Tuesday, February 22, 2011

DWAYNE JOHNSON seeks justice in FASTER

After 10 years in prison, Driver (Johnson) has a singular focus - to avenge the murder of his brother during the botched bank robbery that led to his imprisonment. Now a free man with a deadly to-do list in hand, he’s finally on his mission…but with two men on his trail – a veteran cop (Thornton) just days from retirement, and a young egocentric hitman (Jackson-Cohen) with a flair for the art of killing and a newfound worthy opponent. The hunter is also the hunted. It’s a do or die race to the list’s finish as the mystery surrounding his brother’s murder deepens, and new details emerge along the way hinting that Driver’s list may be incomplete.

It was a fateful day a few years ago when writer/producer Tony Gayton approached his brother, and "Faster" co-writer, Joe Gayton with the thread of an idea. “I remember imagining a guy in prison on the day of his release getting a speech from the warden then just breaking into a sprint out of the prison gates and going straight to kill someone,” recalls Tony Gayton. “I liked the idea of this introduction where you have no idea who this guy is. He turns out to be the hero out to get revenge for his brother’s murder but he could very well have turned out to be the bad guy.” On that day, the character that would come to be known simply as ‘Driver’ was born.

“(Driver) is like a shark – he has a clear mission,” notes Joe Gayton who also serves as Executive Producer on the film. “It was apparent at this early stage that his determination would provide for a true, high-octane adventure.” As the screenplay evolved, what emerged was not just an action film but also a character study and exploration into the minds of three men - the other two main characters known simply by the monikers ‘Cop’ and ‘Killer.’ But Driver’s mission was at the story’s core and finding the right actor to portray him would be the first target. 

Pursuing Dwayne Johnson's character in Columbia Pictures' new action-thriller “Faster” are Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton and relative newcomer Oliver Jackson-Cohen who play nameless antagonists known only as `Cop' and `Killer,' respectively.

Billy Bob Thornton was attracted to Cop’s deeply-rooted shades of gray and signed on. “It’s always fun to play someone who’s a bit ambiguous,” says Thornton. “Those characters are usually a lot more interesting to portray and more entertaining for the audience to watch.”

“Cop is a guy whose life has really gone the wrong way,” Thornton continues. “He doesn’t have much. In his feeble way he is trying to scratch his way back to some kind of semblance of normalcy but it’s not easy.” Director George Tillman, Jr. knew that Thornton’s immense talent and commitment would bring a lot to the project. “Aside from his ability to play Cop’s vulnerability and flaws, Billy Bob is a talented writer/director so he is a great collaborator on all aspects of how to make a scene better.” “Billy Bob is absolutely perfect for the role of Cop,” adds Johnson. “He is very talented, intriguing and extremely passionate, especially when he finds a character he loves.”

Also hot on Driver’s trail is a professional assassin, Killer, who has an insatiable appetite for the extreme. Killer is an intense character driven by an innate insecurity and an unquenchable thirst for approval. When first sparring with Driver and experiencing his total lack of fear, Killer is shaken to the core. The encounter sparks something within the character that triggers an obsession with besting and essentially killing Driver. “Killer is truly a fascinating character,” says producer Robert Teitel. “While his main objective is to get Driver, he also admires and respects him. He wants Driver to acknowledge him, and becomes increasingly angry that Driver doesn’t give him respect. Throughout the film, you witness him progressively going off the deep end.”

Opening soon across the Philippines, “Faster” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

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