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SAHARA

About The Production
"Dirk Pitt is the ultimate Renaissance man,” says Matthew McConaughey, who brings a new action hero to life in Paramount Pictures' and Bristol Bay Productions' exciting and hilarious new action-adventure, "Sahara.” "Dirk's the kind of guy who could be wrestling alligators on a Saturday morning and then wear a tux to dance with the queen at a ball on Saturday night. He's a senator's son, a scientist, a polished, blue ribbon guy; at the same time, he's a treasure-hunting pirate, a rascally rogue, a barroom-brawling, tequila-drinking scoundrel. But he's always a gentleman.”

A bold man who uses his clever mind as much as his muscles, Dirk Pitt might be the only man who can go further than his best pal, Al Giordino, played by Steve Zahn. Together, they begin a journey that starts with the riddle of a missing Civil War-era Ironclad battleship... and ends in the world's largest desert.

"There's this mystery that's been going on for 150 years — what happened to a missing Ironclad battleship — and Dirk's determined to get to the bottom of it,” says director Breck Eisner, who makes his feature-film debut with "Sahara.” "That's where the story starts and it ends up thousands of miles away, in the middle of the Sahara desert.”

The adventurers soon find that their missing ship is tied into a larger crisis being investigated by Dr. Eva Rojas, played by Penelope Cruz. "She's no damsel in distress,” says Cruz. "She's very active — in fact, she rescues Dirk on more than one occasion. And, of course, that's just the kind of woman that Dirk would be interested in — they have great chemistry.”

"This is an action-adventure movie in the spirit of the great serials and action films that came before it,” says Eisner. "I was captivated by the sense of adventure, mystery, and humor in this project, and for everyone involved, it was a primary goal to bring that sense to the screen.

"Nothing in this story should be taken overly seriously,” says McConaughey. "This is an adventure, a fable. We take a certain amount of movie magic and turn it into reality. Everything adds up in a satisfying way when that magic kicks in.

Producer Howard Baldwin cites the appealing relationship between Dirk and Al as the key ingredient that sets "Sahara” apart. "This movie, as the audience unravels it, becomes this fantastic adventure, and I think these two great characters, Dirk and Al, are what give that adventure its energy,” says Baldwin.

"These are two guys who are best friends; they've known each other forever,” says Eisner. "So often in a ‘buddy movie,' you'll see the straight-laced guy and the crazy guy who are forced together, have their differences, and then love each other by the end of the movie. That can work, of course, but it's been done over and over. What I love about Dirk and Al is that these are guys who've known each other since kindergarten. They have this incredible repartee, this shorthand.”

"Plain and simple, Dirk couldn't survive without Al,” Zahn says. "Sure, Dirk looks good — he's a smooth dude, a talker, a politician of sorts. But Al's the one who knows where the lug nuts are kept, if you know what I mean. They've got different talents, and that makes them an unstoppable duo. Sure, whenever there's danger, Dirk's the one who dives in first, but Al's right behind him — and right behind Dirk isn't always the safest place to be.”

When Dirk and Al meet Eva, she fits right in with the treasure hunters. "These are re

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