11/07/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Nicolas Cage is to star in an untitled World Trade Center movie for Paramount Pictures and Oliver Stone is to direct.
The film, a motion picture based on the true story of the rescue of two Port Authority police officers from the collapsed World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, will be produced by Double Feature Films' Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher and former InterMedia Films chairman Moritz Borman.
Debra Hill will also be credited, posthumously, as a producer. Andrea Berloff wrote the original screenplay. The film will be distributed by Paramount Pictures. The movie is the story of the last two men, John McLoughlin and William J. Jimeno, rescued from the collapse of the World Trade Center. It follows the story of two Port Authority policemen who are trapped in the rubble during the rescue efforts. It also focuses on their rescuers and their families, who are attempting to find out what happened to the trapped men. The film is a portrayal of how the human spirit rose above the tragic events of that day.
Sgt. John McLoughlin, one of the two trapped officers, said, "I feel someone had to tell the story of the people who were in the Trade Center before and after it collapsed. It needs to be told how this horrific tragedy brought Americans and the world together to help those in need. The people involved in putting this movie together are truly making an extraordinary attempt to tell those stories and the stories of those who are no longer with us."
William J. Jimeno, Ret. Port Authority Police Detective, added, "As a survivor of 9/11, I want people never to forget those that died from my department, the Port Authority Police of NY/NJ, and those from my fellow departments, the NYPD and FDNY, as well as all of the EMTs and the civilians in NYC, in Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon. I know that with the talented cast of people that have been brought together by Double Feature Films to bring this film project to life, they will never be forgotten. It will also be a tribute to all those that gave everything they had to bring people home to their loved ones. This film is also a testament to the good that we as human beings are capable of. I have all the confidence in the world that with such a great script that was written by Andrea Berloff and having one of the world's greatest directors, Oliver Stone, who has served his country and knows the price of freedom, this film will be one that will live on for generations to come, not only in America but the world!"
Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures Motion Pictures Group, said, "This is a moving, personal story of courage and perseverance. The individual heroism and the collective human spirit portrayed in this project is storytelling at its finest. We feel fortunate, proud, and an enormous sense of responsibility making this movie at Paramount."
Grey previously produced the award-winning documentary "In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01."
Gail Berman, president of Paramount Pictures, said, "Nicolas Cage is a gifted actor who's shown a special ability to connect with audiences everywhere with brilliant performances that always draw us into the inner lives of the characters he portrays. With a director of Oliver Stone's caliber, the humanity of Andrea Berloff's words will come to life. The combination of their talents is perfect for this incredibly poignant story."
Oliver Stone said, "Andrea Berloff's screenplay is one of the best that's ever come to me out of the blue - I guess like that day. It walloped me-- and many others -- with its emotion and simplicity. Clearly, it's a work of collective passion, a serious meditation on what happened, and carries within a compassion that heals. It's an exploration of heroism in our country - but is international at the same time in its humanity."
Cage plays Sgt. John McLoughlin, a Port Authority police officer. Brad Weston and Pamela Abdy will oversee the project for Paramount Pictures.
Shamberg and Sher, the ed producers of "Erin Brockovich," "Pulp Fiction," and "Garden State," among many others, specialize in films about the times we live in. Borman served as executive producer of "The Quiet American," and producer of "Alexander," and many other films. Paramount Pictures is currently developing plans for charity organizations working with the victims and heroes of 9/11 to benefit from this project.
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