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About The Production
Bang, Bang, You're Dead …

In one heartbeat, in one terrifying blink of the eye, the unthinkable happens and a family is altered forever.

"The story of this film is very Shakespearean,” says Director James Wan. "The theme of revenge is timeless. It's one of our most primal emotions to want to seek vengeance when you're done wrong. All I'm doing with DEATH SENTENCE is taking a classic story and giving it a contemporary setting.”

Executive Producer Andrew Sugerman agrees, "It is a kind of classical Greek tragedy. It's a story about a man wrestling with his own inner demons and, because of the attachments he has to his family, he is pulled into a pattern of constant retribution that pulls his life apart. And he ultimately finds the meaninglessness of violence.”

The idea of retaliation against one's enemies may seem like a natural course of justice. In fact, the proverb "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-27) has long been codified as a law of retaliation. But when it is deployed, revenge is an action that does more harm than the wrong it is intent on correcting.

"In the heat of passion, Nick Hume goes after these guys that killed his son, and he ends up opening Pandora's Box,” Wan explains.

"It's also about what happens to somebody when a perfectly normal life is disrupted by a senseless act that they have absolutely no control over,” adds Sugerman.

Producer Ashok Amritraj agrees, "It is a very timely movie about family and a normal life that gets torn apart. It is telling of our times because the gang violence aspect is so relevant – innocent people are caught in the middle, and you see a guy taking power into his own hands. He goes from an ordinary man, a family man, to a guy who's on a mission.”

"It's different than your straight up good-guy-gets-the-bad-guys flick,” says Kevin Bacon. "There's a horrible price that my character has to pay because he makes this choice to take the law into his own hands in order to protect and defend his family. There's this strange moment when he thinks that maybe it has concluded, that it has been an eye for an eye and that he is now cleansed – that they're going to be able to go on with their lives. But the fact is, you can't wash that blood off your hands. That blood is there it comes back to haunt him.”

It's all fun and games, until somebody gets hurt …

As it turns out, Hume is messing with the wrong people.

"My character's name is Billy Darley,” Garrett Hedlund explains, "and he's the leader of a group of guys that grew up on the same street together. They're in this lifestyle that chose them instead of them choosing it. Billy's father is a guy named Bones [played by John Goodman] who is a hard as nails kind of gunslinger. I work for him, and my guys work for me.”

"He's a criminal mastermind,” Goodman says about Bones. "He's got his two kids working for him selling speed and coke on his corners. And Bones sells guns. He's just a real bad guy. He's like Fagin in OLIVER TWIST.”

"DEATH SENTENCE has a strong jugular because everything is about family,” remarks Hedlund. "It's a story about two guys, where you see what happens when somebody gets too close to their family and takes one of them away.” In that regard, the two opposing relationships in the film, Nick Hume and Billy Darley, are in fact both after the same thing: to avenge their families.

Hedlund goes on to explain what makes DEATH SENTENCE different, "The guy that's just your everyday sort of businessman reacts in a complete, maniac sort of fashion – more like you would think the guy on the whole other side of the pole would react.”

Like rams defending their turf, Hume and Darley butt heads in violent fashion. The more Hume pushes Billy Darley, the angrier Darley becomes … in large part fueled


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