTA nominations, two BAFTA Awards, numerous MTV Awards, including one for Best Picture of the Decade for Beverly Hills Cop and 20 Teen Choice Awards.
But the numbers exist only because of Bruckheimer’s uncanny ability to find the stories and tell them on film. He is, according to the Washington Post, “the man with the golden gut.” He may have been born that way, but more likely, his natural gifts were polished to laser focus in the early years of his career. His first films were the 60-second tales he told as an award-winning commercial producer in his native Detroit. One of those mini-films, a parody of Bonnie and Clyde created for Pontiac, was noted for its brilliance in Time Magazine and brought the 23-year-old producer to the attention of world-renowned ad agency BBD&O, which lured him to New York.
Four years on Madison Avenue gave him the experience and confidence to tackle Hollywood, and, just about 30, he was at the helm of memorable films like Farewell, My Lovely, American Gigolo and 1983’s Flashdance, which changed Bruckheimer’s life by grossing $92 million in the U.S. alone and pairing him with Don Simpson, who would be his producing partner for the next 13 years.
Together the Simpson/Bruckheimer juggernaut produced one hit after another, including Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop II, Bad Boys, Dangerous Minds, Crimson Tide and the cult satire The Ref, which Entertainment Weekly magazine named one of “The 50 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen” in July 2012. Box office success was acknowledged in both 1985 and 1988 when the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) named Bruckheimer Producer of the Year. And in 1988 the Publicists Guild of America chose him, along with Simpson, Motion Picture Showmen of the Year.
In 1996, Bruckheimer produced The Rock, re-establishing Sean Connery as an action star and turning an unlikely Nicolas Cage into an action hero. The Rock, named Favorite Movie of the Year by NATO, grossed $350 million worldwide and was Bruckheimer’s last movie with Simpson, who died during production.
Now on his own, Bruckheimer followed in 1997 with Con Air, which grossed over $230 million, earned a Grammy® and two Oscar® nominations and brought its producer the ShoWest International Box Office Achievement Award for unmatched foreign grosses.
Then came Touchstone Pictures’ megahit Armageddon, starring Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Michael Bay, it was the biggest movie of 1998, grossing nearly $560 million worldwide and introducing legendary rock band Aerosmith’s first #1 single, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.”
By the end of the millennium, Bruckheimer had produced Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman and Gone in Sixty Seconds, starring Cage, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall, both grossing over $225 million worldwide; Coyote Ugly, whose soundtrack album went triple platinum; and the NAACP Image Award–winning Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington. His peers in the Producers Guild of America acknowledged his abilities with the David O. Selznick Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures.
He began the 21st century with triple Oscar®-nominee Pearl Harbor. Starring Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale and directed by Bay, the film was hailed by World War II veterans and scholars as a worthy re-creation of the event that brought the United States into the war. In addition to multiple award nominations and the Oscar® for Best Sound Editing, it earned over $450 million in worldwide box office and has topped $250 million in DVD and video sales.
Black Hawk Down, the story of the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, starred Hartnett, Eric Bana and Ewan McGregor and was directed by Ridley Scott. The adaptation of the Mark Bowden bestseller was honored with multiple award nominations, two Oscars® and rave reviews.
Turning his hand toward comedy in 2003, Bruckheimer released the raucously funny Kangaroo Jack, a family film that won an MTV Award for Best Virtual performance for the kangaroo.
And later in 2003, Bruckheimer unveiled Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Starring Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush and Keira Knightley and directed by Gore Verbinski, the comedy/adventure/romance grossed more than $630 million worldwide, earned five Academy Award® nominations and spawned three sequels: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, all of which were to become even bigger hits than the first.
Following Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Jerry Bruckheimer’s films have included Bad Boys II; Veronica Guerin, starring Cate Blanchett as the Irish journalist murdered by Dublin crime lords; and King Arthur, with Clive Owen starring in the revisionist re-telling of the Arthurian legend.
In 2004 National Treasure, starring Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Justin Bartha and Sean Bean in a roller-coaster adventure about solving the mystery of untold buried treasure, directed by Jon Turteltaub, opened to cheering audiences and grossed more than $335 million worldwide.
