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THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES

About the Production
"The Mothman Prophecies" is based on the events chronicled in John A Keel's 1975 book of the same name. It is author Keel's personal account of the occurrences which took place in and around the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia for the thirteen months leading up to a tragedy that made headlines around the world in December of 1967.

Told here as contemporary story, the film stars Richard Gere as John Klein, a Washington Post reporter who, following a terrible loss in his own life, becomes caught up in some very extraordinary events affecting the lives of very ordinary people. As Gere describes it, "This story we're telling is really psychological. My character has gone through a horrendous loss, losing his wife in the beginning of the movie. Everything that happens for him relates to that event, that trauma. So we have our own universe being projected all the time. I think one point we're trying to make in the film is everyone sees something different. It's not like every drawing is exactly the same. Some people hear something, some people see something, and some people feel something. It's the interpretation of reality based on one's mental make-up, one's emotional make-up."

It is the psychological aspect of the story that attracted director Mark Pellington to the project. "Richard Hatem, the original screenwriter, did a fantastic job taking this book and putting it into a movie form," Pellington says. "By creating the character of John Klein as the pole by which all of these events revolve around, he established a hero for the story." Of his personal approach to this story, Pellington says, "This is difficult territory, and it's really easy to veer into melodrama or wackiness. It's really kind of unbelievable so you have to go deeper, to a metaphysical, naturally surreal, enigmatic, mysterious emotional place with this material to make it work. Otherwise it's ridiculous."

Though the movie will retain the basic overall detail of the book, executive producer Richard S. Wright gives Pellington credit for keeping the focus of the film on the human story and maintaining the psychological impact. "People have been trying to make a movie of "Mothman" almost since Keel's book was published," Wright says. "There are a number of writers who took various cracks at it but it's a difficult subject to get right. Mark Pellington is the guy who figured out how to do it." Wright further explains, "We decided early on to stay away from UFOs but kept events we found more interesting, such as people seeing strange lights in the sky and getting phone calls featuring strange voices. We're looking at Mothman as a presence. We're not going for the full latex 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' version. Ours is much less obvious and more creepy." As Pellington described to the crew as production began, "We never say 'creature' or 'monster.' It is never manifested in the same way to any one person, although there are similarities."

Lakeshore Entertainment president and producer Gary Lucchesi has been with this project for a long time. It is the believability of the story that convinced him it should be made. "I'm a producer who believes 'If it can happen to me, I'm interested," he says, continuing: "If you think of the great Hitchcock movies - if you think of 'Rear Window' and Jimmy Stewart sitting there with a broken leg and he's a witness to a murder - you say to yourself, 'Well, that could happen to me!' and I find that intriguing. It's very Hitchcockian. It's what happens when sane reasonable people are faced with the unbelievable. In this case the unbelievable is the harbinger of fate, the harbinger of death."

For producer Lucchesi, having worked on four previous films with Gere, his casting decision was an easy one. He expla

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