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KING'S RANSOM

About The Production
The story behind King's Ransom begins with its talented star, Anthony Anderson, who makes his feature film starring debut. The project, which in its early stages of development was known as The Untitled Anthony Anderson Project, was specifically created with the actor in mind.

A gifted comedic actor who had built a strong fanbase thanks to scene-stealing supporting turns in films such as Barbershop, Malibu's Most Wanted and Scary Movie 3, Anderson was thrilled to have the opportunity to make his starring debut on a project that was being produced by New Line Cinema.

"New Line aggressively came after me, and knowing how they promote and get behind the people and films that they believe in, that's definitely a place where I wanted to be in business,” says Anderson. "And they gave me the freedom to bring things to this character – I sat in on producer sessions, weighed in on some of the casting – having that input really attracted me to the project.”

Anderson was also excited at the opportunity to portray the character of Malcolm King, a self-made millionaire with a healthy dose of arrogance and ego.

"Malcolm is an entrepreneur who started with the last dollar in his pocket and turned that last dollar into a $15 million marketing firm that he owns,” says Anderson. "Because of that success, he's become a bit arrogant and has a very solid sense of self-worth. He's not really a ruthless type of employer or businessman, but he is very demanding and self-centered.”

Anderson admits that his character can be "a bit of a jerk,” but adds that it was one of the things that made Malcolm King such a fun character to play.

"I get to wear his arrogance as a badge of honor,” says Anderson. "It's what Malcolm King is all about.”

While the character was one of the main elements that attracted Anderson to the project, it was the actor's involvement that proved to be one of the biggest draws for the film's director and other cast members.

"I think Anthony Anderson is hilariously funny, and knowing that he was involved really boosted my desire to do this movie,” says director Jeff Byrd, who makes his feature debut on the film. "I love working with Anthony, he's always good and always there with another level of something funny. He's also always ready to challenge himself and I'm always ready to challenge him, so that's a good thing. He's one of those actors who is open to trying things different ways – it's a pleasure to work with a guy as flexible as he is.”

Anderson's fellow actors also sing the praises of the film's star.

"I was attracted to this project because of Anthony Anderson, who has been making me laugh for a long time,” says co-star Jay Mohr, who plays the bumbling Corey. "And then I read the script and realized that it was something I could do that's really funny, but it also provided me with an opportunity to make the character even funnier than he was on the page.”

The script for King's Ransom, written by Wayne Conley, provided a solid mix of comedic action, dialogue and set pieces for the director and actors to explore.

"When I first read the script, what brought me on board was the sheer majesty of it all, the bigness,” says director Jeff Byrd. "It was written in a very big way, which is great since I hadn't done anything of this scope.”

Byrd also liked the way the script managed to address cultural issues and was more than just a series of jokes strung together. "It really reminded me of some movies that I love, like Boomerang, films that are contemporary African American films but have a bigger theme,” says the director. "They have a bigger meaning and more universal implications.”

In order to bring the tone of the script to life on screen and to maximize the humor in the film, Byrd created a competitive environment in which he challenged his<

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