Glory Road, the story of Texas Western coach Don Haskins, who led the first all-black starting line-up for a college basketball team to the NCAA national championship in 1966, debuted in early 2006 starring Josh Lucas, was honored with an ESPY Award for “Best Sports Movie of the Year” for 2006, while the writers received a Humanitas Prize for work that “honestly explores the complexities of the human experience and sheds light on the positive values of life.”
Summer 2006 brought the theatrical release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, which sailed into the record books by becoming not only Bruckheimer’s most financially successful film, but the highest-grossing movie opening ever in the history of the medium at that time: $132 million in its first three days. Shattering projected estimates, the film earned $55.5 million the first day of release. The final worldwide take of $1.07 billion placed Dead Man’s Chest in third position among the highest-grossing films of all time, and is still one of only 18 films to ever top the billion dollar mark, and creating a true worldwide phenomenon
Teaming for the sixth time with director Tony Scott, Bruckheimer released Déjà Vu in late 2006, the story of an ATF agent who falls in love with a complete stranger as he races against time to track down her brutal killer. The film starred Denzel Washington, Jim Caviezel, Paula Patton and Val Kilmer.
In May 2007, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, third in the blockbuster trilogy, opened around the world simultaneously. Shattering more domestic and international records in its wake, At World’s End became the fastest film in history to reach half a billion dollars in overseas grosses. By early July, the film had amassed a worldwide total of $960 million, giving At World’s End hallowed status as the number one worldwide movie of the year, and, at that time, the sixth biggest film of all time in total box office receipts.
Released on December 21st, 2007, National Treasure: Book of Secrets—the follow-up to Bruckheimer’s 2004 hit, again starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Jon Turteltaub—opened to a smash number one weekend of nearly $45 million, almost $10 million more than the first film. National Treasure: Book of Secrets remained in the number one box office position for three consecutive weeks, with the combined box office total reaching $440 million. In addition to reuniting Cage with National Treasure stars Jon Voight, Diane Kruger and Justin Bartha, Academy Award®–winning actress Helen Mirren and four-time Oscar® nominee Ed Harris were also welcomed to the cast.
Next up from Jerry Bruckheimer Films in February 2009 was Confessions of a Shopaholic, a romantic comedy based on the best-selling novels by Sophie Kinsella, starring Isla Fisher and directed by P.J. Hogan (My Best Friend’s Wedding). This was followed by the international box office hit G-Force, a technically innovative 3D adventure film which combined live action and computer imagery under the innovative direction of Academy Award®–winning visual effects wizard Hoyt Yeatman. The film featured the voice talents of Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Sam Rockwell, Jon Favreau and Steve Buscemi, and live-action performances by Bill Nighy, Zach Galifianakis and Will Arnett.
Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ 2010 productions for Walt Disney Pictures continued the producer’s tradition for quality. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, an epic fantasy adventure directed by Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), starred Jake Gyllenhaal, newcomer Gemma Arterton, Sir Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina. A worldwide success, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is now the highest-grossing film based upon a video game. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, an imaginative comedic adventure partially inspired by the classic animated section of Fantasia, marked a reunion for Bruckheimer with star Nicolas Cage and director Jon Turteltaub following their National Treasure successes, with the cast also featuring Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina and Teresa Palmer.
Johnny Depp, in his Academy Award® nominated performance, returned as the iconic Captain Jack Sparrow, in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, released on May 20, 2011 in Disney Digital 3-D. Starring alongside Depp in the spectacular new adventure, directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha) were Penelope Cruz, Geoffrey Rush and Ian McShane. Opening worldwide, the film’s opening weekend global box office of $256.3 million was not only the best overseas opener for the franchise, but the all-time record-breaker for an international debut. In only its first five days, On Stranger Tides amassed a staggering cumulative domestic and international box office total of $346.4 million. Among the film’s milestones were the 4th biggest global opening of all time, the biggest opening day and weekend of all time in the emerging market of Russia and fifth biggest domestic opening in the long history of The Walt Disney Studios. On Stranger Tides crossed the $600 million global threshold in only 12 days, matching the previous industry record set by At World’s End in 2007, and in its second week of release, the film remained in first place in more than 50 territories against stiff new summer competition. On Stranger Tides joined its predecessors Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End on the all-time top ten box office list on June 20th, exactly one month after its theatrical release.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides became only one of eight films at that time to cross the landmark $1 billion in international box office on July 2nd, less than seven weeks after release, joining Dead Man’s Chest among that heralded list.
