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SAFE HOUSE (2012)
Release Date: February 10, 2012
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Screenwriter: David Guggenheim
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds
Genre: Action, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R
Born in Sweden in 1977, DANIEL ESPINOSA (Directed by) graduated from the director's program at the National Film School of Denmark in 2003, with his acclaimed and award-winning student final film, the dramatic short The Fighter. His debut feature film was 2004's Babylonsjukan (The Babylon Disease), which follows the story of a woman who must move in with a friend and his large group of slacker friends.
Espinosa's second feature was the Danish film Outside Love (2007), which was critically acclaimed and won numerous international awards. The film is a drama that tells the story of Shmuli, a single father who dreams of moving to the U.S., and his troubled love affair with a young Pakistani woman.
In 2010, Espinosa directed his third feature film, Snabba Cash (Easy Money). It was the biggest film in Sweden that year and was also the first film in the world to knock Avatar out of the top spot at the Swedish box office. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Co. for U.S. distribution.
DAVID GUGGENHEIM (Written by) is a New York City-based screenwriter. He was working as an editor for Us Weekly magazine when Universal Pictures won a bidding war for his spec screenplay Safe House. The film was fast tracked into production. Needless to say, he was able to quit his job at Us Weekly and has become one of the most in-demand working screenwriters in Hollywood. Guggenheim next sold his pitch Puzzle Palace to Summit Entertainment. The film will be produced by Temple Hill Entertainment (The Twilight Saga) and directed by McG. Guggenheim also recently wrote Santiago for 20th Century Fox, based on his pitch that the studio bought last year, with Simon Kinberg attached to produce the film. He wrote Millennium Films' Stolen, which is in postproduction and scheduled to be released in 2012. The film is directed by Simon West and stars Nicolas Cage. Universal Pictures acquired Guggenheim's script 364, which will be produced by Imagine Entertainment and directed by Ron Howard. Most recently, Guggenheim sold his spec screenplay Narco Sub to 20th Century Fox, which will be directed by Tony Scott and produced by Simon Kinberg's Genre Films and Scott Free Productions.
Guggenheim is represented by agent David Boxerbaum and managed by Madhouse Entertainment's Adam Kolbrenner.
SCOTT STUBER (Produced by) is the founder and CEO of Bluegrass Films, which has been based at Universal Pictures since 2006.
Recent Bluegrass Films releases include Love and Other Drugs, directed by Edward Zwick and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and Couples Retreat, featuring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman.
Stuber is currently in postproduction on the live-action feature Battleship —based on Hasbro's naval-combat board game—directed by Peter Berg and headlined by Liam Neeson, Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgård, Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker; the comedy Ted, written and directed by Seth MacFarlane and starring Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and the voice of MacFarlane; and the 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin, starring Keanu Reeves.
This fall marked Bluegrass Films' first foray into television with the series debut of the comedy Whitney, created by and starring comedian Whitney Cummings, which airs on Thursday nights on NBC.
Stuber's first production under the Stuber/Parent banner was summer 2006's romantic comedy The Break-Up, starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston.
That summer also saw the release of the hit You, Me and Dupree, starring Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson. Those films were followed by Peter Berg's critically acclaimed film The Kingdom; the Martin Lawrence comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins; and the David Wain hit Role Models, starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott.
During Stuber's eight years at Universal—five of which he spent running Worldwide Production with Mary Parent—he was responsible for many of the studio's critically acclaimed and commercially successful films, including King Kong, Jarhead, A Beautiful Mind, Seabiscuit, Cinderella Man, Munich, Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, About a Boy, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, 8 Mile, Spy Game, The Family Man, The Nutty Professor, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, The Mummy franchise, the American Pie franchise, The Fast and the Furious franchise, Friday Night Lights, Bring It On and many others. More than 20 of the films Stuber supervised have grossed more than $100 million domestically.
SCOTT AVERSANO (Executive Producer) is an independent producer who recently produced Paramount Pictures' The Last Airbender, for M. Night Shyamalan, and Killers, starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, for Lionsgate. He also served as executive producer on Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, for Paramount Pictures International and Nickelodeon Movies.
