THE BIG HIT
About The Production
Warren Zide, a top Hollywood literary manager turned producer, recognized a good thing when he read Ben Ramsey's screenplay for THE BIG HIT
Warren Zide, a top Hollywood literary manager turned producer,
recognized a good thing when he read Ben Ramsey's screenplay for
THE BIG HIT. "His talent was evident, and this was a movie
that I really wanted to see," says Zide.
Zide passed the script to Wesley Snipes' company, Amen Ra, which
was similarly impressed. "The story was fresh, and Wesley
saw the possibilities immediately," says Amen Ra's Victor
McGauley, a co-producer on THE BIG HIT.
The script then landed on the desk of Terence Chang, longtime
producer and partner of director John Woo. Chang immediately thought
of his friends, director Che-Kirk Wong and producer Roger Garcia,
for the project.
After establishing an international reputation as an innovative
action director, Wong, along with Garcia, was looking for a project
to launch his career in North America. After sifting through over
a hundred action scripts, Wong knew that he had the right one
when he read THE BIG HIT.
"The script was very original, and that's a quality that
I need for my work," says Wong. "It provided the basis
for some good action pieces, but at the same time, there's a tongue-in-cheek
kind of attitude, too. Obviously, I enjoy doing action sequences,
but action means nothing if we don't have decent characters. They're
both equally important to me."
"The mix of comedy and action made it a perfect vehicle for
Che-Kirk to establish himself in North America," comments
Chang. "He had never done a comedy before, and I thought
that this would be a challenge for him."
Garcia adds: "One of Che-Kirk's strengths as a director is
the representation of men as individuals and as a group, bonded
through a common goal or job. He's also got a cool sense of humor
for this type of material."
Everyone involved agreed that the script demanded a group of hip,
fresh, exciting actors. There was an additional casting requirement
for the motley group of hitmen: "We had to get a cast which
looked comfortable together and appeared to have known each other
for years for the type of chemistry we wanted onscreen,"
says Garcia. "Coming from Hong Kong to Hollywood-where the
talent pool is much larger-gave us a wide spectrum of choices.
We had to make some difficult casting decisions."
Zide credits casting director Roger Mussenden for putting together
the top-notch ensemble. "He really had a vision for the movie
and did a terrific job putting together a distinctive and eclectic
group of actors." Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, each casting
decision determined the next, until the group was completed. For
Ramsey, "It was mind-blowing to see my characters come to
The producers realized they had hit the jackpot when they lined
up a cast that included Mark Wahlberg, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bokeem
Woodbine, and Antonio Sabato, Jr. "Each have their own following,
are immensely talented, and share an amazing rapport," comments
Phillips describes the group as "the 'Odd Squad'-an ensemble
cast for the '90s. Mark, as Mel, is sweet, and the killing machine
in the group. Bokeem's character, Crunch, actually defies description.
He's the muscle of the group. Antonio, as Vince, will really surprise
Wong trusted his intuition when he cast Wahlberg and Phillips
as Mel and Cisco, the linchpin characters of the story. "I
knew it when I saw them. The chemistry was there," says<
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