Road to Perdition, The : Production Notes


Two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks ("Forrest Gump," "Philadelphia") heads the cast of the drama "Road to Perdition," under the direction of Academy Award®-winning director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty").

Hanks stars as Michael Sullivan, a hit man for an Irish gang in the Depression-era Midwest. When his work crosses into his private life, leading to the death of his beloved wife and son, Sullivan and his surviving son set out on a journey of retribution and redemption.

"Road to Perdition" also stars Oscar®-winning screen legend Paul Newman ("The Color of Money"), Oscar® nominee Jude Law ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), Golden Globe nominee Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle"), Emmy and Golden Globe winner Stanley Tucci ("Winchell," "Conspiracy"), Daniel Craig ("Elizabeth"), newcomer Tyler Hoechlin and young actor Liam Aiken ("Stepmom").

Academy Award® winner Richard D. Zanuck ("Driving Miss Daisy"), Dean Zanuck and Sam Mendes produced "Road to Perdition," with Walter F. Parkes ("Gladiator") and Joan Bradshaw ("Cast Away") serving as executive producers. Sam Mendes directed the film from a screenplay by David Self ("Thirteen Days"), based upon the graphic novel written by Max Allan Collins and illustrated by Richard Piers Rayner. "Road to Perdition" is a co-production of DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, with DreamWorks distributing the film domestically and Twentieth Century Fox handling the international release.



"Road to Perdition" is a title with a dual meaning. In literal terms, Perdition is the name of the town to which Michael Sullivan and his only surviving son, Michael Sullivan, Jr. , are headed. But Perdition is also a euphemism for Hell, and in that regard, the road is one Michael Sullivan prays he can keep his son from traveling.

Tom Hanks, who stars as Michael Sullivan, offers, "The message from Michael the father to Michael the son is that you get to choose the road you're on in this life, but don't choose what I have chosen…the road I've been on all my life. Somewhere in my past, I made the choice to go in a certain direction, and it leads right to perdition. "

Director/producer Sam Mendes agrees, observing, "Michael Sullivan considers himself to have been put on the road to Hell. Now he is in a battle for the soul of his son. Can a man who has led a bad life achieve redemption through his child? That is one of the central questions asked by the movie. "

The first step on the movie "Road to Perdition" was taken by producer Dean Zanuck when he received the graphic novel, written by Max Allan Collins, as part of a pitch. Having never even seen a graphic novel, let alone read one, he began flipping through it and was hooked. "I just loved it," he recalls. "The father and son story had a powerful emotional impact on me, and the illustrations by Richard Piers Rayner provided a great visual of the period. That, combined with the action in the piece, made it very appealing. When I finished it, I said to my wife, 'I think something special is going to happen with this. '"

The younger Zanuck immediately sent the book to his father, producer Richard D. Zanuck, who was on location in Morocco. Richard Zanuck picks up the story with, "I read it and was instantly attracted to it. It had wonderful action and colorful characters, and just had all the elements of being a very entertaining, provocative picture. But it was the relationship between the father and son that develops through the course of the story that really got me. I called Dean and asked him to send a copy over to Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks. To my amazement, two days later the phone rang in my humble little room in Morocco and it was Steven. He said, 'I love this. Let's do it. ' And that's how it happened. "

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. It delves more into the personal side of this father and son and has more heart…more human emotions. "

One of those who responded positively was director Sam Mendes, who chose "Road to Perdition" as his follow-up to his Oscar®-winning film directorial debut, "American Beauty. " The Zanucks knew Mendes was perfect to helm "Road to Perdition" from their very first meeting with him. "The way he spoke about the story and his plans for the film, we felt the movie elevating before our very eyes," Dean Zanuck states. "He had an extraordinary grasp of the material. "

Mendes offers that there were several elements that attracted him to the project, beginning with the script. "David Self had made some clever additions to the graphic novel, but it remained an incredibly simple, powerful story. At its heart, there was the father/son relationship, but it was also a serious gangster movie set in what I consider to be the last mythic American landscape-the 1930s, the Depression era, when there was still space to lose yourself in the vastness of America…when there were mystical golden cities rising up, like Chicago. 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. "


The central character of "Road to Perdition" is Michael Sullivan, played by two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks. 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 thought this would be the kind of genre movie that would be very familiar to me, but three pages into it, I didn't know where I was or what was going to happen next. I remember thinking that here is this movie that should be predictable but is utterly unpredictable. That, coupled with the realities of what it was going to take to make this period piece…I wondered who they could get to do it justice. 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. "While I was reading this, I actually thought of the verse from The Bible that says, 'He who sows the wind shall reap the whirlwind. ' That's what happens to Sullivan: He's married, the father of two, and has one of the bigger houses in town…and it's been paid for with fear, intimidation, violence and blood. 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. Mr. Rooney is a father figure to Sullivan. Sullivan wants to emulate him, while at the same time, he fears him. Young Michael, Jr. feels the same about his father. 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. John Rooney, Oscar®-winning screen legend Paul Newman. 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's son Connor is a bad guy, and his 'adopted' son Michael is kind of a good bad guy. 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 goes through an interesting progression in the film. He starts out robust and powerful and full of vinegar, and becomes a man beaten down by tragedy. It's a marvelous part. "

