About The Production
Cellular Memory \ 'sel-y?-l?r\ 'mem-r?\:
A phenomenon in which transplant recipients
display the characteristics of the donor.
How do we judge what is real? Can our eyes be trusted to not mislead, to show things as they are? How do we know that what we are seeing is really there? Over 30,000 Americans undergo corneal transplants each year, and is quickly becoming commonplace procedure. But, what would happen if something unforeseen occurred? THE EYE portrays the terrifying events that befall a young woman, Sydney Wells, who undergoes such a procedure, but she soon discovers her new eyes bring with them far more than she ever expected.
Sydney Wells, the protagonist in THE EYE, is not your typical movie heroine. Blinded in both eyes after a tragic childhood accident, she's beautiful, confident, and, despite her disability, has managed to achieve a happy, fulfilling life as a successful concert violinist in Los Angeles. At the urging of her sister, Sydney elects to undergo a double corneal transplant in the hopes of regaining her sight. This life-changing surgery catapults her into a nightmarish odyssey that challenges her most fundamental notions of sanity, identity and perception. Is she experiencing the phenomena of cellular memory, or it something far worse that exceeds the limits of the imagination? For Jessica Alba, the stunning star of such hits as SIN CITY and the FANTASTIC FOUR movies, tackling the role of Sydney offered a unique and exciting opportunity to stretch as an actor and delve into a rich, multi-faceted character.
"Sydney is a challenging part that required a lot of preparation," says Alba. "I was really looking for the right thriller/horror movie to do, and most of them are slasher, gore-for-gore's sake and vulgar. But THE EYE is very classy, elegant and beautifully written, and Sydney is such a unique, interesting person. Her journey, the process of regaining her sight and then everything that she faces afterwards, it really intrigued me."
From Lionsgate and Paramount Vantage, THE EYE is based on the 2002 Asian horror film of the same name written by Jo Jo Yuet-chun Hui, Oxide Pang and Danny Pang and directed by the Chinese filmmaking duo Danny Pang and Oxide Pang. The film, which was an international hit, caught the attention of C/W Productions, who bought the rights for an American remake. "Great films have at their core characters who are trying to achieve something on either a physical or emotional level," states Paula Wagner. "Alba's character Sydney overcomes her physical disability," continues Wagner, "and following cornea transplant she learns that she must rediscover who she is and her place in the world and must learn to handle the emotional changes that come with it."
Executive Producer Michael Paseornek commented, "The original Asian film is a favorite among critics and horror fans alike. We are excited to be re-inventing this smart thriller with Jessica -- our second film with her in a year -- as well as with the very respected and creative filmmaker Paula Wager, Don Granger and her team at C/W. Our directors Xavier and David will deliver what we are sure will be an edge-of-your-seat thriller." In developing the script, C/W producer Don Granger worked closely with screenwriter Sebastian Gutierrez, saying that "there is a fine line when re-interpreting a film that has already garnered international success. It is a constant challenge to improve upon the original source and maintain the integrity of the story."
While THE EYE is propelled by supernatural elements, the film's plot hinges on an actual scientific phenomenon known as cellular memory. Explains executive producer Darren Miller, "People who undergo organ transplants have been known to take on behaviors of the individual from whom
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