Erased

Erased

Aaron Eckhart and Garrick Hagon in ERASED, a film directed by Philipp Stolzl. Picture courtesy Radius-TWC. All rights reserved.

Erased (2013)

Also Known As: The Expatriate

Opened: 05/10/2013 Limited

Town Center 505/10/2013 - 05/16/20137 days
Los Angeles05/10/2013
Expands05/17/2013
Village East05/17/2013 - 05/23/20137 days
Expands05/17/2013

Trailer: Click for trailer

Genre: Thriller (English)

Rated: R for violence.

Be Careful Who You Work For.

When ex-CIA agent Ben Logan (Eckhart) discovers that he and his daughter have been marked for termination as part of a wide-reaching international conspiracy, a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues as Logan tries to outsmart his hunters and uncover the truth.

Synopsis

When a former CIA agent finds himself suddenly targeted for termination, he is propelled into an all-out, frenzied run for his life with the only person left who needs him alive: the 15 year-old daughter he barely knows. The result is ERASED, a stylishly intricate, non-stop espionage thriller that unravels an international conspiracy against a raw emotional underpinning.

The escalating suspense begins just as Ben Logan (Golden Globe nominee Aaron Eckhart, THE DARK KNIGHT, THE RUM DIARY), an expatriate American, is trying to start his life over again in Europe. One morning, he arrives at his new job providing high-tech security for a multinational corporation in Belgium only to confront the unthinkable. Out of the blue, the place where he works simply does not exist. His co-workers have all vanished. And to make matters even more desperate, his assistant instantly tries to kill him on sight.

Logan knows he is in extreme peril, but he has no idea why or even who is after him. For now, his only hope is to stay alive long enough to figure out what is happening -- but there is one major problem: Logan isn't alone. He moved to Belgium with the teenaged daughter, Amy (Liana Liberato, TRUST, TRESPASS), he had never been able to spend time with as a child, hoping to finally forge a bond. Now, thrust into the most inconceivable danger with her, Logan must account for a lifetime of secrets and lies even as he battles to gain her broken trust.

Hiding in the shadows, and navigating the city as two fugitives dodging bullets, bare-knuckled operatives and double-crosses at every turn, Ben discovers they are being hunted by Anna (Olga Kurylenko, QUANTUM OF SOLACE), Ben's former lover and a CIA agent on a cover-up mission that goes to the heart of corporate power. But the one thing she, and the power brokers she works for, did not count on is just how mightily even the most hardened assassin will fight to save the one person he truly loves.

Informant Media and Smash Media present ERASED, directed by Phillip Stolzl (YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE, NORTH FACE) based on an original screenplay by Arash Amel, The producers are Karl Richards of eMotion and Jonathan Vanger and Claude Leger of Montreal based Transfilm. Executive producers are Informant's Judy Cairo (CRAZY HEART, HYSTERIA), Michael A. Simpson (CRAZY HEART, HYSTERIA), Howard Meltzer and Eric Brenner, and Harry Winer of Smash Media.

Stolzl's creative team includes award-winning cinematographer Kolja Brandt who also collaborated on YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE and NORTH FACE, production designer Jean-Francois Campeu (THE LAST CASINO), editor Dominique Fortin (TOMORROW NEVER DIES), costume designer Pascalina Chavanne (BELOVED, GAINSBOURG: A HEROIC LIFE) and composer Jeff Danna (THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS, SILENT HILL, BOONDOCK SAINTS.)

About the Production

An Assassin's Reckoning, A Father's Last Chance

What would you do, what would you think, if you arrived at work one day to find your office empty, your co-workers dead, your boss vanished into thin air, and no trace of evidence that you or your job ever even existed?

That compelling premise kicks off ERASED at a blistering pace as Ben Logan's supposedly peaceful new life outside of the CIA suddenly becomes more dangerous than anything he ever experienced on the job. As a former kill squad assassin, Logan will be forced to use everything he's learned about survival and covert action to uncover the mystery of the corporation that wants him dead. But as a father, Logan will have to go where he's never gone before -- as he finally tells the truth to the daughter he had hoped to always shield from his dark past, and determines he will stop at nothing to show her how much she means to him.

The usually separate, even opposite, worlds of global espionage intrigue and family relationships first entwined in Arash Amel's original screenplay for ERASED. Within the high-octane suspense, unsettling conspiracies and dread fear of a thriller, Amel had uncovered the more stark human drama of a single father faced with a now-or-never need to connect with his daughter.

For German director Philipp Stolzl, the volatile mixture was irresistible. "The screenplay had elements of both action and drama, but what I liked most is that it was really about the relationship between two people -- and about an intense feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia."