Not surprisingly, Paul Newman was the filmmakers' unanimous choice for the role of Mr. Rooney. Richard Zanuck confirms, "We all agreed there was only one actor who could play Rooney. There was no second choice. " The producer, whose professional history with Newman includes such films as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Sting" and "The Verdict," goes on to say, "Particularly at this stage of his career, Paul is very careful about the roles he chooses, so we were so thrilled that he loved this role. He really is a pro's pro. He makes it look easy, but he works very hard. He puts a lot of thought and preparation into everything he does. "

Mendes agrees. "Paul was always honing his performance. 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. "

While Michael Sullivan's father figure is played by the iconic Paul Newman, his son, Michael Sullivan, Jr. , is played by newcomer Tyler Hoechlin. Hoechlin won the plum role over a field of more than 2,000 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. , Hoechlin showed remarkable insight into his character and his relationship with his father. "Michael loves his dad dearly and desperately wants to be close to him. 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. "It didn't really sink in for about two weeks until I was leaving for location," he remembers. "Finally it hit me, 'Oh my gosh, I'm going to work with Tom Hanks and Paul Newman and Jude Law. ' It was almost beyond comprehension. "

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. "We had four generations of great actors, starting with the iconic Paul Newman; then Tom Hanks, who is arguably the biggest actor of today; to Jude Law, who is a fast-rising star; and finally Tyler Hoechlin, a newcomer, who amazed us all. "

Jude Law plays the role of Maguire, a press photographer who moonlights as a hit man. Maguire is the only main male character in the piece who is not directly linked to the father/son theme, but it was nevertheless one of the main selling points for the actor, as he felt it set the film apart from the traditional gangster genre. "It is not a typical gangster movie; it's about a father and son finding each other in the most adverse of situations. 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. "Jude was up to the task, no question. 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.

"I was looking for a part like this, a character role that was far from anything I'd ever done, and this was definitely it," Law remarks. "Maguire is a crime scene photographer, specializing in capturing dead bodies at murder scenes, and he's also become a very successful paid assassin. "

Law also saw an interesting correlation between the fundamental accoutrements of Maguire's double life. "I think every time you see Maguire load and point his camera, it has the dual symbolism of a gun because, to Maguire, the taking of the photo after the act of murder is more important, really. 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 1930s. "We used photographs taken of crime scenes during that period and, despite their goriness, they are strangely beautiful and very powerful. 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. "Frank Nitti was Al Capone's right-hand man who, they say, for all intents and purposes, ran the organization," Tucci comments. "Both Rooney and Sullivan come to him for help, leaving Nitti torn between the two and having to figure out exactly what to do. "

Mendes says, "When I read the character of Nitti, I immediately thought of 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. "

Both Maguire and Nitti are brought into the story through the actions of Connor Rooney, played by British actor Daniel Craig. "The real key to Connor is his relationship with his father," Craig observes. "Connor was brought up to be a violent man. 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. I felt if this character were to work, he would almost have to creep up on the audience. Danny is dark, brooding and hugely charismatic, but there is also a great vulnerability there. I knew when I met him that he was the right man for the job. "

Connor Rooney's resentment towards Michael Sullivan is tied to the fates of Sullivan's wife, Annie, and youngest son, Peter. The only woman in the main cast of "Road to Perdition," Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Annie, who, the actress notes, "has to make a definite impression in a short amount of time. It seemed like a real challenge because, with very little dialogue, we need to learn about this marriage and get a feeling of what their family life is like. Annie loves her husband very much. She doesn't ask him too much about his work-you didn't back then-but she's seen him come home enough times with blood on his shirt to know there is stuff going down that makes her worried for her kids. She has a good life and is grateful for it, but it's a life tinged with fear. "

Mendes, who had directed Leigh in the revival of the musical "Cabaret," offers, "I had hoped to have an opportunity to work with her on film as well. Then I happened to bump into her at a screening and asked her to play the part. I thought, 'I should be so lucky,' and I was, because she said 'yes. '"

Liam Aiken, who plays Peter Sullivan, is the youngest member of the cast, but hardly the least experienced. Richard Zanuck notes, "He is a real professional at a very young age. He's just a remarkable young man, very impressive. "

Mendes adds, "Liam is very intelligent and has a great sense of humor. He listens very carefully and responds to what the other actors are giving him, which is a sign of a born actor, in my opinion. What was really interesting about both Liam and Tyler Hoechlin is that they came in for two weeks of rehearsals with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh…and didn't bat an eyelid. They were there every day with the 'heavy hitters,' patiently watching and listening to every scene being rehearsed, so they were part of the fabric of the movie from a very early stage. "

CIRCA 1931

The ensemble of talent in front of the camera was matched by the award-winning creative team assembled to work behind the camera, beginning with the man Sam Mendes calls "my central working relationship": cinematographer Conrad Hall, who also lensed "American Beauty" for the director. "I can't even describe how attached I've become to him and how immensely grateful I am to him," Mendes says. "In the midst of the chaos and the siege mentality that happens on a movie set, when Conrad puts his eye to the eyepiece of the camera, magic begins to happen. If you ask him how he knows where to point the camera, he'll tell you, 'I point it at the story. ' But it's more than that; his artistry with light adds a dimension to the story that you could not have imagined. There is no such thing as an unimportant shot for him, and so he can drive you mad spending longer to light than you ever expected. But when you're in the screening room, you thank God every day for Conrad Hall. "

