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About The Production
It was over a decade ago that producers David Kirschner and Corey Sienega were first introduced by producer Ed Elbert (Anna and the King) to David Gerrold's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning short story The Martian Child. As Kirschner recalls, "Corey read the short story and loved it. She called me and said, ‘you should read this, this is perfect.'”

As it turned out, The Martian Child was exactly the kind of story that the producers were looking for. "We love projects that deal with the issue of childhood in some manner, as well as those that have an element of fantasy woven through them,” says Kirschner. 

For Kirschner, there was also a personal element in this story, which made it particularly appealing. "What was very moving to me when I read the story was the relationship between father and son. I lost my dad when I was very young and so many of the projects that I seem to be attracted to deal with the importance of men in boy's lives. In this case the story hit all the right buttons in terms of its humor and, more importantly, its emotions. 

"We fought for the rights to the story and lost them, but then luckily got them back,” Corey Sienega recalls "And finally, a short ten years later, here we are! This project is a longtime labor of love for David Kirschner and I and it's very exciting to finally see it come to fruition.”

Kirschner, who also admits to having been somewhat of a loner as a kid, points out that the theme of alienation is something most people can relate to. "Dennis is a kid who doesn't quite fit in with the norms of what society is supposed to be. I think all of us go through a point in our lives where we're ‘Martians.' We don't' fit in, we're from another planet. Sometimes it's when you're a grownup, sometimes it's when you're a kid and sometimes it's every day.”

John Cusack topped the filmmakers' wish list to play David Gordon from the very beginning and the role was actually tailor-made for him, as Kirschner explains. "The screenwriters, Seth Bass and Jonathan Tolins, tell us that when they wrote it they had John Cusack in mind for the role of David. There's a real everyman, James Stewart quality to John Cusack, but not an everyman from a Frank Capra movie, an everyman from the world that we live in today – one that's neurotic, sometimes paranoid, yet humorous and quick-witted.” 

"In addition to John's amazing talents and acting abilities,” Kirschner continues, "his strength for me lies in the fact that he's almost a brand name for audiences that enjoy his films and that he seems to make really smart choices. It was a big deal for us that he accepted this role because we really didn't know what he was going to say to the idea of playing a father. It's not something he had done before, so this was an important milestone in his career, the idea that he was old enough to play a father.” 

For John Cusack, it was both the nature of the story and the creative opportunities it would afford him as an actor that led to his accepting the role.

"I thought it was a story that was dramatic and intriguing while remaining small and interior, from a character point of view,” says Cusack. "It's about a guy who tries to adopt a boy and they just try to fathom each other and figure each other out. I like that from an acting perspective because it's more character-driven.”

"I also thought it was a very modern and compelling story about a boy who can't really fit in and doesn't know how to integrate himself into the world. I thought it was very interesting, the idea that he thinks he is from another planet, like David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. It was a metaphor for alienation and not being able to fit in and find your place in the world. In a certain sense both David and Dennis think they are helping each other, but they both really need each other. It was beautiful and d


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