STEVEN SPIELBERG BEGINS PRODUCTION ON UNTITLED HISTORICAL THRILLER FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND DREAMWORKS PICTURES
STEVEN SPIELBERG BEGINS PRODUCTION ON UNTITLED HISTORICAL THRILLER FOR UNIVERSAL PICTURES AND DREAMWORKS PICTURESThree-time Academy Award(R)-winning director-producer Steven Spielberg has commenced production on an as-yet untitled historical thriller set in the aftermath of the 1972 massacre of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. Universal Pictures will release the film in the United States and Canada on December 23, 2005; DreamWorks Pictures will handle international marketing and distribution.
The film recounts the dramatic story of the secret Israeli squad assigned to track down and assassinate 11 Palestinians believed to have planned the 1972 Munich massacre -- and the personal toll this mission of revenge takes on the team and the man who led it. Eric Bana ("Troy") stars as the Mossad agent charged with leading the band of specialists brought together for this operation.
Inspired by actual events, the narrative is based on a number of sources, including the recollections of some who participated in the events themselves.
The script is the first feature film written by Tony Kushner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award and many others for his epochal Broadway drama "Angels in America" as well as its Emmy Award-winning adaptation for HBO. The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Barry Mendel, Spielberg and Colin Wilson.
The international cast also includes Daniel Craig ("Layer Cake"), Geoffrey Rush ("Shine"), Mathieu Kassovitz ("Birthday Girl"), Hanns Zischler ("Walk on Water") and Ciaran Hinds ("Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera"). The production will shoot on location in various cities in Europe and in New York City.
"The attack at Munich by Black September and the Israeli response to it was a defining moment in the modern history of the Middle East," Spielberg stated.
"It's easy to look back at historic events with the benefit of hindsight. What's not so easy is to try to see things as they must have looked to people at the time. Viewing Israel's response to Munich through the eyes of the men who were sent to avenge that tragedy adds a human dimension to a horrific episode that we usually think about only in political or military terms. By experiencing how the implacable resolve of these men to succeed in their mission slowly gave way to troubling doubts about what they were doing, I think we can learn something important about the tragic stand-off we find ourselves in today."
Steven Spielberg earned his first two Academy Awards for directing and producing "Schindler's List" and his third for directing "Saving Private Ryan." He also has been honored with Oscar nominations as director for "E.T.," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
He has won three Directors Guild of America Awards for "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Color Purple" as well as nominations for "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T.," "Empire of the Sun," and "Amistad" for a record nine nominations. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the DGA and the American Film Institute and the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His films have also been among the industry's all-time most successful motion pictures worldwide, including "E.T.," "Jurassic Park," "Jaws" and the three "Indiana Jones" films.
Spielberg is a principal partner of DreamWorks SKG which he co-founded with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen in October 1994. The studio is actively involved in the production of live-action motion pictures and network and cable television programs, and the distribution of live-action and animated feature films, as well as home video entertainment.
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates the No. 1 television network, the fastest-growing Spanish-language network, a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80%-owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.
DreamWorks SKG was formed in October 1994 by its three principal partners -- Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. The studio is actively involved in the production of live-action motion pictures and network and cable television programs, and the distribution of live-action and animated feature films, as well as home video entertainment.
Source: Universal Pictures
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., July 5, 2005 /PRNewswire/ --