Collaborating for the first time with the director were production designer Dennis Gassner, costume designer Albert Wolsky, and editor Jill Bilcock. "These are all very special people, incredibly gifted and at the top of their professions," Mendes states. "It was like having an entire engine room of ideas and creative energy behind me. "

"Road to Perdition" is set in 1931 when the country was in the grip of the Great Depression, prohibition was still the law of the land, and gangsters like Al Capone were at the height of their power. Long before the cameras rolled, research was the order of the day for everyone involved in the production. "The challenges of a period movie are obvious," Mendes comments. "Everything must be discussed in detail before you begin, because everything has to be made or re-created. It was also important to me that the movie pay witness to the time, rather than announce it. I want the audience to feel that they are looking through a window into this world, and I wanted to put a lie to some of the perceived notions about gangsters. You will see no double-breasted pinstripe suits, no spats, and only one machine gun, and that has a very specific and unusual presence in the movie. "

In at least one instance, the research resulted in a major thematic element of the film. Mendes reveals, "In planning the wake held at the beginning of the movie, we discovered they sometimes kept corpses on ice to stop the body from decomposing, and as the ice melted, the water would drip into buckets. The linking of water with death then became a recurring image in the film. It speaks of the mutability of water and links it to the uncontrollability of fate. These are things that humans can't control. In other words, the dam might burst at any moment. All that came out of a tiny piece of research. "

Research was especially important for the movie's design teams. Costume designer Albert Wolsky soon learned that re-creating the wardrobe of the times was made all the more challenging by the fact that its main distinction was its lack of distinction. "It's not the hotsy totsy of the roaring '20s and it's not the very slinky style of the mid-to-late '30s. It's a very difficult period; it slips away from you in seconds," he remarks.

As part of his research, Wolsky set out to find real clothing of the period, which was, in itself, problematic. He and his team looked throughout the United States and even Europe, but found that very little remained of the actual clothing. "It was the Depression; nobody kept those clothes," Wolsky explains. "There was no reason to; they were just worn out clothes with nothing to commend them. "

What articles of clothing they did manage to obtain served as patterns for some of the principal costumes. Using the actual clothing was impossible due to its delicate condition, as well as the need for multiples of each costume. "It's not like today. People then wore the same thing over and over. And in this movie in particular, once Michael Sullivan and his son are on the road, the changes are minimal-it's just the same suit, the same hat, the same coat…getting more and more worn," Wolsky states. "It means making more copies than you would usually need for normal wear and tear. And because we were shooting out of sequence, we couldn't use the same costume from day to day. It doesn't work that way. "

The scarcity of authentic clothing and the demand for so many multiples meant the costumes would have to be manufactured from scratch, which led to another problem: Modern fabrics are much more lightweight so today's suits, for example, fall differently on the body than those of the early '30s. "Without the right fabric, you lose the period," Wolsky contends. "We tested the current fabrics and there was just no way to fake it. The weight dramatically affects the way the clothes move. "

The only choice was to have the fabric specially woven in the correct weight for the period costumes. After some trial and error, Wolsky tracked down a weaver in upstate New York named Rabbit Goody, owner of Thistle Hill Weavers, who did what the costume designer says was "wonderful work" in weaving the enormous amount of fabric needed for the production. The new fabric then had to be aged and dyed to complete the effect.

Shades of brown, black and dark green comprised the dominant color palette for the costumes. Wolsky says, "I knew from Sam's description that it wasn't about individual details, it was about color and silhouettes. I also felt it was impossible to show the Depression in cheerful, bright colors, so I tried to pull back as much color as I could. "

That approach fit in perfectly with what Conrad Hall was trying to achieve through the camera. "The film shouldn't be colorful, so I tried to make it as monochromatic as I could. It's not exactly film noir, more of a soft noir, if you will-soft shadows rather than harsh ones," the cinematographer offers. "I especially loved all the costumes with the hats. I could burn a light down and keep the face totally shaded. "

Stage lights notwithstanding, makeup artist Daniel Streipeke's first edict to the cast was to stay out of the sun so they would have that Midwest-in-the-winter look, as opposed to California suntans. For Tom Hanks, Streipeke says, "We wanted to take some of the vulnerability out of his face. He needed to look like a powerful, tough guy, without being too clichéd about it. "

The greatest transformation was reserved for Jude Law, whose good looks are obscured by Maguire's seedy countenance. "We gave Jude a sallow skin tone and beat up hands, which would come from being in a darkroom with his hands in photo fluids all the time," Streipeke describes. "We also lowered the gum line in his mouth and rotted his teeth, which works for the ferret-like character he plays. "

Law also allowed hair stylist Kathryn Blondell to thin his hair. "It's very painstaking work and the initial cut took two days," Blondell relates. "I went section by section and hair by hair, cutting them out with very tiny scissors. I needed jeweler's glasses to do it. "

"You can flesh out a character so much with those subtleties, which became very relevant to portraying Maguire because he says so little," Law notes. "He has to make a visual impression-not so obvious that he couldn't disappear into a crowd, but if you were to look closer, you'd see something a little off-center and slightly twisted. "

The personalities and lives of the different characters were also reflected in the production design. "The design is all character-oriented," production designer Dennis Gassner affirms. "What Sam and I tried to do was come up with a variety of settings that support the mood of the characters, as well as the story. "

Gassner points out that the Sullivan home is in cool blue tones, to reflect the wintry atmosphere that exists both outside and inside the house. By comparison, the color scheme of the Rooney house is much warmer because, the designer points out, "although he is a gangster, he has a certain warmth and charm. He is also old money, so he has a classic sense of style. "

Filming on "Road to Perdition" took place entirely on location in Chicago, Illinois and the surrounding towns. "I wanted to shoot on location and, in Chicago, what you see on screen is what's actually there. It still exists," Mendes states.

