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CHILDREN OF MEN

About The Production
For filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón, it seems that no story is beyond his cinematic telling: a biting social commentary, a noirish crime drama, a beloved children's classic, a modernist retelling of Dickens, an insightful road comedy, a blockbuster magical tale. All of his filmic efforts bear the unmistakable imprint of a craftsman utilizing every tool within the medium to realize the story on the screen. Each of them, in some way, tells the world a little bit about who "Alfonso Cuarón” is.

So it is no surprise that his latest effort—the motion picture adaptation of esteemed British mystery writer P.D. James' somewhat downbeat novel The Children of Men—also carries something of the Mexican-born auteur: hope.

The director admits, "When I make a film, it is from my standpoint—so the fact that I am a hopeful person ‘taints' this film. Humanity has an amazing talent for destruction. But also, we can show solidarity and an ability to come through problems together. In the end, Children of Men isn't so much about humanity being destructive— it's more about ideologies coming between people's judgment and their actions that is at work in this story.”

The publication of James' book first came to the attention of producer Hilary Shor, who was taken with the stylistic departure for the author (famed for her crime writing, the book is decidedly science-fiction) and optioned the material for the screen nine years ago, having just set up the production company Hit and Run Productions. "Propitiously,” Shor says, "it was really the first magical piece of material that I optioned. It's obviously been a long time coming, but it's been nine marvelous years bringing this project to fruition.”

Producer Marc Abraham of Strike Entertainment was also a fan of the book—a colleague had brought Abraham a copy and suggested that the story might play well as a motion picture. Abraham agreed and looked into adapting the book. Informed that the rights had already been secured, Abraham met with Shor and, realizing both shared a passion to bring The Children of Men to the screen, they committed to working together on the project. The project experienced waxing and waning periods of activity, but it finally started to gel when Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Cuarón showed interest in it. "Alfonso is a uniquely talented director. His passion is undeniable and his vision inspiring. His involvement reinvigorated all of us,” supplies Abraham.

Cuarón had been given an early draft of a screenplay, but had barely turned past the first few pages. Later, while on vacation—in a place perhaps the antithesis of the inclement setting of The Children of Men—his thoughts returned to the project. Cuarón recalls, "I initially didn't connect with the script, but there was a premise there that haunted me for the next couple of weeks. I remember being in Santa Barbara on the beach and suddenly seeing the whole film right there, in front of my eyes.”

Never interested in the techno-fests that usually fall under the header of either "science-fiction” or "futurism,” Alfonso was compelled to create a vision wholly grounded in the promises and the problems facing the citizens of today. He continues, "I found this premise was an amazing opportunity to talk about the present day, using the excuse that it's set in the ‘near future.' I didn't want to do a film about the future—I wanted to do a film about the present, and the circumstances today that are crafting our future.” He quickly adds, "This isn't science-fiction—it's a chase movie, set in 2027.”

Cuarón approached his writing partner, Timothy J. Sexton, and related the story of the film he had envisioned on the beach. Together, they intensified the novelist's view of a bleak and dystopic world of the near future into one in which people we are given a reason to believe again…taking James' co

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