Formerly president of MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies, Aversano was responsible for overseeing the label's annual slate of films, the acquisition of literary properties, and the development and production of motion pictures. Before that, he spent seven years working with independent producer Scott Rudin, most recently as president of production. While with Rudin, Aversano produced a variety of films including Failure to Launch (producer), Team America: World Police (executive producer), Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (co-producer), The Manchurian Candidate (executive producer), The School of Rock (executive producer), Changing Lanes (co-producer) and Orange County (producer).
Prior to joining Scott Rudin Productions, Aversano was director of development at Paramount Pictures from 1997 to 1999, where he served as an executive on 12 films, including Wonder Boys; South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut; Bringing Out the Dead; and Runaway Bride.
In 1996, Aversano started his career in the entertainment industry at Sid Ganis' Out of the Blue Entertainment. He graduated from Brown University and has an MA in English literature from the University of Michigan.
ADAM MERIMS (Executive Producer) recently executive produced The Lucky Ones, starring Rachel McAdams, Tim Robbins and Michael Peña; The Hunting Party (Richard Shepard's follow-up to The Matador), starring Richard Gere, Terrence Howard and Jesse Eisenberg; and Breach, starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe and Laura Linney.
Merims also executive produced Casanova, directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Heath Ledger, Sienna Miller, Oliver Platt and Jeremy Irons. Prior to that, he executive produced writer/director Richard Shepard's The Matador, starring Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear and Hope Davis, and House of D, writer/director/actor David Duchovny's first feature, starring Robin Williams, Téa Leoni, Erykah Badu and Anton Yelchin.
Merims produced writer/director Billy Ray's critically acclaimed first feature, Shattered Glass, starring Hayden Christensen, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Zahn, Rosario Dawson and Hank Azaria. As producer, his other credits include Ed Solomon's Levity, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst, which opened the 2003 Sundance Film Festival; Love Stinks, written and directed by Jeff Franklin and starring French Stewart, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras, Tyra Banks and Bill Bellamy; and Cold Around the Heart, written and directed by John Ridley and executive produced by Oliver Stone. He was co-producer of Universal Soldier: The Return and the HBO premiere project Freeway.
From August 1993 to November 1994, Merims was producer and head of west-coast operations for Nickelodeon Movies. At Nickelodeon, he was responsible for managing the start-up of a Nickelodeon features office in Los Angeles, and for identifying and developing projects suitable for motion picture production in the family-entertainment arena in conjunction with 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.
Before Nickelodeon, Merims worked as vice president of production at Lobell/Bergman Productions from April 1990 through July 1993. While there, he was responsible for all development at the company. During his tenure at Lobell/Bergman, he served as associate producer on Andrew Bergman's Honeymoon in Vegas, Undercover Blues and Andrew Scheinman's Little Big League.
From 1984 to 1989, Merims worked as a freelance producer, production manager and assistant director. In these capacities, he was involved with a number of projects, most notably, the original miniseries of Lonesome Dove. He has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1986.
Merims graduated from Williams College with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and in economics. He was also a graduate of the Collegiate School in New York City.
ALEXA FAIGEN (Executive Producer) recently served as an associate producer on Bluegrass Films' Love Happens, starring Jennifer Aniston and Aaron Eckhart, and the comedy Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, star ring Martin Lawrence. Currently a senior vice presid ent at Bluegrass Films, Faigen also worked on the company's films Couples Retreat, Love and Other Drugs and Role Models.
Previously an executive at Graham King's Initial Entertainment Group (The Departed and The Aviator), Faigen oversaw development for IEG and its term deals with Leonardo DiCaprio's production company, Appian Way, and Johnny Depp's production company, Infinitum Nihil.
Faigen began her career in New York City as executive assistant to director Martin Scorsese and then as an assistant to producer Scott Rudin.
A graduate of Amherst College, Faigen currently lives in Los Angeles.