The fact that it has existed for the better part of a century meant that Gassner and his team had to go in and turn the clock back 70 years. "Doing a period film is basically undoing what's been done to a piece of art and then restyling it properly to fit the time," the designer observes.

One area that needed little redressing was the Pullman area on the outskirts of Chicago, which is named for Henry Pullman who built the town for those building his Pullman trains. "The Pullman area has remained virtually untouched by the passage of time, so it became a location cornerstone for our film," Gassner says. Among the shooting sites found in the Pullman area was the historic Florence Hotel, which was used for both interiors and exteriors, as well as a warehouse and an alleyway that became the settings for two pivotal confrontations.

The Illinois State Film Commission provided the filmmakers with another location mainstay when they helped the production team convert the Armory in Chicago into a soundstage, where the interiors of the Sullivan house and Rooney mansion were constructed. The exterior of the Sullivan home was found in the town of Barrington, Illinois, while the small community of West Dundee doubled for Rock Island, the town where the Sullivans and Rooneys live and where Michael Sullivan and his son begin their journey.

Rising in sharp contrast to those rural communities is the city of Chicago, which Mendes intended to be "a kind of Oz in the middle of the movie," at least to young Michael Sullivan, who had never before ventured out of his hometown. Filming took place on La Salle Street in downtown Chicago, where the buildings of the period are juxtaposed with a few modern-day structures that would later be removed digitally. Dozens of vintage cars were obtained by the production to fill the street, along with hundreds of extras in period costumes that Albert Wolsky had designed to be decidedly more upscale than the small-town wardrobe seen earlier.

In what appears to be a series of different towns, one of the film's key sequences is the string of bank robberies perpetrated by Michael Sullivan. What was interesting was that Mendes had conceived of the sequence as a continuous tracking movement from left to right. Hall expounds, "Rather than as a montage, where shots fade out and fade in, Sam wanted the bank robberies to move from one directly into the other, without a cut in between. "

The problem with that plan was that the action in one of the locations chosen for the robberies would only work shooting from right to left, but not from left to right. Rather than switch the plan, Gassner and his team switched the location, so to speak, by reversing every telltale element-including all the street signs, license plates, and even the steering wheels in the cars-to a mirror image. With that done, Mendes and Hall could shoot from right to left and flip the film to accomplish the desired left-to-right sequence.

For the bank robbery scenes, young Tyler Hoechlin had to learn to drive, and the then-13-year-old actor was only too happy to oblige. Stunt coordinator and second unit director Doug Coleman, who served as the driving instructor, says that the teenager did a wonderful job. Nevertheless, Coleman had a set of controls installed in the back seat for a stunt driver, just to be on the safe side.

The journey of Michael Sullivan and his son takes place mainly during the winter and, likewise, so did filming on "Road to Perdition. " The Midwest winter cold-which dropped to as low as minus-30 degrees-tested the endurance of the entire production team. "Winter in the Midwest is a pretty bleak time," Tom Hanks attests. "It was bitter cold, but I think that breeds a hardy type of person. You have to be tough to get through winters back there. "

Though the air was freezing, the weather didn't always cooperate in providing the blanket of snow needed for some scenes. Special effects coordinator Allen Hall and his crew took over where Mother Nature left off, fabricating several football fields' worth of fake snow to create the wintry landscape. The effects team was also responsible for generating the drenching "rain" that was all-too-real for the cast and crew.

"There was an enormous amount of manufactured weather. We had snow, rain, ice, sleet, you name it. And let me tell you, they don't always mix; they become a kind of awful mush," Mendes laughs. "There were times I cursed the day I ever decided that the first 20 minutes of the movie should take place in a snowscape. But," the director adds, "there was a very deliberate reason for it. The reason there is snow and ice in the opening of the story is it symbolizes a frozen world…frozen in the emotional sense. It's a paralyzed family until the father and oldest son are thrown together by tragedy and they begin to have the relationship they never had before. So out of the bad comes good, and everything that was intended to be set in ice at the beginning begins to thaw. "

Dean Zanuck reflects, "Michael Sullivan and his son start the movie far apart from each other, but a terrible turn of events brings them very much together. It's an emotional journey as much as a physical one that they go through. "

"It's an exploration into a man's relationship with his son, and of how a fuller and more meaningful relationship is brought about by tragedy. That is the crux of the story," Richard Zanuck remarks.

"At the center of the film is the relationship between a father and a son, but there are actually two fathers and two sons," Mendes adds. "One of the great ironies of the film is that, although the two fathers love each other, in each having to protect his less favored son, they are set on a course of mutual destruction. "

Mendes concludes, "That is the core of the story: two men protecting their children. In the end, what can be more important than that?"


