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About The Production
For writer/directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, former commercial helmers making their feature debut, Crank stemmed from their own personal desire to make a nonstop action movie. "We have ADD., and so do seventy million other Americans,” jokes Neveldine. "And we wanted to make a movie that was just like a video game.” Adds Taylor, "Crank is the ultimate A.D.D. movie. It's a crazy film.”

Crank takes place over the course of one frenzied day in Los Angeles, where Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), a hit man who is trying to give up the business in order to lead a more normal existence with his oblivious girlfriend Eve (Amy Smart), wakes up to find that his nemesis Verona (Jose Pablo Cantillo) has poisoned him with a drug that will kill him if he slows down for even a minute. To outwit Verona and his men, and finish off a job that involves the termination of a Chinese crime lord named Don Kim (Keone Young), Chev must rely on his physical strength, the help of his friend Kaylo (Efren Ramirez) and the medical counsel of Doc Miles (Dwight Yoakam) to keep moving—and stay alive.

"With Crank we wanted to do a movie where a guy was moving, moving, moving all the time. It's like Speed, only instead of a bus, it's a guy. And if he slows down, he detonates,” says Taylor. "It gave us a built-in way to move the camera the way we like to move it and to attack the world of the character the way we wanted to attack his world.”

That world is the seamy underbelly of Los Angeles. It was Neveldine and Taylor's original vision of this locale that initially attracted Lakeshore Entertainment producer Skip Williamson, who first became aware of the duo via their groundbreaking commercial reel and his close friendship with their agent Micheal Sheresky at William Morris. "I heard about the guys through the grapevine,” says Williamson, "and knew they were doing stuff that was straight bananas! After checking their reel, I realized they really were on another level. They were doing everything from camera operating to rigging cars to moving lights around. The way they kept everyone happy, while still kicking ass, was very impressive. Sheresky dropped me the script and twenty pages in I knew the combination of their style and storytelling was right on time."

Lakeshore then began working with the pair, shepherding the script through various stages, right up until the camera started rolling. Comments producer Richard Wright: "Mark and Brian wrote the script several years ago and they worked with us for the last eighteen months to put the film together. Now, they're directing it, are the camera operators and have a great deal of input into the lighting. This is their film, and it's unusual in this day and age to have directors that are that responsible for that much of the overall creative process of the motion picture.”

Crucial to the success of the filmmaking process was casting the right actor to play Chev. "He was supposed to be a guy from L.A.,” remembers Taylor. "We never saw him as a Brit. We went through so many American actors trying to find a man that had the sort of believable toughness of those beloved actors of the 1970s—the Steve McQueens and Roy Scheiders, the badass dudes. And we don't have them over here, not that way anymore.

"But then we met Jason and he's quite a guy.”

"The screenplay was completely different from anything I'd ever read,” recalls Statham. "I mean, it's crazy. It's beyond crazy. There were so many great scenes. It was so full of violence, romance, comedy, drama. It's kind of ten movies in one.”

Taylor believes Statham was able to nail every aspect of the film and the character: "It's a performance that's amazing to us every time we look at it. He really does just about everything in a movie that an actor can do, from being violent and physical to being low-key, charming and urbane. There's just so many diff


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