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MERCURY RISING

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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