TOM HANKS (Michael Sullivan) is one of only two actors in history to win back-to-back Best Actor Academy Awards®, the first in 1994 for his moving portrayal of AIDS-stricken lawyer Andrew Beckett in Jonathan Demme's "Philadelphia. " The following year, he took home his second consecutive Oscar® for his unforgettable performance in the title role of Robert Zemeckis' "Forrest Gump. " He also won Golden Globe Awards for both films, as well as a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award for the latter.

Hanks more recently earned Academy Award®, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for his work in Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," and he last year won a Golden Globe Award and garnered his fifth Oscar® nomination for his role in "Cast Away. " He had previously won a Golden Globe Award and earned an Oscar® nomination for his portrayal of a little boy in a man's body in Penny Marshall's "Big," and received another Golden Globe nomination for his work opposite Meg Ryan in the romantic comedy smash "Sleepless in Seattle," directed by Nora Ephron.

In 1998, Hanks, Ryan and Ephron again scored a hit when they reunited for the romantic comedy "You've Got Mail. " The following year, Hanks starred in Frank Darabont's acclaimed drama "The Green Mile," for which he shared in a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Best Ensemble.

Hanks' work on the big screen has also translated to success on the small screen. Following his critically acclaimed portrayal of astronaut Jim Lovell in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13," Hanks executive produced and hosted the HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon. " He also directed one segment, and wrote or co-wrote several others, in addition to appearing in one episode. Hanks' work on the miniseries earned him Emmy, Golden Globe and Producers Guild Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, as well as an Emmy nomination for Best Director.

His collaboration with Steven Spielberg on the World War II drama "Saving Private Ryan" led to them teaming to executive produce the widely praised HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," based on the book by Stephen Ambrose. The fact-based miniseries, which follows one group of paratroopers from boot camp to D-Day to the end of World War II, recently won a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries, and brought Hanks another Producers Guild Award.

In 1996, Hanks made his successful feature film writing and directing debut with "That Thing You Do," in which he also starred. The film's title song received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Song. The actor also lent his voice to the computer animated blockbusters "Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2. " His other film credits include starring roles in "A League of Their Own," "Turner & Hooch," "Dragnet," "Punchline," "Nothing in Common," "Volunteers," "Bachelor Party" and "Splash. "

Hanks will next be seen starring with Leonardo DiCaprio in DreamWorks Pictures' "Catch Me If You Can," directed by Steven Spielberg. The film opens this holiday season.

PAUL NEWMAN (John Rooney), a true screen legend, has been one of the American cinema's most important and most prolific actors for over half a century. In 1987, he won an Academy Award® for Best Actor for his performance as pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson in Martin Scorsese's "The Color of Money. " It marked a reprisal of the role he had played 25 years earlier in "The Hustler," which had brought him his second of eight Best Actor Oscar® nominations. He received his first Oscar® nomination in 1959 for his work opposite Elizabeth Taylor in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," and has also been Oscar®-nominated for his performances in the films "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke," "Absence of Malice," "The Verdict" and "Nobody's Fool. "

Newman has also been recognized for his work behind the camera, earning an Academy Award® nomination for Best Picture for "Rachel, Rachel," which he produced and directed. He also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Director for the film, which starred his wife, Joanne Woodward. In addition, Newman was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 1986 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to film, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1984. In 1992, he and Joanne Woodward were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors.

Newman began his career on the stage, making his Broadway debut in the 1953 production of William Inge's "Picnic. " The following year, Newman made his first appearance on the big screen in "The Silver Chalice," but it was his portrayal of boxer Rocky Graziano in 1956's "Somebody Up There Likes Me" that catapulted him to stardom. Over the next decade, the actor starred in two dozen films, including "The Long, Hot Summer," for which he was named Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival, "The Left-Handed Gun," "Exodus," and "Sweet Bird of Youth," as well as his aforementioned Oscar-nominated roles in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," "Hud" and "Cool Hand Luke. "

In 1969, Newman teamed with Robert Redford in George Roy Hill's smash hit Western "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," which became an instant classic. Four years later, Newman, Redford and Hill reunited in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture "The Sting. "

Newman's iconic status has never waned over the years. His long list of film credits also includes "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean," "The Towering Inferno," "The Drowning Pool," "Slap Shot," "Fort Apache, The Bronx," "Fat Man and Little Boy," "Blaze," "The Hudsucker Proxy" and "Message in a Bottle," to name only a portion.

Additionally, Newman directed, produced and starred in "Harry and Son"; produced and directed "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds"; and directed "The Glass Menagerie," and the television movie "The Shadow Box," the latter for which he earned an Emmy Award nomination.

Apart from his film work, Newman has a well-known passion for automobile racing. He is also a dedicated philanthropist, whose Newman's Own line of food products-all the proceeds of which go to charity-has generated more than 100 million dollars in donations. He is also devoted to the Scott Newman Center, named for his son, and the Hole-In-The-Wall Gang Camp, which provides a fun-filled environment for seriously ill children. In 1994, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Newman with the coveted Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

JUDE LAW (Maguire) garnered Academy Award® and Golden Globe nominations, and won a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his performance as the doomed millionaire playboy Dickie Greenleaf in Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley. " This year, he earned another Golden Globe nomination for his role as the "love mecha" Gigolo Joe in Steven Spielberg's "A. I. Artificial Intelligence. "

