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HIDE AND SEEK

About The Production
Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro stars as David Callaway, a troubled  father and widower in the suspense-thriller HIDE AND SEEK, and Dakota Fanning  portrays his young daughter Emily, who is hiding an incredible secret. As the story  opens, Callaway's wife Alison (Amy Irving) dies suddenly, traumatizing Emily. Father  and daughter move to Upstate New York to distance Emily from the memories of her life  in Manhattan with her mother. Soon thereafter, Emily develops a friendship with  Charlie. At first, David sees Charlie as a positive way for Emily to express herself, but a  series of terrifying acts lead him to imagine the unimaginable: Charlie may actually be  real…and if so, he must be stopped. 

"I wanted to write a really scary movie,” says first-time screenwriter Ari  Schlossberg of his work on HIDE AND SEEK. "I grew up in New York City, and the  woods always held an element of fear for me. So of course I set my story in a rural  woodsy town.” 

In keeping with his story's suspenseful, eerie elements, Schlossberg often wrote  sitting in the dark, at night, acting out all the roles himself. "The characters' voices told  me where the story was going,” he says. Over time, the story evolved, until the writer  decided his screenplay was ready to send out. 

Producer Barry Josephson was among the first to read Schlossberg's work. "The  script scared the hell out of me,” Josephson remembers. "I just couldn't put it down.”  Josephson was so impressed with that not only did he purchase the script and bring it to  Twentieth Century Fox, he promised that Schlossberg would the only writer to work on  future revisions – a rare occurrence in today's Hollywood where scores of writers are  often brought in to fine-tune or "polish” a screenplay. 

Josephson notes that casting the legendary Robert De Niro is critical to the film.  "De Niro leaves an indelible mark on audiences with every role he plays,” says  Josephson. "He brings so much to HIDE AND SEEK in conveying David's increasing  anguish and fear over what's happening to his daughter.” 

Director John Polson, who joined the project after helming the hit Fox thriller  Swimfan, notes that HIDE AND SEEK gave De Niro the opportunity to play a new kind  of role for the actor. "We haven't seen Bob play a father holding things together while  his family's falling apart. It's a new kind of vulnerability for him to play, and it was  exciting to watch him show us a different side.” 

The screenplay's suspense and thrills helped draw Polson to the project, but he  most appreciated the story's father-daughter relationship. "A father trying to save his  daughter from something...or someone… neither one understands, makes for a really  exciting dynamic,” says Polson, himself a noted actor. 

"David's desperate attempts to help his daughter and his attempts to reconnect  with her are moving,” adds Polson. "We have to first hook the audience with their  relationship, so we have an emotional stake in everything that happens to them later.”  The search for Emily, a complex and demanding part, led the filmmakers to  Dakota Fanning. "I don't think there's a better actress at her age out there,” says  Josephson. "She is gifted beyond her years.” 

"Dakota blows my mind; there's just no other way to put it,” Polson says.  "Working with her is like working with an incredibly talented 35 year old.” 

Fanning's first reading of the script was a memorable experience. "I started  reading it in my room, upstairs, but I got so scared I had to go downstairs, where my dad  and sister were, to fi

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