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DREAMCATCHER

About The Production
"I think science fiction, fantasy and horror are at their most powerful if you believe in and care about the people involved," says Dreamcatcher writer/director/ producer Lawrence Kasdan.

Since co-writing Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi early in his career, Kasdan has been looking for a story that would allow him to direct a big effects movie. Known for personal, humanistic films such as The Big Chill, The Accidental Tourist, Grand Canyon and Mumford, Kasdan sought an emotionally engaging story that was rooted in reality.

"In my movies I've always tried to find the most potent metaphor," says Kasdan, "and one of the things Stephen King does really well is find interesting, extravagant metaphors for things that embody our deepest fears. Dreamcatcher is about controlling the fear of the chaos that's out there, whether it's somewhere in the universe, outside in the dark, or in your body as it begins to rebel against you. Then there are all the things I've tried to deal with in my other movies, the relationships between characters, friendships, issues of loyalty and redemption; but as with a lot of King's writing, they're married to an exotic, horrifying action story. That's something I've always wanted to try."

By the time Kasdan heard about Stephen King's best-selling novel Dreamcatcher, a script was already in development for Castle Rock Entertainment, the company that produced the films Stand By Me, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne, The Green Mile and Hearts in Atlantis, all based on King's books or stories.

"This is the first really successful horror/suspense movie made from one of my books in at least fifteen years," says King. "Not surprisingly, the last one was also a Castle Rock film: Misery, with Kathy Bates. Castle Rock is the one company that has never treated me as a horror commodity. They've been able to see that these are actually stories about human beings, and that sometimes the monsters and the elements of horror are good ways of looking at the things that really trouble us in real life."

Two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman (Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, All the President's Men), who had previously adapted King's novels Misery and Hearts in Atlantis for Castle Rock, took on the task of distilling the essence of the six-hundred-page book down to a couple of hours of screen time. Then, as is his custom, Kasdan wrote the final shooting script himself.

Dreamcatcher is the story of four friends who perform a heroic act as children and are changed forever by the supernatural powers they gain in return. Over time, Jonesy, Henry, Pete and Beaver grow up to be men who feel isolated from the rest of the world, never quite recapturing the thrill of heroism that they felt in their youth. Unable to understand or master their powers, they are left with the nagging frustration of possessing great potential, but not the ability to realize it.

When the time came to begin casting, the filmmakers needed actors who could not only embody the characters, but also convincingly portray the strong bond between the friends that sustains them through their loneliness and frustration and forms the core of their story.

Dreamcatcher benefited from Kasdan's expertise in bringing together a strong ensemble. "This movie is full of wonderful young actors," the director attests. "I feel I've been very lucky in finding terrific actors all through my career, and this is a new crop of great guys.

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