Hailing from England, Law won the London Film Critics Circle Award and the Evening Standard Award for his performance in "Wilde," the biopic about the great playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, starring Stephen Fry in the title role. In 1997, Law was introduced to American film audiences in back-to-back starring roles in two vastly different films: the futuristic sci-fi drama "Gattaca," with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman; followed immediately by Clint Eastwood's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," with Kevin Spacey and John Cusack. His subsequent film credits include starring roles in David Cronenberg's "eXistenZ," opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh, "The Wisdom of Crocodiles," "Love, Honour and Obey," and the World War II drama "Enemy At the Gates. "

Law began his career at the age of 14 with England's National Youth Music Theatre, and went on to appear in several productions in London's West End, at the National Theatre, and with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He originated the role of Michael in the play "Indiscretions" on the London stage, for which he won the Ian Charleson Award for Outstanding Newcomer. He later earned a Tony Award nomination and won a Theatre World Award when he reprised the role in the Broadway production of "Indiscretions," with Kathleen Turner and Cynthia Nixon.

In 1995, Law partnered with his wife, actress Sadie Frost, and fellow actors Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller and Sean Pertwee to form the London-based independent production company Natural Nylon. The company currently has several film projects in development.

JENNIFER JASON LEIGH (Annie Sullivan) is an award-winning actress with a wide range of roles to her credit, who has recently taken her talents behind the camera. Last year, Leigh starred in the independent feature "The Anniversary Party," which she also co-wrote and co-directed with Alan Cumming, and on which she also served as a producer. Marking her writing and directing debut, the film brought her Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay.

Among her many honors for her acting work, Leigh was named Best Actress by the National Society of Film Critics and the Chicago Film Critics Association, and earned Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nominations for her portrayal of fabled 1920s writer Dorothy Parker in Alan Rudolph's "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. " She received another Spirit Award nomination and won the New York Film Critics Circle and Montreal World Film Festival Awards for Best Actress for her work in "Georgia," which she also produced. She had earlier won the New York Film Critics Circle and Boston Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her performances in both "Miami Blues" and "Last Exit to Brooklyn. " In addition, Leigh shared in a Golden Globe Award presented to the ensemble cast of Robert Altman's "Short Cuts. "

Leigh first gained national attention with her starring role in Amy Heckerling's seminal teen comedy "Fast Times at Ridgemont High. " She has since starred in more than 40 feature films, including "Grandview, U. S. A. ," "The Men's Club," "The Big Picture," "Backdraft," "Rush," "Single White Female," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Dolores Claiborne," "Bastard Out of Carolina," "Kansas City," "Washington Square" and "eXistenZ. " She most recently starred as death row inmate Karla Faye Tucker in the television movie "Crossed Over," with Diane Keaton.

Leigh counts "Road to Perdition" as her second collaboration with director Sam Mendes, having previously worked with him when she starred as Sally Bowles in the Broadway revival of the musical "Cabaret. " She recently returned to Broadway to star in the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Proof. "

STANLEY TUCCI (Frank Nitti) has been recognized for his work in films and on television. He most recently won a Golden Globe Award and earned an Emmy Award nomination for his chilling portrayal of Adolf Eichman in the HBO docudrama "Conspiracy. " In 1999, he won Emmy and Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance in the title role of the HBO biopic "Winchell. "

Tucci had earlier been honored for his work on both sides of the camera for the widely praised independent feature "Big Night," which he co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced, as well as starred in. His multi-faceted work on the film brought Tucci an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay, a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best New Director, the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, a Recognition of Excellence Award from the National Board of Review, and the Boston Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Screenplay and Best New Filmmaker. He also garnered Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Male Lead and Best First Feature. Tucci's follow-up project, "The Imposters," which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, was an Official Selection at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival.

Tucci's credits as an actor also include the features "Big Trouble," "America's Sweethearts," "Sidewalks of New York," "William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream," "A Life Less Ordinary," "Deconstructing Harry," "Kiss of Death," "Jury Duty," "It Could Happen to You," "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle," "The Pelican Brief," "Prelude to a Kiss," "Beethoven," "Billy Bathgate," "Slaves of New York" and "Prizzi's Honor. "

A native New Yorker, Tucci began his career on the stage. He has appeared on Broadway in such plays as "The Misanthrope," "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Execution of Justice" and "The Iceman Cometh," as well as off-Broadway in the title role of "Scapin. "

Tucci is presently in rehearsals for the Broadway play "Frankie and Johnny," in which he will star opposite Edie Falco. This Christmas, he will also be seen starring in the feature film "The Core," with Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank.

DANIEL CRAIG (Connor Rooney) is another member of the British contingent on "Road to Perdition. " He was most recently seen co-starring with Angelina Jolie in the action hit "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. "

Craig won a British Independent Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Some Voices. " The British Independent Film Awards had earlier nominated him in the same category for his work in "The Trench. " His other honors include an acting award at the 1998 Edinburgh Film Festival for his role in "Love Is the Devil," the biopic about British artist Francis Bacon. Among Craig's additional feature film credits are "Hotel Splendide," "I Dreamed of Africa," "Love and Rage," "Elizabeth," "Obsession" and "The Power of One. "

He has also been seen in longform television projects, both in the United States and in England. His credits include "Sword of Honour," "The Ice House," "The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders," "Our Friends in the North," "Kiss and Tell" and "Sharpe's Eagle. "

An accomplished stage actor, Craig has had leading roles in such plays as "Hurlyburly," with the Peter Hall Company at the Old Vic, and "Angels in America," presented at London's National Theatre.

