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LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

About The Production
Gerard Butler, the star and one of the producers of Law Abiding Citizen, has starred in the CGI-enhanced blockbuster 300, the film adaptation of the Broadway phenomenon The Phantom of the Opera and Guy Ritchie's most recent crime epic RocknRolla, but he says this film is a standout for him. "I don't recall ever working on a movie that has gotten me so excited,” says Butler. "I feel like its themes are quite profound in some ways and should make us think about how lucky most of us are.”

Law Abiding Citizen follows Butler's character, Clyde Shelton, a seemingly ordinary crime victim and Nick Rice, a Philadelphia prosecutor played by Oscar®-winner Jamie Foxx, down a rabbit hole of violence and revenge, where nothing is as it seems and the law always is one step behind. Producer Lucas Foster worked with screenwriter Kurt Wimmer to develop the initial script. "The basic idea was that a man who had been betrayed by the system decided to teach the system a lesson—from inside jail,” says Foster. "We want to believe that when someone is arrested and they're put into the system, that's more or less the end of it. Whatever the outcome, proven innocent or proven guilty, that's the end of the story. In our movie, it's just the beginning.”

That unconventional starting point convinced Butler that Law Abiding Citizen was not a standard psychological thriller. "The story hit me in a way that most thrillers don't,” Butler says. "In a lot of ways, it's completely unexpected. You know right from the start that horrific events take place and you're completely with one character. It is a very intense, scary story, yet at the same time you end up with empathy and emotion for both characters.”

The film also takes an incriminating look at the inconsistencies of an overloaded justice system. "The government is a great apparatus,” says Foster. "But sometimes it's a broad sword when a scalpel is called for, especially in complicated matters like justice. 

"If I'm a regular person and this terrible tragedy happens to me, I have what I think is the normal redress,” he continues. "I go to the powers that be, believing I am going to get justice. Clyde Shelton doesn't get justice and he makes a decision to take matters into his own hands. I'm sympathetic to him. If something that horrible happened to people I cared about, I would want justice for them however it came about. He's doing what he thinks is right, what he thinks is honorable.”

The government is represented by Assistant District Attorney Rice, played by Jamie Foxx. "Nick Rice is almost a mirror image of Clyde Shelton,” says Foster. "He's working within the system, but the system doesn't always work well. That's the moral dilemma he faces.”

"Rice's commitment to the legal system sometimes gets in the way of his commitment to justice,” says Foxx, whose astoundingly versatile career has ranged from groundbreaking comedy performances on "In Living Color” to an Academy Award-winning portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray. "Sometimes the way the system works doesn't allow him to get involved the way he wants. Nick's a good man. He does everything by the law, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing ultimately. The system's never going to be perfect, so he's always trying to figure out how to maneuver in an imperfect world.” 

"This movie is not black and white,” adds Foster. "Our main characters are locked together by tragedy. They're both right and they're both wrong.” 

Alan Siegel, Butler's partner in the production company Evil Twins, learned about Law Abiding Citizen after reading Wimmer's earlier script, Salt. "The script was terrific,” he says. "Kurt introduced himself at an awards ceremony where Gerry won an award for 300. I told him that Gerry and I were great fans and I asked if he had any other scripts. The next day he sent me Law Abiding Citizen and I re

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