Collectively, the four Pirates of the Caribbean films to date have brought in some $3.7 billion at the worldwide box office, $900 million from homevideo and $1.6 billion from merchandise sales, marking it as a truly international cultural phenomenon.
In February 2012, production began on iconic locations in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah on the epic adventure The Lone Ranger, a spectacular and highly ambitious reinvention of the classic tale which reunited the team behind the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films: Jerry Bruckheimer, director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp, bringing his great inventiveness to the role of Tonto. Released on July 3, 2013, The Lone Ranger also starred Armie Hammer (The Social Network) in the title role, joined by an international cast including Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson and Helena Bonham Carter. The film was honored with two Academy Award® nominations for Achievement in Visual Effects and Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, and won the heralded VES (Visual Effects Society) Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture, an acknowledgement of its innovative melding of live and CG elements.
On December 6, 2013, it was announced that Jerry Bruckheimer would be re-aligned with Paramount Pictures, the studio for which he and Don Simpson made some of their most successful films as a team. Among the films in development for Paramount are a new Beverly Hills Cop film to once again star Eddie Murphy, and Top Gun 2 in association with Skydance Productions, and with Tom Cruise again toplining. Also in the future, for The Walt Disney Studios, are a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean epic, starring Johnny Depp in his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow, and directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, whose Kon-Tiki was nominated for the 2013 Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award as Best Foreign Language Film; and the third entry in the blockbuster National Treasure series.
Bruckheimer brought the power of the lightning bolt to television in 2000 with C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, starring William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger. It quickly became the number one show on television, averaging 25 million viewers a week, and, along with its two spin-offs, C.S.I.: Miami—distinguished as the biggest television series hit on a global scale in 2005 as well as being broadcast TV’s #1 prime-time series for the summer of 2006—and C.S.I.: NY helped catapult languishing CBS back to the top of the broadcast heap. In June 2012, the Monte Carlo International TV Festival honored C.S.I. with its International TV Audience Award as the most watched television drama series in the world, having already won that honor previously in 2007, ’08, ’10 and ‘11, with C.S.I.: Miami taking the prize in 2006. Emmy® and Grammy Award-winning actor Ted Danson took on the leading role of C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation in July 2011 in time for the program’s 12th season, joined in February 2012 by Academy Award® nominee Elisabeth Shue.
Jerry Bruckheimer Television broadened its imprint by telling compelling stories and delivering viewers in huge numbers with such programs as Without a Trace, Cold Case, Dark Blue (the producer’s first foray into cable) and The Amazing Race, a nine-time Emmy® Award-winner in the category of Reality Program – Competition, eight of those won consecutively.
In 2004, Bruckheimer made the “Time 100,” a list of the most influential people in the world. Also in 2004, Bruckheimer was named number one in the Power Issue of Entertainment Weekly. Variety selected Bruckheimer as their Showman of the Year for 2006. This award—determined by Variety’s top editors and reporters—is presented to an individual who has had significant economic impact, innovations and/or breakthroughs in the entertainment industry.
Bruckheimer was presented with the Salute to Excellence Award from The Museum of Television and Radio for 2006 for his contribution to the television medium. And, in 2007, the Producers Guild of America presented him with the Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television for his extraordinary body of work in television.
In March 2010, ShoWest honored Bruckheimer with their Lifetime Achievement Award, his fifth honor from that organization following his awards as Producer of the Year in 1985, 1988 and 1999, and Box Office Achievement in 1998. On May 17th, 2010—the same night as the U.S. premiere of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time—he planted his hand and footprints into the concrete in the forecourt of the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. On the same evening, he was honored by the American Film Institute with a retrospective of five of his blockbuster films, introduced by their casts and filmmakers.
