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The Origins Of Sunshine
With a mix of far-reaching imagination and technical virtuosity, director Danny Boyle ventures into unexplored realms of outer space with SUNSHINE -- an intense, claustrophobic adventure about a crew of scientists and astronauts who literally are humanity's last stand for survival, even as their mission to save the Sun, and their sanity itself, starts to fall apart under the massive stress.

The project began with a singularly compelling concept. "The premise of SUNSHINE is that in 50 years from now the Sun is dying,” explains producer Andrew Macdonald, whose recent string of provocative features includes the Oscar®-winning THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND, NOTES ON A SCANDAL and the recent sequel, 28 WEEKS LATER. "The entire global community pools its resources to send a mission into space to deliver a bomb to reignite the part of the Sun that is failing. Our story concerns the eight astronauts and scientists who lead this mission -- and how they react under the enormous pressure of their endeavor to save mankind.”

The idea was born in the agile imagination of writer Alex Garland, the leading British novelist who made waves with his debut book The Beach and has gone on to write the multi-layered crime story The Tesseract and an intrigue-filled exploration of consciousness, The Coma, as well as the screenplay for the acclaimed sci-fi thriller 28 DAYS LATER, in which zombies take over modern-day London. It was while reading an article in an American science magazine, that inspiration struck.

"I've always had a desire to explore this idea of a man traveling into deep space and what he discovers there, as well as what he finds in his own subconscious,” says Garland. "I had been looking for a storyline to hang this idea on when I read an article projecting the future of mankind from a physics-based perspective. It contained theories on when the Sun would die and what would actually happen when it eventually did. What I found interesting about that was that it is easy to speculate about the potential end of mankind billions of years from now -- but what if it was a certainty within our lifetime? I was intrigued by the idea that it could get to a point where the entire planet's survival might rest on the shoulders of one man, and by the question of what that would do to his head. That became the trigger point for the story.”

Eight months later Garland arranged to meet director Danny Boyle -- who had directed the screen adaptation of his novel THE BEACH and for whom Garland had previously written the smash hit 28 DAYS LATER -- in a West End pub and gave him the first draft of SUNSHINE. Within 24 hours, Boyle called Garland wanting to make the film.

"What I love about Alex's work is he has these big ideas,” explains Boyle. "The British film industry tends to make quite small films, but Alex's writing always contains these massive ideas and concepts, which is wonderful, though they can be complex to finalize and realize.”

Boyle has already forged a reputation for daring eclecticism, having traversed from the irreverent and influential cult film TRAINSPOTTING to the family fable MILLIONS to a harrowing, through-provoking reinvention of the zombie film with 28 DAYS LATER. With SUNSHINE, Boyle was drawn in not only by the chance to envision a futuristic space voyage but especially to explore the crew's psychological journey as they head out across the cosmos, towards the literal center of our lives, the Sun.

"Traveling to the Sun is a great concept visually, but also very interesting psychologically,” Boyle muses. "There is the question about what happens to your mind when you meet the creator of all things in the universe, which for some people is a spiritual, religious idea, and for other people is a purely scientific idea. We are all made up of particles of exploded star, so what would it

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