"This is a fascinating movie because it works on so many different levels," observes producer Paula Wagner. "The heart of the film is the concept of a 'Suspect Zero,' or the ultimate serial killer, someone who functions with no modus operandi, no telltale fetishes, no patterns and no remorse. It's very scary to think that there are people out there who are driven by pure malevolence."
The notion of playing someone allied with such wickedness appealed to Academy Award? winner Sir Ben Kingsley, who plays Benjamin O'Ryan.
"My character is a very complicated man who is literally driven to the edge by an overpowering ability to track and identify with evil," says Kingsley. "When I read the script, I found him to be very compelling and multifaceted, the type of individual who is intriguing and difficult to read. I loved the challenge of bringing him to life."
Portraying lead FBI Agent Thomas Mackelway, who is investigating a series of random murders, is Aaron Eckhart. "When I first read the screenplay, I thought it was a great thriller," he recalls. "But with the element of remote viewing woven through the plot, it really makes the story hauntingly scary, and I think it'll certainly have people thinking about the nature of evil."
Said to have directed film festival favorite "Shadow of the Vampire" with "visionary brilliance" (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), director E. Elias Merhige has been fascinated with the idea of remote viewing for years and felt it was just the right tool to tell a story like "Suspect Zero," which has so many psychological layers.
"I love stories that go deep into the psychological and irrational nature of human beings like this one does," says Merhige. "It draws out the bigger questions too, like what is the true nature of justice and evil? In essence, the story describes one man's journey into the darkness of another man's soul, and finding the haunted places within himself."
Merhige adds that in telling this tale he was inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. "Both Mackelway and O'Ryan go to the unknown, uncharted places deep within themselves," observes the director.
At Mackelway's side is his partner, Special Agent Fran Kulok, portrayed by Carrie-Anne Moss ("The Matrix" trilogy). She describes the film as a journey toward light through inexplicable darkness.
"The script is absolutely fascinating," says Moss, "I think that all the characters have a lot of depth and their relationships with one another are complicated in a way that draws you into their lives and makes you care about them."
Producer Paula Wagner credits the empathetic portrayal of all the characters to the ensemble of actors that came together to create the film. "We are fortunate to have attracted such an extraordinary cast," she says. "Aaron Eckhart is one of the most gifted young actors around today, Carrie-Anne Moss is a charming, elegant and multifaceted actress, and Ben Kingsley is absolutely iconic -- the depth and commitment he puts into his role is simply amazing."
Director E. Elias Merhige couldn't agree more. "The cast was a very fine group of actors -- from Ben Kingsley, a film veteran with an impressive body of work behind him, to the very ambitious and talented Aaron Eckhart, to Carrie-Anne Moss, an extremely dedicated and consummate pro. It was great to have such a superb ensemble of talent to bring out this story."
Ultimately, Wagner adds, it was director Merhige who drew the whole film together. "When we brought on Elias, he added a wonderful vision to the film by infusing the concept of remote viewing into the project, and that added a dimension that audiences have never seen before."
Law enforcement officials and technology are intricately involved in the film. In the case of "Suspect Zero," with the main characters being FBI agents and a key element having to do with the complicated pr
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