2012 saw Bruckheimer receiving the Outstanding Producer of Competition Television honor from the Producers Guild of America for The Amazing Race, as well as the prestigious Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Another great honor was bestowed upon Jerry Bruckheimer on June 24, 2013, when he received his own Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, further cementing his show business immortality. On the night of December 12, 2013, he also became the first producer to be honored with an American Cinematheque Award, with a gallery of stars and creative artists with whom Bruckheimer worked through the years praised Bruckheimer for his enormous contributions to the world of entertainment. One week later, a large-format book entitled “Jerry Bruckheimer: When Lightning Strikes – Four Decades of Filmmaking” was published by Disney Editions, chronicling the producer’s extraordinary 40 year long career in words and images.
In her 2008 autobiography, “In the Frame,” Dame Helen Mirren recalls Bruckheimer, during the course of filming National Treasure: Book of Secrets, as “gentle, supportive and courageous, proving the saying ‘he who dares, wins.’”
Jerry Bruckheimer has been successful in many genres and multiple mediums because he’s a great storyteller, takes dares…and almost always wins.
Look for the lightning bolt. The best stories are right behind it.
PAUL HARRIS BOARDMAN (Screenwriter, Executive Producer) co-writer and executive producer of Deliver Us from Evil, grew up in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Sewanee with degrees in English literature and psychology. He earned an M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins before attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he won a full scholarship in screenwriting. Boardman and Scott Derrickson co-wrote The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) and Devil’s Knot (2014), both of which Boardman also produced. In 2008, Boardman produced The Day the Earth Stood Still for Fox, and he did production rewrites on Scream 4, The Messengers, and Dracula 2000, as well as co-writing and directing the second unit for Hellraiser: Inferno.
In television, Paul has written pilots for AMC and MTV, both of which he was attached to executive produce, and he is now adapting Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers as a limited event series for NBC. His other current projects include Guilty Wives, based on the recent bestseller by James Patterson, which Paul wrote and will executive produce for Maven Pictures and James Patterson Entertainment; Tom Slick: Mystery Hunter, which Paul is writing and producing for The Genre Co. and Homeland producer Howard Gordon; the spy thriller Sentinel, which Paul will write for Benaroya Pictures; and The Screwtape Letters, which Paul will write and executive produce for The C.S. Lewis Co., Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures, and Elysium Films.
Paul’s other screenplays in development include horror-comedy The Substitute for Ghost House Pictures; The Birds for Universal and Mandalay Pictures; and horror thriller Two Eyes Staring for Summit, with Charlize Theron attached to star and produce.
RALPH SARCHIE (Based upon the Book by) was born and raised in Flushing, Queens, New York. After attending John Jay College of Criminal Justice, he joined the New York Police Department and served in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Bronx and Brooklyn.
Sarchie was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2000, and served for four years in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx, known as one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York. His book “Beware the Night,” the inspiration for Deliver Us from Evil, co-written by Lisa Collier Cool, was published by St. Martin’s in 2001, winning Sarchie considerable attention.
After serving in the NYPD for 20 years, Sarchie retired in 2004, and continues investigating cases of demonic activity.
As president of Jerry Bruckheimer Films, MIKE STENSON (Executive Producer) served as a producer on Bad Company and Gone in Sixty Seconds and as an executive producer on Glory Road, National Treasure, King Arthur, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Bad Boys II, Veronica Guerin, Kangaroo Jack, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Coyote Ugly, Remember the Titans, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Déjà Vu, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, G-Force, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Lone Ranger.
Born and raised in Boston, Stenson graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master of business administration. After his undergraduate stint, he started as a production assistant in New York and worked for two years in independent film and television as an assistant director and production manager before returning to Boston to complete his graduate education.
After completing business school, Stenson moved to Los Angeles where he began his tenure at Walt Disney Studios in Special Projects for two years before moving into the production department at Hollywood Pictures as a creative executive. He was promoted to vice president and subsequently executive vice president during his eight years with the company, overseeing development and production for Hollywood Pictures as well as Touchstone Pictures. In addition to the many Bruckheimer films, Stenson also developed several other films and nurtured them through production including Rush Hour, Instinct, Six Days, Seven Nights and Mr. Holland’s Opus..
CHAD OMAN (Executive Producer) is the president of production for Jerry Bruckheimer Films for which he oversees all aspects of film development and production. Oman produced, along with Bruckheimer, Remember the Titans, starring Denzel Washington for Walt Disney Pictures, and Coyote Ugly starring Piper Perabo and John Goodman for Touchstone Pictures.
