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CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE

About The Production
At the end of CRANK, hitman Chev Chelios plummets from a helicopter, high above downtown Los Angeles, seemingly to his death. But when the film's use of hugely innovative visual techniques and non-stop action turned it into a theatrical success and DVD smash, creators Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor became interested in the prospect of Chev Chelios living to see another day.

Taylor admits that at first he and Neveldine never expected to be so intimately involved with the sequel. "Originally we were just going to write CRANK HIGH VOLTAGE for someone else to direct,” Taylor says. "We were going to write it, produce it and move on to something else. But by the time the script was finished, we had fallen in love with it and we were not going to let anyone else touch it. We came back to Lakeshore and said, ‘We want to do it, we need to do it and nobody else can do it.' So that's how it happened. The script took on a life of its own.”

"With the first CRANK, Mark and Brian just wanted it to be one of those films where the hero dies in the end and people can't believe it,” notes producer Skip Williamson, who originally championed Neveldine and Taylor and brought them to Lakeshore. "They're great writers so it was easy for them to come up with another idea for the second film. And with the sequel they just took it to the ninth degree.”

"We didn't want to cop out and have it be a flashback or have Chev's falling out of the helicopter be a dream or a prequel,” Neveldine points out. "We wanted CRANK HIGH VOLTAGE to be a true sequel in that it starts where the last film left off. So literally the first shot in this film is the last shot in CRANK, and we just keep going.”

As such, CRANK HIGH VOLTAGE begins with Chev hitting the asphalt of a busy downtown LA intersection, only to be kidnapped by a mysterious group of Asian gangsters. Three months later, Chev wakes up on an operating table, where a team of Chinese doctors have surgically removed his heart and replaced it with a battery-powered artificial device that needs to be charged regularly in order to keep him alive.

Producer David Rubin explains, "Once you buy into the notion that the hero may have lived, it opens up endless possibilities. Mark and Brian have a crazy sensibility and they bring to their work that insanity, and the script is evocative of that. Really, in terms of CRANK, death is only a state of mind. As soon as someone says you can't do something to Neveldine and Taylor, it's immediately a dare to try and figure out how to do it. And not only how to do it, but to do it well.”

For Neveldine and Taylor the writing process proved to be much easier for CRANK HIGH VOLTAGE primarily because the characters and the world they inhabit had already been established.  According to Taylor, "When we wrote the original, we didn't know that Jason Statham would be the guy, or that Amy Smart would be the girl, or about Efren or the other actors, so we were writing characters in the dark. Statham's character in the first movie was an LA guy; we didn't know he was going to be a Brit, but we couldn't find the tough American badass we were looking for so we had to go across the pond. It was pretty cool in the second movie to be able to write dialogue specifically for Jason, stuff that we knew Jason could just kill. Same with all the other characters too.'

"It was like riding a bike downhill,” continues Taylor. "Everything was so easy because you knew exactly who you were dealing with. The actors knew the characters. We knew the characters. And we're using lots of little colloquialisms and stuff Jason says just from knowing him as a guy -- things we couldn't have written in the first script.”

Neveldine says that despite the comedy, action and sex, all of which have been amped up in this new installment, the screenplay for the sequel ro

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