He goes on: "The story really had some heart and deep emotion to it and the idea of combining a genre thriller with such human drama attracted me a lot. I thought it could be a great movie to be my first in English, with an interesting mix of tones and colors."

Stolzl came to the fore in 2008, winning international acclaim for the gripping mountain climbing adventure NORTH FACE, which followed a harrowing expedition up the Eiger set against the explosive politics of Nazi Germany. Singled out for its pulse-pounding realism and stunning photography, the film catapulted Stolzl to one of the most sought after new European filmmakers. He went on to direct YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE, an engaging romantic romp following the youthful exploits of Germany's greatest literary genius.

With ERASED, Stolzl veered in a different direction from the typically sleek, glossy contours of most contemporary thrillers. Instead, he chose to keep the style of the film stripped-back, rugged and primal with very few effects; its momentum fueled mainly by practical action, close-up, hand-to-hand combat and dangerously exposed emotions.

The center of the story for Stolzl was not just Logan's tooth-and-nail fight for his life -- or even his eye-opening investigation into why the vast multi-national corporation Halgate abruptly left him out in the cold -- but his struggle to be a good father and true protector to his daughter Amy when desperate circumstances have made it nearly impossible to do that.

"Amy is a very important character because she doesn't know anything about her father's past in the beginning, and only later does she find out that she was part of the CIA and a kill squad," the director says. "So at the same time that she and her father are under extreme pressure just to survive under all these crazy situations, they also have to work out their relationship as a father and a daughter for the first time. That gives ERASED all kinds of emotional shadings beyond a typical action film."

The Chased and The Chasers

To bring both the physical action and the internal struggles of Ben Logan to life, director Philipp Stolzl knew he would need more than just an action hero type. That's why he was drawn to leading screen star Aaron Eckhart, who is known for playing the most complex and multi-faceted of men -- from the charmingly sinister womanizer of Neil LaBute's IN THE COMPANY OF MEN to the cigarette industry spin doctor in Jason Reitman's THANK YOU FOR SMOKING to clean-cut D.A. turned dastardly villain Harvey Dent in THE DARK KNIGHT. When Eckhart proved ready and willing to dive into intensive training to hone Logan's lethal fighting skills, the deal was sealed.

"Aaron is a very, very good actor who also has a terrific screen appearance," observes Stolzl. "He did a lot of training for the role and he was super fit. He became very good at many different fighting techniques, which added an important and strong element to the character."

Eckhart was intrigued by the challenges of a role unlike what people might expect from him, and the script drew him because it, too, defied the usual expectations of a spy thriller. "It's what I call a father-daughter thriller," he describes.

He was also excited to take on the film's scrappy, fierce, often mano-a-mano action, which is so tied to his character -- and so close up in nature that it couldn't possibly have been undertaken by stunt doubles.

"It's every actor's dream to get to run around playing a CIA agent in action," he confesses. "I've always wanted to do this kind of movie, and growing up I loved movies like THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and all those Harrison Ford thrillers."

Inspired to bring his own realistic take to the genre, Eckhart dove into a brutal, body-searing regimen over a period of three months, learning martial arts, jujitsu and MMA-style grappling from master trainers, working out near constantly. "There are quite extensive fight scenes in the film," he points out, "and I trained very hard for them. It was a lot of fun and I hope it will be fun for the audience to see the fruits of that labor. It was important because I think it goes a long way to selling my character and who he really is."

Once on the set, Eckhart's physical skills were put to the test. "When I started learning some of the choreographed fight sequences, they were really tough, and I was glad I did so much training," he explains. "It was an extremely physical shoot, so without all of that preparation, I don't know if I'd have lasted through it!"

Even with all his training, it wasn't ever easy, because the script never lets Ben Logan off the hook from the searing -- he is in perpetual peril from the opening minutes of the film right up to the final climax. "I had bruises all over my body," Eckhart recalls. "Every day I woke up and didn't know how I was going to survive the shoot, but the crew always kept me safe."

As Eckhart went to his physical limits, he simultaneously focused inward to crack open Ben Logan's well-worn emotional armor and reveal the man's one truly vulnerable spot -- his tender hopes for his daughter's love and his desire to see her grow up and have a real shot at the beautiful life he dreams of for her. Logan's dilemma as a father who used to believe that not sharing the dirty details of his job would keep his family safe -- but can't afford secrets any longer -- intrigued Eckhart.

"Because of his job, Ben left his family early on, in his mind for their own safety," notes the actor. "The problem is that his entire relationship with Amy has been based on lies because he could never tell her the truth of who he is or what he did. Now, they have to discover each other or they won't survive."