TREVOR MACY (Executive Producer) is co-CEO of Intrepid Pictures, which he founded with Marc D. Evans in 2004. In 2004, Intrepid was one of the first independent multipicture companies to raise and deploy Wall Street capital. To date, Intrepid has produced and co-financed 10 pictures distributed worldwide by major and mid-major studios such as Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures, Summit Entertainment, Relativity Media and numerous international distributors. Intrepid's mandate is to produce and finance three to four commercial features per year in the action, thriller, horror and comedy genres. Intrepid co-produced the $82-million worldwide box-office hit The Strangers and produced and co-financed the upcoming 2012 Summit Entertainment action film The Cold Light of Day, starring Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver and Henry Cavill, and the thriller The Raven, starring John Cusack and Luke Evans, which is slated to be released by Relativity Media in 2012. Intrepid also recently completed principal photography on the high-school thriller Crush, directed by Malik Bader and starring Lucas Till, Crystal Reed and Sarah Bolger.
Prior to Intrepid, Macy was an independent producer from September 2001 to February 2004. In that capacity, he developed, packaged and produced Paul Schrader's Auto Focus, starring Greg Kinnear and Willem Dafoe, for Sony Pictures Classics. He subsequently secured a first-look producing deal with Catch 23 Entertainment, in addition to consulting for several independent motion-picture production and co-financing companies.
From 1999 to August 2001, Macy was chief operating officer at Propaganda Films and was responsible for overseeing all of Propaganda's creative development, packaging, deal making and production of feature films, as well as the recruitment and retention of its roster of directing talent. Some of the films for which Macy was responsible include Bark!, starring Lisa Kudrow, Hank Azaria and Vincent D'Onofrio, which was selected for competition at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and The Badge, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Patricia Arquette. Reporting directly to Propaganda's board of directors, Macy was also responsible for the acquisition of Propaganda Films from Universal Pictures and for the talent recruitment and retention of more than 70 directors, including Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Simon West (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and Rawson Marshall Thurber (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story). In addition, Macy was responsible for the creative and financial oversight of Propaganda's commercial and music-video production endeavors—in excess of $400 million in physical production for more than 300 clients, including Coca-Cola, XM Satellite Radio, Macy Gray and *NSYNC.
Prior to Propaganda Films, Macy served as vice president of the Sundance Group, the parent entity for all Robert Redford-controlled commercial enterprises. In addition to being steeped in the Sundance Film Festival and the world of independent film, Macy was responsible for the strategic planning of and raising capital for launching and overseeing businesses, including the Sundance Channel, Sundance Cinemas and Sundance Catalog.
Previously, as director of deal analysis and development finance at Turner Pictures, Macy was responsible for the negotiation of talent contracts, co-financing arrangements for films, output deals, offbalance-sheet film financing and acquisitions, as well as planning and analysis for development, production and distribution of both theatrical and television films. Prior to joining Turner Pictures Group, Macy was senior business planner for The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, where he was responsible for evaluating and managing production, distribution, development, acquisition and co-financing deals for film projects; strategic planning for filmed entertainment; growing The Walt Disney Studios distribution platform; and management of on-lot talent deals.
Macy received a BA with honors in political science and in quantitative economics from Stanford University, with course work completed at the University of Cambridge in England. He resides in Santa Monica, California, with his wife, Paige, and daughter, Lucia.
MARC D. EVANS (Executive Producer) is co-CEO of Intrepid Pictures, which he founded with Trevor Macy in 2004. In 2004, Intrepid was one of the first independent multipicture companies to raise and deploy Wall Street capital. To date, Intrepid has produced and co-financed 10 pictures distributed worldwide by major and mid-major studios such as Rogue Pictures, Universal Pictures, Summit Entertainment, Relativity Media and numerous international distributors. Intrepid's mandate is to produce and finance three to four commercial features per year in the action, thriller, horror and comedy genres. Intrepid co-produced the $82-million worldwide box-office hit The Strangers and produced and co-financed the upcoming 2012 Summit Entertainment action film The Cold Light of Day, starring Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver and Henry Cavill, and the thriller The Raven, starring John Cusack and Luke Evans, which is slated to be released by Relativity Media in 2012. Intrepid also recently completed principal photography on the high-school thriller Crush, directed by Malik Bader and starring Lucas Till, Crystal Reed and Sarah Bolger.
Prior to Intrepid, Evans served as chief financial officer for Revolution Studios from 2000 to 2004. As one of Revolution Studios' first employees, Evans was instrumental in the launch and growth of the company. As CFO, Evans was responsible for general corporate finance and strategic planning, production, distribution, treasury, business development, video game/interactive rights, merchandising and operations.
