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BABYLON A.D.

About The Production
BABYLON A.D. is an epic action-adventure that takes its protagonists across the world in a journey that could alter the fate of the world. Action movie icon Vin Diesel ("Pitch Black,” "xXx”) takes on the role of Toorop, a hardened warrior who is perpetually alert and who sees everything and everyone. Toorop's arsenal of futuristic weapons includes a satellite phone with an encrypted data communication system; a military GPS, accurate to one-inch; tactical multi-media goggles; and a thermo-electric interactive map. But his most important weapon is a code of ethics, unknown in his profession, and from which he will not veer.

"Toorop has a very strong personal code and I was attracted to that part of his character,” says Vin Diesel. "I think too often people have a perception that just because a character acts immorally that they do not actually have a moral compass, but that is not the case. Toorop lives by his own personal codes of conduct, but allows the lines to blur in order to get his job done. This is a lesson he learned while in the military. In the film's opening scene, you see Toorop at the marketplace, and he goes from threatening a guy who owes him money at gunpoint to promising to bring a hungry kid food. He uses physical force in order to effectuate his professional needs, but in his heart he is a generous man.”

While BABYLON A.D. presents scenes of epic action and set pieces, Diesel was drawn primarily to Toorop's complexities. "I approach each project from the perspective of the character first,” Diesel explains. "Here is the story of a guy who is essentially at the end of his rope. He is a war veteran who has both committed and witnessed such horrible atrocities that he has completely given up on life, on love, on hope, and has become a shell. This story at its heart is a drama about this one man's ability to come to terms with the past and accept the future that is being presented to him. It is a very ordinary human struggle and in that sense the film is a drama. But then you add on the fact that this guy has these incredible survival skills and he has been asked to protect the world's first "replecant” who is also being protected by the likes of Michelle Yeoh! That is when the film becomes epic in scope.”

Director/co-screenwriter Mathieu Kassovitz ("La Haine”), a noted actor in his own right (he had a leading role in "Munich”), cast Diesel because he knew the actor could handle the requisite action duties while adding critical character shadings. "Toorop is a classic anti-hero, but he has ethics and a code,” says the filmmaker. "And when you have ethics, it sets you apart from other, less noble, characters. That's why I chose Vin; he's an action hero but at the same time he allows us to explore the layers of Toorop through the adventure he undertakes with Rebeka and Aurora.”

Kassovitz had long admired Diesel's performance in his star-making turn as mortally wounded soldier in "Saving Private Ryan,” as well as Diesel's work in big action movies like "The Chronicles of Riddick” and "xXx.” "Vin has massive strength, both physically and internally,” says the director. "Very few actors have that.”

Diesel's casting points to Kassovitz's vision for the film, which he and coscreenwriter Eric Besnard adapted from the novel Babylon Babies by Maurice G. Dantec. "I wanted to make a big action movie that could also represent what's happening in our society,” says Kassovitz. "Dantec's novel is not filled with action, but I wanted big action in the film. The movie is more inspired by the book than a true adaptation.”

Kassovitz sets his film against a global stage, hurtling the action from Eastern Europe, across the ocean, through Alaska and Canada, and into the "promised land” of New York. Everything in the film is bigger than life: cars are airlifted by giant electric helicopters

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