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SNATCH

About The Production

With a Molotov mixture of highly professional actors, "non" actors, Brits, Americans, dogs, children, tough guys and the ever unreliable British weather, SNATCH takes the gangster genre into another dimension - hilarity.

Principal photography for SNATCH started in October 1999 and continued through December, 1999 in locations around London, England. SNATCH had the biggest opening (September 1, 2000) of any R-rated British film in U.K. history.

According to director Guy Ritchie, SNATCH is not a sequel to his hip gangster film "Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels," in which a group of friends unwittingly get mixed up in a seedy underworld of drugs, crime and violence. In SNATCH, the players are the underworld, but it is London villainy with a comic twist.

"The film is more than just gangster madcap," says producer Matthew Vaughn. "It's a diamond heist gone wrong, fixed boxing matches, a New York Mafia boss and an Irish gypsy-turned-prize fighter who fights only to win his mother a new mobile home. Plus, we have the added bonus of a temperamental dog. It's a film full of helter-skelter twists."

The roller coaster storylines combined with gritty, realistic casting, unique locations (a pig farm and a gypsy camp to cite two) and silly situations gives the film a quantified comic edge.

"What started as a blood-rich thriller ended up as a gangster-comedy of errors on set," comments Ritchie. "It's fast paced, ‘move-it-quick' and with no fat on it. I also love playing around with dialogue – so this film has some of the material I wanted to put into my first film but couldn't get in."

For Vaughn, casting was key. "Guy began to write (the film) before "Lock, Stock…" was released, so he was still living and breathing the genre of hard men characters. It took us a long time to find the right faces – we had to see hundreds," remembers Vaughn. "Guy has such strong visual references that he wanted people not only to look the part but to deliver maximum authenticity with minimum theatrical technique."

The team was adamant about producing layers of casting to create an original look for the ensemble, rather than cast star names who might only be associated with their previous roles. They needed a surplus of original styles for the motley group - Irish gypsies, New Yorkers, Cockney Londoners, Jews, Blacks, Chinese, Russians and Scots. Leaving no stone unturned, the team looked everywhere - even the Peacock Gym in the East End - for their crew of real life hard men.

"One hefty guy arrived for a job as a security guard and Guy told him ‘no way' – he needed him for a part in the film instead. That made his day," commented Vaughn. The guy, named Ade, who'd never acted before, became the famous Tyrone, the oversize getaway driver who completes the bumbling duo of Sol and Vinnie.

Ritchie elaborates: "The cast gelled together so well. Each one is such a character - on and off screen – and they brought a life of their own to the original script I wrote. The roles needed coarseness as well as credibility and comedy. It's no good getting Shakespearean actors to play crooked cockney gang members."

"Lock, Stock…" attracted Brad Pitt, who called Ritchie immediately after the premiere in America and requested a meeting. "They clicked straight away. Brad literally asked to be cast in Guy's next film," reveals Vaughn.

"We were shocked at first, thinking ‘God, there's nothing in it for him.' Then Guy came up with the idea to cast him as the Irish Gypsy. He normally gets $20 million a film but agreed to a much smaller fee for SNATCH – and the same size trailer as everyone else!"

Pitt admits he found the lack of red carpet treatment refreshing. He was whi

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