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ANTITRUST

About The Production

The nerve-shattering events of Antitrust were first imagined by Howard Franklin, the screenwriter who previously wrote such thrillers as The Name of the Rose and Someone to Watch Over Me. Franklin enjoys writing suspense films that are as provocative as they are entertaining, that are full of both exhilarating surprises and questions about humanity's path. With Antitrust, he found a story that unveils a high-stakes battle at the heart of America's digital future.

Recently, Franklin became fascinated with the personalities and machinations at the core of the computer software industry. He was intrigued by the fiercely competitive search for The Next Big Thing, by warring companies vying to control the media future and most of all by the intense power struggles between huge computer corporations and young geniuses in garages who can potentially put the big guys out of business with one great idea. He immediately began researching the inner workings of the industry - from the mega-rich CEOs to the teenage geeks writing code in their bedrooms to the so-called "killer" applications that can inspire highly cutthroat approaches to business.

In the course of his research, Franklin learned about digital convergence - the ability for all digital devices to talk with one another - which many industry experts believe is the next advance that will completely change our lives and the economy. He learned that those companies at the forefront of digital convergence could very well win a major piece of the global money pie. Franklin also became particularly interested in one of the battles at the core of this future: private control versus open access for everybody.

Seeing the future of what we see, hear and read up for grabs, Franklin decided to write a gripping, paranoid thriller in the tradition of the political or espionage thriller but set in the realm of computer software corporations. Thus was born the character of Milo, a promising young computer science student who gets caught up in the heady world of a massive fictional software company - only to discover that he could become the next victim of the company's ruthless will to win.

When producer Nick Wechsler read Franklin's script he was struck by its powerful relevancy as an insider's look at an industry that is calling the shots for the future. "People of all ages are increasingly fascinated by the leaders of technology because they are today's cultural icons," says Wechsler. "Our instinct was that a film whose center was the world of technology would appeal to everyone."

Antitrust was the first script that David Hoberman, C.E.O. of Hyde Park Entertainment, read after making a deal for his new company at MGM. Hoberman and partner Ashok Amritraj loved the script's fast-paced, stimulating subject matter and wanted to co-finance and executive produce the picture.

Although Antitrust takes place in a high-tech environment, it was the human drama at its center that attracted director Peter Howitt to the story. Howitt previously directed the structurally original romantic comedy Sliding Doors, starring Gwyneth Paltrow in the story of a woman who gets a chance to experience two alternate fates. With Antitrust, he saw a chance to again explore two interconnected worlds - the often frighteningly unpredictable world of reality and the clear-cut, rational, binary world inside the computer, which has drawn Milo so intensely. "I really see Antitrust as a young man's journey into facing reality," comments Howitt. "In the beginning Milo is a techno wizard who has spent most of his life in front of a computer. He has tunnel vision - he's only interested in that s

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