To play Amy, who is just blooming as a young photographer with her first serious boyfriend when she is thrust into inexplicable danger -- and a view of her dad she never imagined -- Philipp Stolzl looked for a young actress who could radiate both innocence and an evolving strength that even her assassin father comes to rely on. He found that blend in Liana Liberato, a teenaged newcomer who drew attention and a Best Actress Award at the Chicago Film Festival for her lead role as a girl targeted by a sexual predator in David Schwimmer's TRUST.

"Liana is only 15 but there is real emotional depth to her," says Stolzl, "and there's a lot of truth to the way she and Aaron are together. As a director, I just took her talent as a wonderful gift."

Liberato was drawn right away to the script and the character, who despite initially being shocked at her father's true profession and lethal skills comes to accept that there is a profound link between them. "ERASED is definitely an action-thriller but I liked that it was quite heartfelt as well," she says. "I really loved the fact that Amy is a photographer because I used to be really into photography so through her I got a chance to get back into it and to work with some really cool old Nikon cameras and stuff. Amy is also a lot different from any other character I've played. I like that she really doesn't consider herself a victim in this. She just decides she's going to take it all on and try to survive."

While Liberato did perform some challenging physical stunts, she says the real work for her was in revealing how Amy breaks through her father's shields to finally see who he is when the long-held secrets that have kept them apart are stripped away. "In the beginning, both Amy and her father have boundaries that neither one of them is ready to cross," she comments. "But as the film progresses, and as the danger increases, you see them growing closer and closer."

This process became organic for Liberato and Eckhart as they discovered a natural chemistry with each other that was close-knit without being sentimental. "It was so much fun to work with Aaron," says Liberato. "It really helped to have a co-star who was so personable that you could really talk to him."

As Ben and Amy start to finally understand one another, the stakes grow even higher, especially when Ben discovers the operative lurking behind the mission to kill him: his former lover and CIA agent, Anna Bright. Taking the role of the reluctant and captivating villain is Olga Kurylenko, the Ukrainian-born French actress and model thrust into the limelight as "Bond Girl" Camilla Montes to Daniel Craig's James Bond in QUANTUM OF SOLACE.

Kurylenko says Anna's motives in the film are complex. "I think she's someone who has become disappointed in the CIA. She was someone who wanted to change the world but she saw that things weren't quite like what she believed behind the curtain, and that has pushed her into betrayal," she explains.

Yet, Anna's feelings for Ben are still there just beneath the surface. "I think she still secretly hopes they might have a chance one day to get back together," Kurylenko notes.

A big part of the allure for Kurylenko was the chance to work with Eckhart, even if it is her character who plunges Ben Logan into the greatest nightmare of his life. "As an actor, Aaron is amazingly concentrated," she comments. "He really got into this character and he never got out, even between takes."

Off-setting the quiet power of the main cast's performances, Stolzl and award-winning cinematographer Kolja Brandt -- who also shot NORTH FACE and YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE -- crafted a kinetic look for the film that echoes Ben and Amy's frantic run for their lives. Working with production designer Jean-Francois Campeau, Brandt utilized the European ambience of Montreal to create the dynamic street corners, cafes and squares of Belgium.

Throughout, Stolzl, his creative team and the cast alike all focused on one thing: capturing the visceral quality and frenetic emotions of events unfolding in real time, as the clock runs out on a father and daughter who must unite to have any chance at a future together.

About the Cast

With numerous credits to his name, AARON ECKHART (Ben Logan) is positioned among the industry's finest. He has earned considerable acclaim for his roles, including the love interest of Julia Roberts in "ERIN BROCKOVICH" for director Stephen Soderbergh. However, it was his portrayal of a love-scorned, vengeful man in Neil LaBute's controversial film, "IN THE COMPANY OF MEN," which first drew him critical attention. Notably, this incendiary film became one of the highest grossing independent films of the year.

Eckhart earned both a Golden Globe and Independent Spirit Award nomination for his starring role in Jason Reitman's directorial debut "THANK YOU FOR SMOKING" for Fox Searchlight. He was most recently seen costarring opposite Johnny Depp in "THE RUM DIARY", in the Sci-fi action film "BATTLE: LOS ANGELES", "RABBIT HOLE" opposite Nicole Kidman, and director Christopher Nolan's "THE DARK KNIGHT" as Harvey Dent/Two Face. He will be seen next in the modern-day epic "I FRANKENSTEIN", RADiUS-TWC's "ERASED" and alongside Gerard Butler in "OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN".

