About the Story
Producer Mark Gordon, who also produced the blockbusters "Speed" and "Broken Arrow," comments on the distinctive quality of the film, "So many films that depict disasters -- which this is not," says Gordon, "are stories about how the natural elements like
Producer Mark Gordon, who also produced the blockbusters "Speed"
and "Broken Arrow," comments on the distinctive quality
of the film, "So many films that depict disasters -- which
this is not," says Gordon, "are stories about how the
natural elements like the twister, like the flood, like the volcano,
are the antagonist. In our picture, Morgan Freeman is the antagonist,
Christian Slater is the protagonist, and we play the action out
against the flood."
Describing his experience with "Hard Rain," producer
Gary Levinsohn notes, "There's an enormously experienced
technical crew involved in bringing this film to the screen. Our
director, Mikael Salomon, pioneered some of the major effects
we see in the movie when he was working on 'Backdraft' and 'The
Abyss.' In addition, people like John Frazier, our special effects
supervisor, did the special effects for 'Twister' and 'Speed.'"
Producer Ian Bryce emphasizes that "Hard Rain" is not
just a big stunt movie, but actually "a great thriller that
keeps the audience guessing, with a good deal of terrific action
Director Mikael Salomon explains that "one of the things
that attracted me to 'Hard Rain' is that it wasn't about a disaster.
It's an action movie, it's a thriller. It's about a heist, and
the choices people make. Sometimes they make the right choices,
sometimes they make the wrong choices. It's about redemption,
when it comes down to it."
Screenwriter Graham Yost was inspired to write "Hard Rain"
during pre-production of his previous screenwriting effort, "Speed."
While watching news coverage of the disastrous Mississippi River
floods of 1993, Yost was struck by the image of relentless floodwaters,
rising inch by inch, second by second. "I thought, wait a
minute," says Yost, "what if this was going on throughout
a whole movie? What if this water just kept rising and everything
kept changing?" However, continues Yost, "I didn't want
to do just a disaster movie. It needed some kind of story. And
so I thought, everyone in these towns are talking about looting.
What if the banks were to clean out all the money from their branches?
And what if it were in an armored car, and it got stuck? That's
how the story started."
For all its spectacular action sequences, and the challenge of
creating a flood on the big screen, the heart of "Hard Rain"
is the struggle of determined, complex characters. To portray
them, director Salomon needed a talented cast of performers who
could work well under extremely demanding conditions. "I
was blessed with a great cast," says Salomon. "When
they were offered the parts, they wanted to go for them, and I
think they are all so right for their parts. I can't see anyone
else in those roles."
Morgan Freeman plays Jim, the professional thief who hopes to
retire on the proceeds of one last $3 million dollar armored car
holdup. "I read the script with no idea of what part they
wanted me to consider," says three-time Oscar® nominee
Freeman. "I called my agent right after reading it, and said
'Well, the interesting part here is Jim.' And my agent said, 'That's
the part they want you to play.' Any time that happens, you get
a chill that goes up the back of your spine. This isn't a movie
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