TYLER HOECHLIN (Michael Sullivan, Jr. ) was an unknown 13-year-old actor from Corona, California when he was chosen from among more than 2,000 young actors across the country for the coveted role of Tom Hanks' son in "Road to Perdition. "

Hoechlin began studying acting in early 1997 at the age of nine. He trained at the Young Actors Space, The Krys Kyer Workshop, the Beverly Hills Acting Studio and with Warner Loughlin. He landed his first film role in "Family Tree," which was screened at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. In 2001, he starred in the independent film "Train Quest," which was shot in Romania.

In addition to his acting, Hoechlin is a stand-out baseball talent. He began playing at the age of seven and represented his country as a member of the U. S. team in the Pan American games when he was only nine. He currently plays shortstop for the Corona Wolverines. He and his younger brother, Tanner, are home schooled by their mother, a former accountant, and their father, an E. R. doctor.

LIAM AIKEN (Peter Sullivan) is 12 years old, but he is already a familiar face to film audiences. He co-starred as Ben, Julia Robert's stepson, in Chris Columbus' "Stepmom," and more recently appeared in "Sweet November," with Charlize Theron and Keanu Reeves, and "I Dreamed of Africa," starring Kim Basinger.

Born in New York City, Aiken was only six years old when he made his Broadway debut in the 1996 revival of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House," in the role of Bobby Helmer. The following year, he made his feature film debut as Parker Posey's son in the independent film "Henry's Fool. " Aiken's other film credits include "The Object of My Affection," with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd; and "Montana," which was unveiled at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.


SAM MENDES (Director/Producer) was already a celebrated theatre director when he made his feature film directorial debut on the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture "American Beauty," which was a box office smash and 1999's most honored film. Mendes won numerous Best Director awards for his work on "American Beauty," including the Academy Award®, a Golden Globe Award, the Directors Guild of America Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and the Broadcast Film Critics Award, among others.

Mendes continues to direct for the theatre and has mounted award-winning productions on the stages of London and New York, and around the world. Perhaps his most noted triumph was his bold revival of the musical "Cabaret," first in London and then on Broadway. The Broadway production garnered four Tony Awards, including one for Best Revival of a Musical, three Drama Desk Awards and three Outer Critics Circle Awards. Mendes also earned acclaim for his direction of the Broadway play "The Blue Room," starring Nicole Kidman. He had previously directed the award-winning London production of "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice," introducing Jane Horrocks, who reprised her role in the film version, "Little Voice. "

Born in England, Mendes was educated at Cambridge University and joined the Chichester Festival Theatre following his graduation in 1987. Soon after, he directed Dame Judi Dench in "The Cherry Orchard," which brought him a Critics Circle Award for Best Newcomer. He then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1990, where he directed such productions as "Troilus and Cressida" with Ralph Fiennes, "Richard III" and "The Tempest," for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination.

In 1992, Mendes became artistic director of the reopened Donmar Warehouse in London where he directed numerous award-winning productions. During his tenure, he won Olivier Awards for Best Director for his work on the aforementioned "Cabaret," "The Glass Menagerie" and "Company. " His other work at the Donmar includes "Assassins," which won a Critics Circle Award, "Translations," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Habeas Corpus" and "The Front Page. " Apart from the Donmar, his credits have included "The Sea" and "The Plough and the Stars," both with Judi Dench, "The Birthday Party," and "Othello," which toured the world and for which he received another Olivier Award for Best Director.

In 2000, Mendes was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

RICHARD D. ZANUCK (Producer) has been regarded as one of the film industry's most progressive and distinguished leaders for more than four decades. He has been honored for his achievements as a filmmaker and, as a studio executive, has been responsible for some of Hollywood's biggest hits.

In 1990, Zanuck, together with his wife Lili Fini Zanuck, won an Academy Award® for Best Picture for "Driving Miss Daisy," which marked the first project under The Zanuck Company banner. In addition, he has seen a number of his films honored with Oscars® over the years, including "The Sting," "Jaws," "The Verdict" and "Cocoon," among others. In 1991, the Academy presented Zanuck, along with his longtime partner David Brown, with the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award. It was not only a personal tribute, but also an industry milestone in that Richard Zanuck and his father, the legendary Darryl F. Zanuck, are the only father and son ever to win either the Thalberg Award or Best Picture Oscars®.

Zanuck spent many of his formative years learning all aspects of film production during his father's reign as Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox. He began his own career as a story and production assistant on the films "Island in the Sun" and "The Sun Also Rises. " When he was 24 years old, he produced his first film, "Compulsion," which screened at the 1959 Cannes Film Festival, winning Best Actor Awards for Orson Welles, Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman. Zanuck went on to produce "Sanctuary" and George Cukor's "The Chapman Report. "

In 1962, at the age of 28, Zanuck was named President of Twentieth Century Fox, making him the youngest studio chief in history. During his eight years at Fox's helm, he saw the studio amass an unprecedented 159 Oscar® nominations and numerous wins, including three Academy Awards® for Best Picture for "The Sound of Music," "Patton" and "The French Connection. " The studio's other successes included such enduring classics as "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "M*A*S*H" and the original "Planet of the Apes" franchise.

