About The Production
A powerful, provocative. and frightening film about faith, lost innocence, and
the sometimes indistinguishable nature of good and evil in the contemporary
world, FRAILTY is an artfully-constructed psychological thriller that combines
masterful storytelling with ambitious and disturbing themes. The remarkable
directorial debut of acclaimed actor Bill Paxton, who also plays the pivotal
role of DAD in the movie, FRAILTY portrays the destruction of a once-idyllic
Southern family, a father and his two young sons who are tested in extreme and
unexpected ways. Paxton calls upon his accomplished cast, including Matthew
McConaughey, Powers Boothe, and newcomers Matthew O'Leary and Jeremy Sumpter,
and his crew, including award-winning cinematographer Bill Butler, to create a
classic Hitchcockian world that is rich in atmosphere, suspense, and surprise.
Written by Brent Hanley and produced by David Kirschner and David Blocker,
FRAILTY is a Lions Gate release.
The FRAILTY screenplay is a masterpiece
of storytelling. Part thriller and part mystery, the plot is utterly original
every step of the way as it builds to its stunning finish. "Brent Hanley's
script is truly a revelation," says producer David Kirschner. "One of
the qualities indicative of great writing is that, at each read, you get more
out of it." FRAILTY has that kind of complexity of plot and theme.
The title itself refers to the frailty
of human perception. Screenwriter Brent Hanley turned to classic films, novels,
and even music for his inspiration. "I looked at a lot of Hitchcock films
when I wrote FRAILTY," Hanley explains. "I watched "Night of the
Hunter," and listened to music by Leonard Cohen. FRAILTY even references
the Bible, offering a modern take on "The Story of Isaac" and elements
of the Old Testament."
Hanley's script made a tremendous impression on Bill Paxton, an actor best known
for his performances in such films as TWISTER, TITANIC, APPOLLO 13, and A SIMPLE
PLAN. Paxton describes FRAILTY as "a movie in the great tradition of Alfred
Hitchcock or Robert Aldrich. It is a film that implies very, very dark
things." Intrigued by the script's complex themes and edgy approach to
storytelling, Paxton found himself wanting more involvement than the role of
DAD. Paxton began his film career as a set dresser for Roger Corman and has
always been at home behind the camera. The more he thought about FRAILTY, the
more he realized he had found the perfect project for his directorial debut.
"It's intricate. It's complicated. It's an original Noir /Gothic thriller
set in East Texas," Paxton explains. " I knew the landscape. I knew
the characters. I knew the parameters of this kind of story from my work in A
SIMPLE PLAN, ONE FALSE MOVE, and TRAVELLER. I learned a lot working with
directors such as Sam Raimi. And I thought, I can do this."
Paxton's arrived at his decision to
direct FRAILTY partly because he found himself a little uncomfortable at the
thought of being directed by someone else in this controversial role. "I was a little nervous about committing to play Dad," he
admits. "I was worried that a wild-eyed director would get hold of this
material and sensationalize it just to shock people. And that, to me, wouldn't
do the script justice." Far from sensationalized, Paxton's interpretation
of FRAILTY is very classical. "My vision of this story has always been the
idea that it is a very edgy script that pushes a lot of buttons, especially
because children are involved. But I thought that's exactly the reason to give
it a real, old Hollywood approach, where all of the darkness is implied instead
of being explicit. We hear a chop or a scream, but we never s
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