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The Director Signs On
Director D. J. Caruso ("Eagle Eye,”"Disturbia”) has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks, so he was excited to helm "I Am Number Four.”

"My collaboration with DreamWorks started when I was directing a television series called ‘High Incident,' explains Caruso. "Years later we teamed up on ‘Disturbia,' then we worked together again on ‘Eagle Eye,' which was another successful collaboration. I feel like I am part of the DreamWorks family, and it has become my home as a filmmaker.”

"I Am Number Four” is the biggest effects movie Caruso has ever done and he is finding Michael Bay's experience as a director of such mega-hits as "Transformers” and "Armageddon” an invaluable help. "Michael has been very helpful with the physicality of what needs to happen on set when you are dealing with a CG character,” explains Caruso.

Producer Michael Bay equally admires his director, "D.J. has an incredible ability to get in touch with the reality of his young characters' lives. It's not easy to make an alien kid with super powers feel real—an authentic hero that audiences could relate to.”

Caruso was immediately captivated by the story of "I Am Number Four,” particularly the character of John Smith, played by Alex Pettyfer. "When DreamWorks sent it to me,” says Caruso, "I was really attracted to it from the character standpoint—this disenfranchised teenager who keeps moving around, not really putting down roots, and trying to figure out who he is. At the same time, he's got this hidden destiny. I thought it was a really cool story.”

Bay was drawn to the story's unusual premise. "I've always been attracted to stories about ordinary people forced into extraordinary situations. Number Four is almost the opposite— an extraordinary guy who wants nothing more than to have a normal life,” he says.

Caruso admits that he is interested in characters who are going through a dark period. "Through that darkness they figure out where the light is, and they find something good. What I enjoy exploring is the notion that you have to experience some bad things in order to grow up, and to find out who you are. Thematically, that happens in this movie as well.”

"When I first saw the manuscript for the book, I knew it would make a great movie. It was a new twist on a classic concept, with a great combination of realism and action.”—Michael Bay, producer

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