Originally from Northern California, Eckhart studied theatre and film at Brigham Young University, where he met and appeared in many of Neil LaBute's plays. In addition to "IN THE COMPANY OF MEN," he has starred in three other LaBute films including "POSSESION" with Gwyneth Paltrow, "NURSE BETTY" opposite Renee Zellweger, and "YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS" with Ben Stiller and Katherine Keener.

Other film credits include Sean Penn's "THE PLEDGE" opposite Jack Nicholson, the romantic dramedy "LOVE HAPPENS," opposite Jennifer Aniston, Oliver Stone's "ANY GIVEN SUNDAY", the indie film "MEET BILL", and "MOLLY" opposite Elisabeth Shue. He also starred in the Alan Ball drama "TOWELHEAD" and opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones in "NO RESERVATIONS". In addition he has appeared in John Woo's adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's short story "PAYCHECK" opposite Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman, Ron Howard's "THE MISSING" opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett, "THE CORE" opposite Hilary Swank, Brian De Palma's "THE BLACK DAHLIA", and "CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN" opposite Helena Bonham Carter. His theater credits include Michael Cristofer's Amazing Grace opposite Marsha Mason.

Eckhart resides in Los Angeles.

Winner of the Best Actress Award at the 2010 Chicago Film Festival at the age of 15, LIANA LIBERATO (Amy Logan) has quickly secured her place as one of Hollywood's most gifted and promising young stars.

In 2007, Liana made her feature film debut in the Fox drama "The Last Sin Eater" starring Academy Award winner Louise Fletcher and Henry Thomas. The same year, she appeared in the romantic drama "Safe Harbour" starring Melissa Gilbert and Brad Johnson.

In 2011, Liana starred opposite Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis in "Trust," directed by David Schwimmer. Liana received rave reviews for her performance after the film's debut at the 2010 Toronto Film Festival and later won the Silver Hugo Best Actress Award at the Chicago Film Festival. That same year, Liberato also starred alongside Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage in Joel Schumacher's "Trespass."

In Spring 2013, Liana can be seen starring opposite Aaron Eckhart in the thriller "Erased" as well as in the comedy-drama "Stuck in Love" alongside a stellar cast including Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman and Lily Collins. She most recently completed "Free Ride" starring opposite Anna Paquin and "Haunt" with Jackie Weaver.

Born in Galveston, Texas, Liana also enjoys horseback riding, guitar, poker and writing screenplays.

She currently resides with her family in Los Angeles.

OLGA KURYLENKO (Anna) came to international prominence when she starred opposite Daniel Craig in QUANTUM OF SOLACE, directed by Marc Forster and released by Sony. She garnered excellent reviews as Camille, a woman focused on avenging the murder of her family. Olga has recently finished working on the UNTITLED TERRENCE MALICK PROJECT, the new film of Terrence Malick, starring alongside Javier Bardem, Ben Affleck and Rachel Weisz.

2010 saw Olga take the female lead in the emotional story of love, betrayal and personal sacrifice, set in the time of the Spanish Civil War, entitled THERE BE DRAGONS, from director Roland Joffe. Also released in 2010 was the Warner Bros/Pathe production of CENTURION, an action thriller set in ancient Rome by director Neil Marshall, in which Olga stars alongside Dominic West and Michael Fassbender.

Her recent projects include Michale Boganim's LAND OF OBLIVION about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and the Chinese epic 3D adventure EMPIRES OF THE DEEP, a love story set in a mythical world. She also appears in Mitch Glazer's new series for Starz, "Magic City."

Olga took her first English-speaking role in the film adaptation of the graphic novel, HITMAN. Directed by Xavier Gens and produced by Luc Besson, Kurylenko gives a powerful performance as Nika Boronina. In 2008 she starred alongside Mark Wahlberg in John Moore's MAX PAYNE and in the role of Mina Harud in John Beck Hofmann's TYRANNY.

Her early career was established in France. She gave her debut performance as a leading actress, in the role of Iris, in Diane Bertrand's L'ANNULAIRE (released in the UK and US as THE RING FINGER). She followed this with a role starring alongside Elijah Wood in PARIS JE T'AIME, an independent film in which a cooperative of acclaimed international directors told their stories of Paris. In 2006, Kurylenko played Sofia in Eric Barbier's acclaimed thriller, LE SERPENT, co-starring with French luminaries Yvan Attal, Clovis Cornillac and Pierre Richard.

Whilst training as an actress, she had also achieved success in the worlds of fashion and beauty - working in Paris, Milan, New York and London. By the age of 18 she had graced the covers of magazines such as Vogue and Elle.

Olga lives in London. She is fluent in French, English, Russian, and has also acted in German and Spanish.

