GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS
no doubt recognize
the title "Gone in
60 Seconds" from
its '70s predecessor, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer is quick to point out the film is not simply a remake, but a complete rebuild of the popular original. "When we decided to go ahead with this project, it was important to everyone that the spirit of the original film stay intact," he says. "But we've enlarged the scope of the story, and more clearly defined the characters. We also added some characters and reworked the plot while maintaining elements which fans who remember and love in the original will enjoy seeing again."
Writer Scott Rosenberg first learned about the original film four years ago from The Walt Disney Studio's then-chief of production, Michael
Linton. "Michael described it in one sentence," says Rosenberg. "'They have to steal 50 cars in one night.' I thought that was the coolest idea in the world. Jerry
[Bruckheimer] and I started discussing it when we were doing 'Con Air' and agreed that because the hero is no longer a criminal, we had to develop a strong reason for him to be drawn back into the life he's fought so hard to leave."
"This movie is not just for people who love cars," Bruckheimer notes. "It's an exciting drama about a man who wants desperately to do the right and honorable thing in life but gets drawn back into a former existence, one of crime and fear. It's a movie about making choices set against a backdrop of incredible cars."
Actor Nicolas Cage agrees. "The original was the inspiration for this film," he says. "I was surprised how many people had seen it. In the original film there was a 40-minute chase and the film focused on the chase, but this film focuses more on the relationships — there's more motivation — I have to steal 50 cars within a couple of days to save my brother's life."
Bruckheimer never wavered in his desire to see Nicolas Cage portray Memphis Raines. "We chased Nic from the beginning," he says. "Scott had Nic in mind when he wrote the piece. Nic was the first actor we went to and we just chased him until he finally said yes."
A noted car collector, Cage was drawn to the film not only because of the auto appeal, but also because of the dynamic new script. "There is a great group of characters, he explains. "The humanity appealed to me. Jerry understands that big things take time and he was behind us one hundred percent."
"Memphis is a character who was living on the edge for quite a while," Bruckheimer says of the main character." He had a passion for cars even before he could drive. Jumping into a brand-new Corvette made him feel good. Driving out to Palm Springs on a joyride was a blast, but he couldn't afford to buy the car. Eventually these joyrides turned into a business and that business turned bad. He
could have gotten killed. He could have spent his life in prison, but he decided to leave. Stealing was a circumstance and not really who he was."
Bruckheimer, Rosenberg and producer Mike Stenson attempted several different scenarios before settling on the idea of using a kid brother as the catalyst for Memphis' change. Even in their initial story meeting, they agreed that the threat to Memphis' brother had to effectuate the rest of the story. On the way home from that meeting Rosenberg began conjuring his cast of unique characters.
"The script was still evolving as we were attempting to cast all the parts," says director Dominic Sena. "We talked many of the actors through it so that they would know where we were going with the story. It was as if we were saying, 'Just sign here and trust us,"' he laughs.
Giovanni Ribisi portrays Memphis' younger brother Kip. "Giovanni was our first choic
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