He executive produced the critically acclaimed Veronica Guerin starring Cate Blanchett, as well as the blockbuster hits Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Johnny Depp, and its followups Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Bad Boys II starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, Black Hawk Down, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Josh Hartnett, Pearl Harbor starring Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett, Gone in Sixty Seconds, starring Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie and Robert Duvall, Enemy of the State starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, Armageddon starring Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck, Con Air, starring Nicolas Cage and John Malkovich, Glory Road, Déjà Vu, starring Denzel Washington and National Treasure: Book of Secrets, again starring Nicolas Cage, G-Force, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and The Lone Ranger.
In addition to his work on JBF’s many motion picture projects, Oman also supervised production on several television projects including ABC’s drama Dangerous Minds starring Annie Potts, and the ABC drama Swing Vote written by Ron Bass, and starring Andy Garcia.
Prior to joining Simpson Bruckheimer in 1995, Oman was a founding employee of the Motion Picture Corporation of America. After six years, he left the independent production company as senior vice president of production.
Oman served as an associate producer on Dumb and Dumber starring Jim Carrey, executive produced Touchstone Pictures’ The War at Home starring Emilio Estevez, Kathy Bates and Martin Sheen, and co-produced The Desperate Trail with Sam Elliott and The Sketch Artist starring Drew Barrymore and Sean Young. Oman produced Hands That See with Courteney Cox and Love, Cheat and Steal with John Lithgow and Eric Roberts.
Oman graduated from Southern Methodist University with a degree in finance. He also attended the University of California at Los Angeles where he studied screenwriting and New York University where he participated in the undergraduate film production program. He was born and raised in Wichita Falls, Texas.
PAUL HARRIS BOARDMAN (Executive Producer/Screenwriter) co-writer and executive producer of Deliver Us From Evil, grew up in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Sewanee with degrees in English literature and psychology. He earned an M.A. in creative writing from Johns Hopkins before attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he won a full scholarship in screenwriting. Boardman and Scott Derrickson co-wrote The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005) and Devil’s Knot (2014), both of which Boardman also produced. In 2008, Boardman produced The Day the Earth Stood Still for Fox, and he did production rewrites on Scream 4, The Messengers, and Dracula 2000, as well as co-writing and directing the second unit for Hellraiser: Inferno.
In television, Paul has written pilots for AMC and MTV, both of which he was attached to executive produce, and he is now adapting Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers as a limited event series for NBC. His other current projects include Guilty Wives, based on the recent bestseller by James Patterson, which Paul wrote and will executive produce for Maven Pictures and James Patterson Entertainment; Tom Slick: Mystery Hunter, which Paul is writing and producing for The Genre Co. and Homeland producer Howard Gordon; the spy thriller Sentinel, which Paul will write for Benaroya Pictures; and The Screwtape Letters, which Paul will write and executive produce for The C.S. Lewis Co., Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures, and Elysium Films.
Paul’s other screenplays in development include horror-comedy The Substitute for Ghost House Pictures; The Birds for Universal and Mandalay Pictures; and horror thriller Two Eyes Staring for Summit, with Charlize Theron attached to star and produce.
GLENN S. GAINOR (Executive Producer) is the senior vice president in charge of physical production for Screen Gems, a feature division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. He has held the position since January 2007. In addition to this position, Gainor has executive produced multiple projects for Screen Gems, including Friends with Benefits, Priest, Takers, Death at a Funeral and Obsessed, to name a few.
Gainor oversaw Straw Dogs, Easy A, Burlesque, Country Strong, The Roommate, Fired Up, Armored, The Stepfather, Lakeview Terrace, First Sunday, This Christmas and more. He has advised on co-financed and negative pickups such as Carrie, The Vow, along with the Resident Evil and Underworld franchises.
Gainor has pushed for new technology and a different way of thinking on productions. For About Last Night, the company used batteries over generators, plug-in lights that required no rigging, the 16 bit, 4K digital F65 camera and shot entirely in practical locations from Dodger Stadium to authentic downtown LA locations such as Cole’s, Casey’s, The Broadway Bar, The LA Athletic Club and various lofts. The result is a vibrant, honest-looking movie that uses everything the city has to offer to tell the best story it can.
