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A Thriller Driven By Emotion
Scott Frank, the acclaimed screenwriter who makes his directorial debut with THE LOOKOUT, loves thrillers, but even more than thrillers, he loves great characters. This first became abundantly apparent in his early career with his screenplay for the imaginative and romantic thriller DEAD AGAIN, directed by Kenneth Branagh, as well as his moving tale of a misunderstood child genius in LITLE MAN TATE directed by Jodie Foster.

Frank also became known as the ultimate adapter of one of the most character-driven crime novelists today, Elmore Leonard, with the run-away hit GET SHORTY. This was followed by OUT OF SIGHT, an unsparingly clever adaptation of another Leonard novel that put the zigzagging romance between a rogue criminal and a female Federal Marshall front and center. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, and featuring the breakthrough performances of George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, the film garnered Frank an Academy Award® nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Now, with THE LOOKOUT, Frank puts one of the most unconventional and compelling sets of characters he's ever written at the heart of an audacious small-town crime. His lead character, and completely unlikely hero, is the kind of person that writers typically avoid – a braindamaged janitor who appears to have little hope for any of the things people usually strive for in life: love, money or a meaningful future. Heartbreaking and seriously damaged, Chris Pratt might not be what anybody expects as the big gun of a heist movie – but that's exactly what intrigued Scott Frank.

"I've always loved those European thrillers that were dark and interesting and full of people that you really care about,” says Frank. "There's this overriding sense of dread and suspense because you're so invested in the characters – and I always wanted to write a movie like that.”

Two additional elements conspired together to inspire Frank to pen THE LOOKOUT. "I knew someone who had a pretty horrific head injury and the fascinating thing about him is that, when woke up, he was somebody else. I thought a person going through that kind of terrifying situation would be very interesting to locate inside a thriller,” he explains. "And while I was thinking about that. I read a little about the banking situation in the Midwest and how there were all these little banks that would once or twice a year receive USDA money, so that on one particular night there might be several million dollars in a vault that usually contained very little. These two stories started to come together and THE LOOKOUT flowed from that unusual person in that unusual situation.”

Frank grounded THE LOOKOUT in a searingly realistic and consistently fascinating portrait of Chris Pratt's descent from an idolized young athlete with what he confesses is "the perfect life” to a young man living amidst the confounding labyrinth of brain damage. Frank gave Chris a series of bizarre yet medically true-to-life elements of traumatic head injury: a lack of short term memory, which causes him to have to write all essential information in a notebook he must carry at all times; lack of inhibition and emotional liability, which causes him to blurt out things he doesn't mean to say and to be swept away by intense emotions that come out of nowhere; and a complete lack of organization skills, which can turn a simple task like opening a can of food into an epic battle.

It's no wonder that Chris comes to rely on the savvy of his room-mate, Lewis, another of THE LOOKOUT's deeply fascinating characters – a blind man with a sharp tongue and a wicked sense of humor who literally tries to lead Chris's way through the darkness. "These are characters who I think have a real emotional pull,” says Frank. "And I wanted the suspense of the film to emanate first from that.”

The story of THE LOOKOUT first came to F

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