During his tenure at Revolution Studios, Evans created the financial and production infrastructure to effectively handle the company's growth from five pictures and $100 million in revenues in 2000, to 10 pictures and more than $650 million in revenues in 2003. He also successfully secured $250 million of equity financing and completed four separate financing transactions over a three-year period, including a $200-million receivables-backed facility and a $450-million revolver with JPMorgan Chase Bank. Evans also coordinated Revolution's worldwide distribution relationships, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Starz/Encore, FOX Television, BVI, UIP, Svensk, Lusomundo and others. He also directed the green-lighting process for each film, talent profit-participation negotiations, film acquisitions and co-financing arrangements.
In his production-related responsibilities at Revolution, Evans supervised the budgeting, financing, production and delivery of more than 30 movies. He was also responsible for setting up several foreign productions (Morocco, Czech Republic, U.K. and Australia) to take advantage of tax and sale/leaseback structures, national and provincial production tax credits and F/X hedging benefits.
Prior to joining Revolution Studios, Evans spent four years at Turner Pictures and the Turner Network Television Originals Group, where he served as vice president of finance and strategic planning. In that role, he was responsible for managing the company's finances and operations. Additionally, he supervised the deal making, budgeting, financing, production and distribution of eight to12 made-for-television films per year. He was also instrumental in developing and managing the one-hour drama-series strategy for the network.
Prior to Turner, Evans served two years as senior business planner with The Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, where he specialized in evaluating and managing production, distribution, development, acquisition and co-financing deals for film projects, in addition to strategic planning for both The Walt Disney Studios and Miramax.
Before entering Hollywood, Evans spent two years as an environmental consultant in Washington, D.C., before working as a video-game developer for Bethesda Softworks.
Evans holds a BA in political science from Stanford University. He currently resides in Santa Monica, California, with his wife, Jessica, and their two children, Allison and Fletcher.
OLIVER WOOD (Director of Photography) recently filmed Adam McKay's cop comedy The Other Guys, starring Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. Prior to that, he served as director of photography on director Jonathan Mostow's Surrogates. Wood's other collaborations with McKay include Step Brothers and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Born in England, Wood began his motion picture career as a camera assistant on British television series, commercials, documentaries and feature films. After moving up to cinematographer on a small 1967 English satire, Popdown, he relocated to the U.S. and entered the American film industry with the 1970 cult classic The Honeymoon Killers, and made a variety of small features such as Alphabet City, Don't Go in the House and The White Slave.
In addition to his early feature film credits, Wood's camera work as director of photography, for three seasons, on Michael Mann's innovative NBC television series Miami Vice helped define the groundbreaking show's acclaimed visual style.
Over the past two decades, Wood has compiled more than 30 motion picture credits, most recently earning a BAFTA nomination for his camera work on The Bourne Ultimatum. Wood also directed the photography on The Bourne Identity, for director Doug Liman, and The Bourne Supremacy, his first collaboration with filmmaker Paul Greengrass.
Wood worked with director Renny Harlin on two projects (Die Hard 2: Die Harder and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane) and also counts among his big-screen credits such films as Rudy, 2 Days in the Valley, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Mr. Holland's Opus, U-571, Face/Off, Switchback, Mighty Joe Young, I Spy, National Security, Fantastic Four and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
BRIGITTE BROCH (Production Designer) recently worked with director Antonio Serrano as a production designer on Hidalgo—La historia jamás contada; with director Alejandro González Iñárritu on Biutiful, which received two Oscar® nominations and for which Broch received a Goya Award nomination for Best Production Design; and with Diego Luna on Abel, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Broch's prior work as a production designer includes Iñárritu's Babel and 21 Grams, as well as The Reader, Vantage Point, She Hate Me, La hija del Puma and Real Women Have Curves.
Broch has been nominated for multiple prestigious awards including an Art Directors Guild Award for her work on Babel. She was honored with an Academy Award® for Best Art Direction—Set Decoration as the set decorator of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! and received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Art Direction—Set Decoration as the set decorator of Romeo + Juliet.