Gainor produced the romantic comedy Think Like a Man, which also filmed entirely “off lot,” this time in Culver City and downtown LA, and was the first feature to be shot exclusively with LED lights, the most energy-efficient alternative to traditional movie lighting packages. Gainor’s dedication to maintaining environmentally sustainable productions began in 2007 when he oversaw the construction of the super structure built on Stage 23 at Sony Pictures Studios for Quarantine. The very same structure was repurposed on seven other Screen Gems productions, including The Stepfather, Takers and Obsessed. The Environmental Media Association has repeatedly recognized Gainor’s efforts and awarded Screen Gems with the Green Seal for implementing sustainable production practices and raising environmental awareness.
Gainor believes that “green initiatives” also key into greater efficiency. By using lower wattage lights such as LED’s, moving away from generators as everyday power sources and embracing digital technology that decreases production waste, Screen Gems has been able to produce with a lighter footprint, less waste and greater efficiency. For example, while in Atlanta for No Good Deed, the company shot in practical locations with minimum lighting. It is also one of the first features to be shot and released in 4K, a topic Gainor touched upon when he spoke at the DGA’s Digital Day, 2012.
At the end of 2011 Gainor wrapped Battle of the Year: The Dream Team, a 3D feature film inspired by the documentary about a yearly international dance competition which re-discovers one of the most incredible dance phenomena the world has ever seen. This production was shot in Los Angeles as well as Montpellier, France. The picture culminates with the American cast performing in front of 12,000 hip-hop fans for the live event, “The Battle of the Year.”
In addition to his executive duties at Sony, Gainor has also been recognized by the city of Los Angeles for his donations to the non-profit organization Million Trees LA. Additionally, he was honored by the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for keeping film production in Los Angeles, and he was the 2009 keynote speaker and recipient of the California on Location “Signature Award,” given in appreciation for his efforts in preserving California’s film industry and culture. Gainor is also a contributing member to the Motion Picture & Television Fund’s Next Generation.
Previous producing credits include three pictures for Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison––Strange Wilderness, Grandma’s Boy and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo. Gainor produced Nicolas Cage’s directorial debut, Sonny, and served as line producer on the critically acclaimed Panic, directed by Henry Bromell. He co-produced George Hickenlooper’s The Man from Elysian Fields, as well as the top-selling Sundance picture, Happy Texas. Gainor also produced for the stage, teaming with director Andy Fickman for the musical Sneaux.
A member of the DGA and PGA, a graduate of the film program at California State University at Northridge, a recipient of the 2010 Cinematheque Award from the Department of Cinema, Gainor launched his career in the film industry writing and producing an independent pilot which led to an offer to write for an ABC series. However, Gainor chose to pursue his career in producing.
BEN WAISBREN (Executive Producer) is Chairman and President of LSC Film Corporation, which co-finances major motion pictures with Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. He is also an attorney with the international law firm of Winston & Strawn, where he advises clients in the U.S. and Europe in the media & entertainment and finance sectors. His clients include independent production and distribution companies, private equity firms, hedge funds, investment banks and commercial banks.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Waisbren was a managing director and head of investment banking restructuring at Salomon Brothers in New York, following a legal career at a large Chicago law firm, Lord, Bissell & Brook, where he led a national bankruptcy litigation practice.
Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in early 2013, Mr. Waisbren was the President of Continental Entertainment Capital LP, a direct subsidiary of Citigroup, with operations in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. Before that, he was a managing director of a global hedge fund company, Stark Investments, where he was a co-portfolio manager in the fixed income and private equity areas, and responsible for investments in the feature film industry, and the formation of the firm’s structured finance fund and a related, branded middle market leveraged lender, Freeport Financial.
Mr. Waisbren served as a member of the Board of Directors of France’s Wild Bunch, S.A., a pan-European motion picture production, distribution and sales company, from 2005 until 2009, in connection with private equity investments that he managed.
