Bruckheimer, Hopkins and Rock: good company
() - June 30, 2002 - 12:00am
Jerry Bruckheimer Films has become synonymous with fast-paced summer action and adventure–the promise of a rollercoaster ride and high production quality values, as the man with the Midas Touch delivers one spectacle after another to his eager popcorn-loving audience. His career began as an advertising executive, producing 60-second award-winning commerCIAls. Bruckheimer’s film career expanded rapidly with the definitive 80s icon movie American Gigolo which placed the face (and butt) of Richard Gere into movie history, and Flashdance, which turned audiences worldwide into manic aerobic dancers. The latter film also marked the first time he paired up with Don Simpson. The duo went on to perfect the art of crafting high octane action movies and churning out box office gold. The uncanny ability of getting right talents to tell the right stories resulted in a plethora of star-making vehicles like Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop (1984) and the Tom Cruise/Val Kilmer/Meg Ryan/Kelly McGillis speed machine Top Gun which earned them the top grossing movie of 1985.

Following the premature death of his longtime partner, Bruckheimer went on to form Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Its opening salvo, Con Air, and its resounding success everywhere proved to the world that he could and would continue to flourish as a movie producer on his own. In fact, the following year he unveiled his then most ambitious and most expensive project, Armageddon, a sci-fi epic about a motley crew of oil drillers sent to outer space to save the world from an asteroid collision.

Launched during summer 1998, the film exploded at the box office, grossing over $200 million in the US alone. Not only did it solidify Jerry’s claim to the summer box office throne, it was the film that launched a blockbuster career for heart- throb Ben Affleck and also effectively re-established Bruce Willis’ global box office drawing power.

Bruckheimer has always known that he needs top caliber talents in order to realize the stories he wants to tell and create big ticket movies he wants to make. Hollywood actors and directors continue to flock towards Jerry Bruckheimer productions not only because of his amazingly high rate of success, but also because he makes every working experience a memorable one for them.

"Jerry Bruckheimer is quite unique, and working with him is a wonderful experience from start to finish. It’s a bliss, " says director Joel Schumacher (Batman Forever, The Client), who helmed Bruckheimer’s latest venture Bad Company, a CIA espionage action thriller. "With Jerry, you get unconditional support and I got the opportunity to concentrate on directing without having to also produce as well," continues Schumacher. "Jerry truly loves his movies and it shows in everything he does."

New York native and one of America’s hottest comedians Chris Rock shares top billing for Bad Company with Academy Award winning veteran Sir Anthony Hopkins. Pairing the funny man with the straight guy is something new to the Bruckheimer portfolio, and Rock is fully prepared for the enormity of what he’s getting himself into. "Jerry gives you your money’s worth everytime," he says. "When you go to a big theater with a bucket of popcorn, you want to see a Jerry Bruckheimer film–you know it’s going to be big."

It could be argued that Rock is the one who is going to be big, by securing a role in a Bruckheimer movie and making himself the latest contender in a track record of stars discovered by the man with the Midas Touch. "I believe that we have successfully combined the distinctive comedy of Chris Rock and the Academy Award winning skills of Anthony Hopkins to create a motion picture," Bruckheimer confidently explains. "What’s interesting in this is to take Anthony Hopkins and put him in a thriller with comedy. For me that’s what will make me want to spend money to see this film. I only make movies I myself want to see, and this is definitely something that I would want to see."

"I am an action movie buff," declares Hopkins, speaking about his attraction to the project. "Films with Schwarzenegger, or Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones films. They are all pure entertainment and I like them very much. I’m not good at sitting, watching serious stuff. I get bored. It can be hard work being in an action film, but it’s also a good change of pace and a lot of fun." Discussing his character’s dilemma in the story, Hopkins says, "Oakes and the CIA team have only one link to solve their problem and that is to train Jake to pose as his twin brother. I think it sets up quite a wry, ironic comedic situation for Chris Rock who, of course, plays both Kevin and Jake.

"Oakes is an old-timer and knows exactly what he wants," continues Hopkins. "He’s dealt with kids like Jake before and he has patience for them because he can recognize the value in them. Oakes knows he has to manipulate, kick butt and be tough with this ‘young punk’, as he calls him. He has to beat him into shape, and cajole and punish him in order to get him to respond. Jake is street smart, witty and he’s a scared guy, too. When he and Oakes are being chased, Chris really played up being the coward and he’s very funny at that."

Bruckheimer shepherded Pearl Harbor, a historical epic that many thought would be impossible to make. The tremendous pressure of producing it paid off handsomely, when Pearl Harbor worldwide box office grosses totaled an astonishing $450 million, easily returning Jerry to a familiar spot–the summer season’s box office king of the world. To date, Jerry Bruckheimer’s movies have exceeded a mind boggling $12.5 billion in worldwide box office, video and recording receipts, making him one of the most successful producers of all time. "I want to give an audience the full experience that a movie can take you someplace, emotionally. The way I like our films to be is you drop yourself in the theater and we’ll do the rest...we’ll take you for a ride...we’re in the transportation business. And hopefully it’s a great ride," says Bruckheimer.

Bad Company opens in Metro Manila theaters on July 3.

ANTHONY HOPKINS BAD COMPANY BRUCKHEIMER CHRIS ROCK HOPKINS JERRY JERRY BRUCKHEIMER JERRY BRUCKHEIMER FILMS MIDAS TOUCH PEARL HARBOR
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