Zanuck subsequently took over the post of Executive Vice President at Warner Bros. , where he and soon-to-be partner David Brown oversaw the production of such box office hits as "The Exorcist" and "Blazing Saddles. "

With the formation of the Zanuck/Brown Company in 1971, one of the motion picture industry's most influential and successful independent production entities was born. From its inception, the Zanuck/Brown Company was responsible for such critical and box office hits as Steven Spielberg's first feature "The Sugarland Express"; Spielberg's next film, "Jaws," the first film ever to break the $100 million mark; "The Sting," winner of seven Oscars®, including Best Picture; and "The Verdict," nominated for five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. With Lili Fini Zanuck, Zanuck/Brown produced Ron Howard's Oscar®-winning hit "Cocoon," and its sequel "Cocoon: The Return. " Zanuck and Brown more recently partnered to produce the 1998 blockbuster "Deep Impact. "

In 1988, the Zanucks established The Zanuck Company, whose debut film was "Driving Miss Daisy. " Nominated for nine Academy Awards®, the film won four Oscars®, including Best Picture. "Driving Miss Daisy" also brought the Zanucks a Golden Globe Award, a National Board of Review Award, and Producer of the Year honors from the Producers Guild of America. Subsequent productions from The Zanuck Company have included "Rush," "Mulholland Falls" and "True Crime. "

Last year, Zanuck produced the smash hit "Planet of the Apes," directed by Tim Burton, which was a re-imagining of one of the films greenlit during his tenure as head of Twentieth Century Fox. Zanuck's other recent film credits include the successful "Rules of Engagement. " In addition to "Road to Perdition," he has another film being released this summer, "Reign of Fire," starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale.

In The Zanuck Company development pipeline is a film about the legendary pilot Chuck Yeager, and the next film from Tim Burton, "Big Fish. "

DEAN ZANUCK (Producer) represents the third generation of one of Hollywood's most illustrious film families. His grandfather was the legendary Darryl F. Zanuck, co-founder and Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Studios, and his father is Richard D. Zanuck. It was Dean Zanuck who found the graphic novel Road to Perdition and recognized its potential as a film project. The film "Road to Perdition" now marks the younger Zanuck's first producing credit. He is also a co-producer on the upcoming sci-fi actioner "Reign of Fire," starring Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale, which is due out this summer.

Growing up in Los Angeles, Zanuck has been pursuing a career in the film industry since he was in his teens, learning the ropes from the ground up. During summer breaks from the Harvard School, he worked in the mailroom at ICM. He went on to attend the University of Colorado as a History major and, following graduation, had stints as a set production assistant on the films "Clean Slate" and "Wild Bill," and as an office production assistant on "Mulholland Falls. " He also spent a year as an assistant to producer Brian Grazer during the production of "Apollo 13. "

In 1995, Zanuck became a development executive at The Zanuck Company. Since then, he has served as a creative executive on the blockbuster "Deep Impact"; the thriller "True Crime," directed by and starring Clint Eastwood; the military drama "Rules of Engagement," starring Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson; and Tim Burton's remake of "Planet of the Apes," starring Mark Wahlberg and Helena Bonham Carter.

DAVID SELF (Screenwriter) follows the Depression-era "Road to Perdition" with three screenplays that explore very different realms. The first, "Gates of Fire," to be directed by Michael Mann, is set in ancient Persia. Self is also working on "The Wing," a drama about World War I flying aces, which he has in development with director Jonathan Mostow. Additionally, he is adapting the Marvel comic book "Sub-Mariner," which will bring the undersea hero to the big screen in a film Self will also executive produce.

Self previously wrote the screenplay for "Thirteen Days," starring Kevin Costner and Bruce Greenwood, which chronicled the tense stand-off between the United States and the then-Soviet Union during 1962's Cuban missile crisis. For that project, Self researched extensive background materials, including the Kennedy White House tapes. He had earlier written the screenplay for the horror thriller "The Haunting," starring Liam Neeson, Lili Taylor and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Born in Texas City, Texas, Self was raised in Danvers, Massachusetts. He earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in English from Stanford University before settling in Los Angeles to pursue his screenwriting career.

WALTER F. PARKES (Executive Producer), in addition to being the co-head of DreamWorks Pictures, is one of the most active producers in Hollywood today. He produced two other summer 2002 releases: "Minority Report," directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise; and, with his partner and wife Laurie MacDonald, the sequel "Men in Black 2," which re-teams Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith under the direction of Barry Sonnenfeld. His upcoming films also include "Catch Me If You Can," directed by Spielberg, and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks; "The Tuxedo," starring Jackie Chan and Jennifer Love Hewitt; and "Ring," directed by Gore Verbinski and starring Naomi Watts.

Parkes previously served as an executive producer on Ridley Scott's "Gladiator," starring Russell Crowe, which won five Academy Awards®, including Best Picture, as well as Best Picture Awards from the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and the Broadcast Film Critics, among others. Parkes and Laurie MacDonald had earlier produced the blockbuster "Men in Black," for which they were named the ShoWest Producers of the Year.

Parkes' additional credits as an executive producer or producer include "The Time Machine," "The Mask of Zorro," "Deep Impact," "Amistad," "The Peacemaker," "Sneakers," which he also co-wrote, "Volunteers," "Project X" and "True Believer. "

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