He was Executive Producer of Warner Bros. Pictures’ 300; Blood Diamond; V for Vendetta; Nancy Drew; The Good German; Poseidon; and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. In addition, he was Executive Producer of the following independent studio releases: Cassandra’s Dream; First Born; Next; Bangkok Dangerous; and Gardener of Eden. He serves as an executive producer of Columbia Pictures’ 22 Jump Street, as well as its upcoming films Sex Tape and The Equalizer, among others for the studio.
SCOTT KEVAN (Director of Photography) is one of film’s most innovative cinematographers. His numerous feature film credits have included Crush, Underworld: Awakening, The Darkest Hour, The Losers, Fame, Death Race, Cleaner, Stomp the Yard, Cabin Fever, Bug and the forthcoming Reclaim.
Kevan was born in Detroit, Michigan and now resides in Los Angeles.
BOB SHAW (Production Designer) is well known for having designed the first season of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, including the show’s now-famed period Atlantic City boardwalk set, as well as Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed smash hit, The Wolf of Wall Street. Shaw garnered an Emmy® Award for his work on both Boardwalk Empire, as well as the pilot of Mad Men. He also received three Emmy® Award nominations for his work on seasons 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of The Sopranos.
The New York-based Shaw was also production designer of Brooklyn Rules, The Weekend, The 24 Hour Woman and HBO’s telefilm Too Big to Fail. He recreated the golden age of flight for television’s Pan Am, with other television credits including Spring/Fall, the pilot and first season of Nurse Jackie, The Last of the Ninth, New Amsterdam, Now and Again, The Same Difference and Life Lessons.
Shaw worked on numerous features as art director and assistant art director, including The Ice Storm, The Rainmaker, Quiz Show, Guarding Tess, Glengarry Glen Ross and Malcolm X.
Shaw’s work has also extended to theatre, where designed the productions of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, The Pirates of Penzance, Coastal Disturbances and The Human Comedy on Broadway, and work with such resident theatres as the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, The Washington Opera, Playwrights Horizons, The La Jolla Playhouse and The Second Stage Company.
CHRISTOPHER PETERSON (Costume Designer) has numerous impressive credits, including Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike and The Girlfriend Experience, Kill Your Darlings, Lay the Favorite, Our Idiot Brother, Did You Hear About the Morgans? and Blood Creek. Previously, Peterson was assistant costume designer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Angels in America, Jerry Bruckheimer Television’s Hostages and such features as Edge of Darkness, Duplicity, Body of Lies, Across the Universe, Music and Lyrics, All the King’s Men, Hitch, The Manchurian Candidate, The Mothman Prophecies, State and Main, Music of the Heart and others.
JASON HELLMANN (Editor) is a longtime collaborator of Jerry Bruckheimer,, having previously edited the producer’s G-Force, Deju Vu and Glory Road, and previously, serving as assistant editor on Enemy of the State, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Kangaroo Jack and additional editor on Bad Boys II.
Hellmann’s other editing credits have included The Grey and the TV series The Blacklist.
CHRISTOPHER YOUNG (Composer) Award-winning film composer Christopher Young has scored more than 100 features in virtually every genre. Young’s unique and imaginative approach is reflected in his eclectic list of film credits. He has scored everything from bone-chilling horror films including Hellraiser, Ghost Rider, Drag Me To Hell, The Grudge film series, to thrillers such as Swordfish and Spider Man 3, to the popular Tyler Perry films The Single Moms Club and A Madea Christmas, and critically acclaimed dramas The Shipping News and The Rum Diary. Other recent credits include Killing Season, Gods Behaving Badly, The Monkey King, and the upcoming Deliver Us From Evil.
Young has received numerous awards throughout his career including Emmy nominations along with a Golden Globe and a Critics Choice Award nomination for his Celtic score for The Shipping News. He has collaborated with many of Hollywood’s leading directors, including Jon Amiel, Norman Jewison, Sam Raimi, Barry Levinson, Clive Barker, Lasse Hallstrom and Curtis Hanson.
Young’s additional accolades include career achievement awards from BMI, The Temecula Film Festival, the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, and Education Through Music - Los Angeles.
His philanthropic spirit is demonstrated by the way he gives back to the film music community. In addition to film composing, Young teaches a film scoring class at USC, serves as an advisor for the Sundance Institute’s Film Composer Lab, and opened Tilden House, a location designed to provide low-cost housing to aspiring film composers in Hollywood.