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About The Production
Producer/Co-writer Cooper Layne was on a visit to Hawaii when he saw magma from a volcano flowing down into the ocean and cooling as it hit the water. "I thought, wouldn't it be interesting if you could actually go into a volcano in some kind of a ship that could take you to the molten center of the earth'?" Layne recalls. "And then I realized that the molten center of a volcano is really a spigot directly into the liquid core of the planet."

Thus, the idea for "The Core" was born. Layne then took the concept to producer David Foster, and together, with Layne's producing partner, Sean Bailey, the trio pitched the story to John Goldwyn at Paramount.

With over 25 production credits to his name, ranging from classics like "The Getaway" and "McCabe & Mrs. Miller" to more recent hits like "The River Wild" and "The Mask of Zorro," Foster knew a great idea when he saw one. He went to his friend, director Jon Amid, with whom he'd wanted to work for years, and the intriguing story clinched the deal.

Once co-writer John Rogers was brought on board, the script was finalized, and the next order of business was to assemble a topnotch cast. Foster and Amiel knew it would attract high caliber actors, and they were right.

For Eckhart, the movie's "reluctant hero." it was not only the captivating script that interested him in the project, but also the chance to make a film everyone -- adults and kids -- could enjoy.

"This film is about people working together to save the planet," says Eckhart. "Not only am I proud of it, but I think it will get people thinking about our earth in a whole new way.

Hilary Swank, who plays one of the terranauts who pilot the subterranean craft toward the planet's core, was drawn to playing a strong character like Major Rebecca "Beck" Childs and she was excited to work with the film's director.

"I love Jon Amiel!" Swank exclaims. "And when I heard who my fellow cast members were going to be, I just couldn't resist working with such talent. Besides, how often does a fascinating character like a terranaut come into your path'? The whole concept of the movie intrigued me."

"Moment to moment. the story is fun, interesting and quite humorous." says Bruce Greenwood, who plays Commander Iverson. "The dialogue was clever, too, and the relationships between the characters are polar enough to cause plenty of tension."

Stanley Tucci, who portrays the know-it-all scientist, was impressed with the script's balance between character development and action. "This is a really good ensemble piece in which everybody is able to show off his or her talents and have a good time. It will definitely make you think."

"There's an incredible world inside our planet," says Alfre Woodard, the woman who guides the terranauts as they make their way toward the core, "and no movie has ever explored it quite like this."

To add to the adventure and to lend authenticity to the film, director Jon Amiel paired his actors with appropriate advisors, including Caltech scientists. NASA astronauts, UCLA professors and military personnel.

D.J. Qualls, who portrays the computer genius "Rat," talked to a lot of hackers who'd been in jail and were now rehabilitated or working for the government. It was research that he found unexpectedly unnerving.



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