About The Production
At the core of the fast-paced action in Mercury Rising is a compelling drama about the tender relationship that develops between an embittered FBI agent and the child he comes to protect
At the core of the fast-paced action in Mercury Rising
is a compelling drama about the tender relationship that develops
between an embittered FBI agent and the child he comes to protect.
Although seemingly unlikely allies, they share one thing in common:
isolation. As an autistic child, Simon lives in his own impenetrable
world (of puzzles and maps). Conversely, Jeffries' isolation is
self-imposed. He is a disillusioned and broken man who has pushed
too hard too often, alienating himself from his associates who
write off what he cannot prove but knows to be true as his own
paranoia. Together, these two people must learn to trust one another
in order to survive.
Director Harold Becker explains, "What drew me to Mercury
Rising was that at its center is a unique character, an autistic
boy. I felt that if I could bring him to life in an authentic
portrayal, then the pairing of this boy (isolated and alienated
by his autism) and an FBI agent (burned out and alienated by his
experiences) would create an emotionally powerful film."
Screenwriter Mark Rosenthal agrees, "The heart of the movie
is the unlikely relationship between the action hero and the innocent
boy. The FBI agent finds himself in a heightened situation where
his training and strength are simply not enough. To communicate
with this unusual boy, the agent must develop a gentleness and
new language-a language of sensitivity that law enforcement agencies
do not often encourage and the only one to which the boy responds."
Producer Brian Grazer continues, "Through the naïve
innocence of the autistic boy, the FBI agent-the hero of the film-is
forced to look within himself and find a new sensitivity to the
world and his own life. This is an original and inspired approach
to a suspenseful action film."
Mercury Rising brings the powerful teaming of superstars Bruce
Willis and Alec Baldwin to the screen together for the first time
under the skillful direction of Harold Becker. With such heralded
films as The Onion Field, Sea of Love and Malice to his
credit, Becker is widely lauded for his ability to capture compelling
performances from his stars, while creating multi-layered characterizations
amidst suspense and intrigue.
Fresh off the success of Luc Besson's innovative science fiction
film The Fifth Element and having most recently appeared
as the mysterious and elusive criminal mastermind in The Jackal,
the transformable Willis stars as FBI agent Art Jeffries. In summarizing
his character, Willis states, "he's a man down on his luck
who has lost faith in justice." The actor adds, "I'm
consistently attracted to characters who have problems, things
they need to overcome. That's always been the heart of drama-overcoming
obstacles and ultimately the triumph of good over evil."
Baldwin, who reunites with Becker after having starred in the
director's box office hit Malice, plays NSA official Lt.
Colonel Nicholas Kudrow. A staunch military man, Kudrow considers
himself a government untouchable and will stop at nothing, including
murder, to protect the two billion dollar code on which he has
waged his career.
Also starring in Mercury Rising is Chi McBride who plays
Bizzi, Jeffries' only friend and true colleague at the FBI. Best
known for his work as a comedic actor on The John Larroquette
Show, McBride was drawn to the opportunity to play a serious character.
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