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WICKER PARK

About The Production
Set in Chicago, Wicker Park is a psychological drama about a young advertising executive (Hartnett) and his obsessive search for a lost love. While trying to track down a woman (Kruger) who mysteriously walked out of his life two years earlier, he's also caught up in an affair with a mysterious young woman (Byrne) who's dating his best friend (Lillard). So much for uncomplicated relationships.

With its circuitous, surprise-filled script and sexy undercurrents, Wicker Park was a project that attracted top talent from the very beginning. In setting up the film, a remake of the acclaimed French movie L'Appartement by Gilles Mimouni, the producers needed a director who could handle a challenging screenplay with a stylish, clear, and exciting command of the medium. They found their auteur in Scotsman Paul McGuigan.

"For Wicker Park, we put an exciting cast in the hands of a very creative and talented director,” says producer Tom Rosenberg. "While we've retained many key elements from the first film, Paul brings a totally original vision to this one. Working from a fresh script, his unique style really energizes a plot charged with roller coaster twists and surprises.” McGuigan says he was immediately attracted to the project when he read it. "I was very captivated by the script,” he says. "I had to go back and read it again to make sure I was picking it up. It's a love story, but it's told in a very non-linear way.”

With McGuigan at the helm, the filmmakers then concentrated on assembling a young, talented cast who could handle the film's multi-layered characters and twisted situations. To play the film's lead, the bewildered, bewitched Matthew, the filmmakers settled on Josh Hartnett. In addition to his status as one of Hollywood's biggest heartthrobs, Hartnett has proved his acting mettle with earnest, subtle performances in films such as The Virgin Suicides and Black Hawk Down. Due to his starpower, Hartnett's involvement also helped Wicker Park hit the fast track: after reading the script, he eagerly agreed to join the cast and the production truly started to pick up speed.

"In his previous films, Josh has demonstrated extraordinary charisma on screen,” says producer Gary Lucchesi. "In Wicker Park, he gets to play the part of a more dramatic, romantic hero than he's done before, and he truly rises to the challenge. You can see Josh is really growing up in this film; his work continues to get more and more exciting.”

In discussing what attracted him to Wicker Park, Hartnett attributes a great deal of his interest to the opportunity to work with director Paul McGuigan. "I really liked Paul's film Gangster No. 1 and I really wanted to work with him,” says Hartnett. He also liked the recurring motifs and themes in the film. "What appealed to me was its theme of passion,” he continues, "and the belief that love conquers all – I think that's the sweetness about the film. It's a story about the possibility of love finding a way in the most improbable circumstances.”

Hartnett found his character's core dilemma intriguing and fun to explore. "There's an ambiguity in the story that I like a lot,” he says. "I think it's about a time in your life when you're open to things and – bang – you find this girl and you fall in love with her. You think it's a beautiful relationship and then, one day, she just disappears. You're devastated. My character, Matthew, decides to just float and see where life takes him. Then, one day, he sees the love of his life again – or thinks he sees her – and he suddenly has a lot of choices to make.”

Another aspect of the script Hartnett found fascinating was its method of moving around in time to reveal the true story. "That's what's great about the movie,” says Hartnett, "the structure of it. It's a semi-simple idea: boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy thinks he finds her again and go

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