About the Filmmakers

PHILIPP STOLZL (Director) was born in 1967 in Munich, and he has been living for several years now in Berlin. His range as a director is large, from feature films to commercials, music videos to opera productions. Originally a set designer in theater, when he was in his late 20s Stolzl started to direct music videos and soon became internationally successful with these productions. He worked with, among others, Mick Jagger; Dave Stewart; Madonna; Luciano Pavarotti; Garbage; and Marius Mu¨ller Westernhagen.

As a result, Stolzl was able to establish himself as a director of commercials, and he shot commercials for, among others, BMW; Nokia; Sony; and many other companies. In addition, several years ago he returned to the theater, directing and designing sets for classical operas, including productions for the Ruhrtriennale; the Salzburg Festival; and the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Despite his huge creative range, Stolzl's work focuses on feature films. His cinematic debut was BABY in 2002, followed in 2008 by the thrilling drama about mountain climbers, NORTH FACE, which won two German Film Awards. Most recently he directed and co-wrote the romantic drama YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE.

KOLJA BRANDT (Director of photography) was awarded the German Film Award in 2009 for his spectacular panoramas in Philipp Stolzl's "North Face." He reunited with Stolzl for YOUNG GOETHE IN LOVE in 2010. In 2006 he won the Bronze Camera at the Brothers Manaki International Film Festival with Detlev Buck's TOUGH ENOUGH, a festival dedicated solely to the works of directors of photography.

Before that, he was involved in short films such as IM DUNKELN with Christoph Maria Herbst; DREI WU¨NSCHE, AUS LIEBE ZUR GEFAHR and FERKEL. Other productions include the academy film LETTING O, the television film "Tanze in der Nacht"; the television series "Boomtown Berlin";numerous commercials and music videos; and most recently documentary films.

Melody drives storytelling in the work of film composer JEFF DANNA (Composer), whose wide-ranging stylistic versatility has led to a career traversing movies of every genre and scale, from #1 box office hit thrillers to indie award-winners, and collaborations with visionary directors ranging from Terry Gilliam and Richard Attenborough to distinctive indie voices such as Brett Morgen and Tim Blake Nelson. For Danna, the whole panoply of music, from symphonic to electronic, from ancient to ambient, is a wide-open landscape for tapping into emotion and dramatic tension in fresh ways for compelling filmmakers of all kinds.

Danna's recent work include the kaleidoscopic score (composed with his brother Mychael) for Terry Gilliam's enchanted fantasy THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, and the more intimate compositions for Tim Blake Nelson's LEAVES OF GRASS

He grew up in a musical family in Ontario, Canada -- his parents were both semi-professional musicians who worked with the local Light Opera -- and was as taken with Gilbert & Sullivan as he was with rock and roll, lending him a vast appetite for music. As a teenager, he discovered the guitar, and was well on his way to a promising career as a performer when a serious hand injury halted that dream. Devastated at the time, Danna now says the sudden change of plans was a blessing in disguise leading him towards composition -- and a way to fuse a life of music with his love of storytelling.

Since then, his path has been unconventional in its breadth but highly successful. His scores have included Neil Labute's LAKEVIEW TERRACES the eerie horror-mystery SILENT HILL; and Gregory Hoblit's FRACTURE starring Anthony Hopkins.

He has also had a series of long-lived relationships with directors known for creative risk-taking. THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR. PARNASSUS marked Danna's second outing with Terry Gilliam, having previously worked on TIDELAND. He has worked repeatedly with Academy Award®-nominated director Brett Morgen, including on CHICAGO 10, the Peabody Award-winning mini-series NIMROD NATION and THE KID STAYS IN THE PICTURE. Prior to LEAVES OF GRASS, Danna worked twice before with Tim Blake Nelson, on O and THE GREY ZONE.

In 2007, he joined with Oscar®-wininng director David Attenborough to create the Irish-themed score for his latest historical epic, CLOSING THE RING.

Danna has composed ancient Eastern music for Phillip Saville's Biblical epic THE GOSPEL OF JOHN; and, in a complete 180, he has also composed the scores for Troy Duffy's cult action-thrillers BOONDOCK SAINTS and BOONDOCK SAINTS 2: ALL SAINTS DAY, merging lush choral music, Celtic strains and hardcore electronics into a propulsive backdrop for the Boston-based mob dramas.

Earlier in his career, Danna composed and rccorded two original, fantasy soundtrack albums with his brother: A Celtic Tale and the follow-up, A Celtic Romance. An accomplished songwriter as well, he has published some 85 songs, including several television theme songs.

 

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