The father and son relationship that had struck a chord with the father and son producers would eventually be fleshed out even more in the screenplay by David Self. Richard Zanuck says, "Everyone responded very strongly and very positively to the script.
The graphic novel was told in pictures and images, but the screenplay evolved into a much deeper, more complex story. Mendes offers that there were several elements that attracted him to the project, beginning with the script. So there was this amazingly varied and enormous canvas on which to tell the story. And, as a narrative, it had a very clear linear drive.
It didn't stop; it moved relentlessly forward, and it had this fascinating central character who is morally ambivalent. As an audience, we don't know if this is somebody who-without wanting to be too simplistic-is a good man or a bad man from the beginning of the story to the end. Hanks had learned of the project early on when Steven Spielberg gave him the graphic novel even before there was a screenplay, telling him it was a great read.
Hanks agreed and asked to see a script when it was done. Hanks comments that one of the things that initially intrigued him about the story was its unpredictability. I remember thinking that here is this movie that should be predictable but is utterly unpredictable. It turned out to be Sam Mendes. Chatting with him, I knew we would be in the hands of someone who could tell the story the way it needed to be told. Mendes has no less admiration for the actor, noting, "How can you not admire Tom Hanks?
He's an amazing actor, but what's even better than having a great actor is having a great actor who's never before done what the part is asking of him. Michael Sullivan is a very dark, very mysterious man, and not at all accessible to the audience, at least initially.
He is someone who carries with him a sense of guilt and regret for the life he has led, but this regret is never stated; it is just felt and seen. What Tom is able to convey in silence is extraordinary, but then, that would be my definition of a great screen actor. While Michael Sullivan is something of an enigma to the audience, Hanks' insight into his character began before he ever stepped into the role. Now he's in the midst of something he should have known was coming, but somehow he was able to block out the reality of his world and believe it would have no consequences, and, of course, finally it does.
At the moment we're dropped into the story, it is literally the last day of that false perspective. That being said, Hanks is clear that, despite any illusions Sullivan might have held, "I think he very much understands the times in which he lives and how he ended up doing what he does for a living: working for Mr.
Rooney, the man who saved his life, probably before he was even conscious that his life needed saving. Therein lies the examination of our fathers, which is no small part of this story. Rooney is a father figure to Sullivan. Sullivan wants to emulate him, while at the same time, he fears him. Young Michael, Jr.
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This movie is about that moment when the truth is revealed, when you see the flaw in the man you considered to be your father. How do you deal with it? Is it the shattering of your world, or the beginning of a new understanding of the failures we as human beings all have? Does it draw you closer to the man you viewed as the reason you're in the world, or does it drive you away from that person who is responsible for who you are?
It's fascinating stuff. The father and son aspect of the story was also compelling to the man who portrays Mr. However, as the patriarch of the family, Newman's perspective was that of a father whose loyalties are tested by his surrogate son, Michael Sullivan, and his real son, Connor Rooney. Rooney is forced to protect one at the expense of the other, so it's an intriguing conflict," he offers. Newman also appreciated the arc of his character. He starts out robust and powerful and full of vinegar, and becomes a man beaten down by tragedy.
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It's a marvelous part. Not surprisingly, Paul Newman was the filmmakers' unanimous choice for the role of Mr. Richard Zanuck confirms, "We all agreed there was only one actor who could play Rooney. There was no second choice. He really is a pro's pro.
GitHub - richardj/Urfe: Lyrics for the Axis of Perdition's album 'Urfe'
He makes it look easy, but he works very hard. He puts a lot of thought and preparation into everything he does. Mendes agrees. He would come in having spent hours in his trailer going over the tiniest little pivotal moments, which is really amazing when you think about it. I mean, considering the career he's had, to care that much and not leave anything to chance, was inspiring to everyone. Everybody respects him to such a great degree, and it was just incredible for all of us to have Paul Newman on the set.
Hoechlin won the plum role over a field of more than 2, young actors, who were screened by casting director Debra Zane in open calls held in cities across the United States. Dean Zanuck recalls, "We were looking at tape after tape and no one was hitting the mark. Then Sam called me into his office and said, 'Dean, I want to show you something. I think we've found our kid. Mendes says, "It's what you hope for-that you will turn on a tape and within two seconds know this is the one.
Then you just pray that when you actually meet the actor, he's everything you hoped he would be. The moment Tyler walked in the room, it was clear he had something special, and I defy anyone not to notice it the minute he appears on the screen. He's a very skilled young actor with a wisdom in his eyes that belies his years.
Only 13 years old when he landed the role of Michael Sullivan, Jr.
He tries-he keeps going after it-but he doesn't really get anything back. Then suddenly they're the only two left, and they begin to develop a stronger relationship as his dad starts to realize that Michael is all he has now and how much he's been missing. I think the journey is of a father and son getting to know each other, and also finding out who they themselves are.
Though he could understand the character, Hoechlin could barely grasp it when Mendes informed him that he had gotten the part. Dean Zanuck found it interesting to note that, together with those three actors Hoechlin so greatly admires, the young actor was an important facet of a cast that mirrors the generational aspects of the story. Jude Law plays the role of Maguire, a press photographer who moonlights as a hit man. It's about parents and children, betrayal and honesty, and people and emotions and relationships, which we've all experienced.
These are the epic qualities of life, which for me are what all great films are about," Law says. Although Law is somewhat younger than Maguire was originally described in the script, Sam Mendes had no doubt that he would be right for the role. He is an utterly fearless actor. He has no concerns about playing someone quite unlike himself, and here he was a silent, gentle assassin, a man of the shadows, and all the more frightening for it," the director asserts. Law also saw an interesting correlation between the fundamental accoutrements of Maguire's double life.
The actual murder is sort of by-the-by; he would never let a living body get in the way of a good photo. A collection of Maguire's favorite photographs is seen on the walls of his seedy apartment, and Mendes reveals that some are actual police stills from the s. They gave Jude an enormous sense that these people really did exist. One character in "Road to Perdition" actually did exist in real life, the powerful mobster Frank Nitti, played by Stanley Tucci.
I had always wanted to work with him and hoped I'd be fortunate enough to get him for this, and I was thrilled when he said he'd do it. He's his father's son, yet he has always had to play second fiddle to Michael Sullivan, who is his father's favorite, even though he's not his real son. So there's a lot churned up inside Connor and it fuels what he does. Maybe he's not justified in his actions, but it's the path he chooses. And once he gets going, there's a domino effect and nothing and nobody can stop it. Sam Mendes agrees, "Connor is the person who sets the story in motion.
I wanted a relative unknown to play him so the audience wouldn't know from the first moment that he was going to be a central player.