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THE CORRUPTOR

About The Production
The Corruptor was written as a starring vehicle for international superstar Chow Yun-Fat as a follow-up to his American film debut, the action-thriller The Replacement Killers

The Corruptor was written as a starring vehicle for international superstar Chow Yun-Fat as a follow-up to his American film debut, the action-thriller The Replacement Killers. Unlike Yun-Fat's first American film, it is a serious action-drama like the films Yun-Fat made in Hong Kong with director John Woo: a dark tale of bloodshed, honor and betrayal set in New York City's Chinatown.

The project came about when Illusion producer Dan Halsted read an article about two NYPD cops stationed in Chinatown who were indicted for corruption.

Says Halsted: "We connected the dots and realized that the project would be a great vehicle for Yun-Fat. We approached New Line at the same time. They were also interested in working with him and bought the project."

The story started to come together when the producers brought in Robert Pucci to write the screenplay. Pucci immersed himself in sociological studies and histories of Chinese immigration, as well as a series of newspaper reports on organized crime in Chinatown. He also spoke with the officers investigating the case that inspired the real-life corruption story, as well as the Federal attorneys who brought it to trial. Upon visiting New York's Chinatown for first-hand research "I found a world within a world," he recalls.

The writer also received important input from Chow Yun-Fat. "Robert and I had an opportunity to discuss my view of Nick Chen and the underground society," says Yun-Fat. Adds executive producer Bill Carraro: "Chow brought a lot to the script with his suggestions and his knowledge of Chinese culture."

Halsted saw The Corruptor as more than just a cop thriller. "Beneath the police story there's a cultural story," he says, "the clash of two very different civilizations -- a crude culture and a very civilized one that also regards corruption as necessary to its survival."

James Foley, who had never made an action film, was the producers' choice to bring the story of the Chinese cop and his young American partner to the screen. "Jamie is recognized for his ability to bring relationships to life," says Halsted. 'That's what he did in At Close Range and Glengariy Glen Ross, two films which have at their core complex father-son relationships."

Foley, who was preparing for a career as a psychoanalyst before turning to film, agrees that there is a recurring theme in his movies. "I enjoy the complexity that is drawn from the deficit of the imprint of the father. The Corruptor is all about fathers and sons and the hatred that can go on between them.

But Foley's main reason for wanting to tackle the story was his long-standing desire to move into the action genre. "I have always been interested in action films," he says, "and I like this one because it has the kind of psychological reality that I liked in '70s films like The French Connection, Dog Day Afternoon, or even Serpico. In the '80s, action films became comic books where you made a joke every time someone got shot, and I had a hard time knowing how to direct something like that."

'This is considerably more realistic than a lot of movies out there today," concurs Mark Wahlberg. "It's unfortunate that people aren't making these kind of movies. That's why I'd rather watch old films with Cagney o

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