Broch has received nominations for the Silver Ariel Award for Best Art Direction for the films El jardín del Edén, La otra conquista, Amores Perros and Sexo, Pudor y Lágrimas. She also acted as the production designer on the film Entre Pancho Villa y una mujer desnuda and numerous television commercials.
Broch is originally from Germany but now resides in Mexico City.
RICHARD PEARSON, ACE (Edited by) recently edited the hit sequel Iron Man 2 and Marc Forster's James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig.
Prior to that, he served as editor on the Will Ferrell comedy Blades of Glory and shared editing duties with Clare Douglas and Christopher Rouse on writer/director Paul Greengrass' acclaimed historic drama United 93. His work on the latter film garnered him an Academy Award® nomination for Best Achievement in Film Editing and an American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie Award nomination for Best Edited Feature Film— Dramatic, and won a BAFTA for Best Editing.
Pearson previously edited the motion picture adaptation of the groundbreaking Broadway musical Rent; the dark ensemble comedy A Little Trip to Heaven; and with Christopher Rouse, the international hit The Bourne Supremacy. Pearson also edited the jungle-set action-adventure The Rundown, starring Dwayne Johnson and Seann William Scott, and with Steven Weisberg, the hit sequel Men in Black II. His other motion picture credits include The Score, Drowning Mona, Bowfinger and Muppets From Space.
Pearson earned both an Emmy Award nomination and an ACE Eddie Award nomination for his work on the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon. He also created the title design for the acclaimed series.
SUSAN MATHESON (Costume Designer) recently designed the costumes for the remake of the horror comedy Fright Night and the acclaimed crime drama The Town. Among her other film credits are the Will Ferrell comedies Step Brothers, Semi-Pro and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby; Peter Berg's The Kingdom and Friday Night Lights; and the surfing-themed hit Blue Crush.
In addition, she has served as the costume designer on such films as Honey, Highway, Max Keeble's Big Move, Crazy/Beautiful, Meeting Daddy, Panic, Best Laid Plans and Dancer, Texas Pop. 81.
She is currently in production on Christopher McQuarrie's One Shot, based on Lee Child's crime novels, produced by and starring Tom Cruise.
RAMIN DJAWADI (Music by) may be best known for his Grammy-nominated, guitar-driven score for Iron Man, but his repertoire covers a wide variety of film genres. After graduating summa cum laude from the Berklee College of Music in 1998, the German-born film composer caught the attention of Hans Zimmer, who recruited him to Remote Control Productions.
After moving to Los Angeles, Djawadi wrote additional music on The Time Machine, Basic, The Recruit and the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. He then worked with Zimmer, co-composing and producing the score for Thunderbirds and collaborating on Something's Gotta Give and Batman Begins. Djawadi then went out on his own with Blade: Trinity, collaborating with RZA for director David Goyer. This was the beginning of his relationship with Goyer for both film and television. Djawadi wrote the score for Goyer's horror thriller The Unborn, which was produced by Michael Bay. With Warner Bros.' Clash of the Titans, Djawadi scored one of 2010's biggest blockbusters.
Another collaboration with Goyer is the hit television show FlashForward, which showcased Djawadi's signature sound and earned him his second Emmy nomination. The composer has also had success in television with his Emmy-nominated main title theme music for Prison Break, which aired for four seasons. Djawadi's most recent TV work is HBO's hit series Game of Thrones.
Demonstrating his diversity, Djawadi also created an ethereal score for the film Mr. Brooks, starring Kevin Costner and William Hurt. The score earned him a World Soundtrack Award nomination for Discovery of the Year. His other sonically diverse scores include Deception, starring Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor, and Academy Award® winner Robert Towne's Ask the Dust. Animation has been another facet of Djawadi's career: He scored the first Sony Animation project, Open Season, followed by its sequel, Open Season 2. Additional animation scores include The Chubbchubbs Save Xmas and Sammy's Adventures: The Secret Passage. Djawadi's work in these films attracted the filmmakers of the Belgium-based nWave Pictures, who created one of the first animated movies in 3D, Fly Me to the Moon. In 2010, Djawadi branched out into the modernvideo-game media, scoring EA's most recent Medal of Honor, one of the most popular video-game franchises.
— safe house —
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Universal Pictures