Movie spotlight on: ‘Death Race'
Terminal Island: The very near future.
The world's hunger for extreme sports and reality competitions has grown into reality TV bloodlust. Now, the most extreme racing competition has emerged and its contestants are murderous prisoners. Tricked-out cars, caged thugs and smoking-hot navigators combine to create a juggernaut series with bigger ratings than the Super Bowl. The rules of the Death Race are simple: Win five events, and you're set free. Lose and you're roadkill splashed across the Internet.
International action star Jason Statham (the Transporter series, The Bank Job) leads the action-thriller's cast as three-time speedway champion Jensen Ames, an ex-con framed for a gruesome murder. Forced to don the mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein, a Death Race crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill, Ames is given an easy choice by Terminal Island's ruthless Warden Hennessey (Joan Allen of The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum): Suit up and drive or never see his little girl again.
His face hidden by a hideous mask, one convict will enter an insane, three-day challenge in order to gain freedom. But to claim the prize, Ames must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals -- including nemesis Machine Gun Joe (Tyrese Gibson of Transformers, 2 Fast 2 Furious) -- in the country's toughest prison. Trained by his coach (Ian McShane of Deadwood, The Golden Compass) to drive a monster Mustang V8 Fastback outfitted with two mounted mini-guns, flamethrowers and napalm, an innocent man will destroy everything in his path to win the most twisted spectator sport on Earth.
Director/producer Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil series, AVP: Alien vs. Predator) reimagines Roger Corman's classic Death Race 2000 for the screen. On the production, he is joined for Death Race by producers Paula Wagner (Mission: Impossible series, War of the Worlds) and Jeremy Bolt (Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction).
The behind-the-scenes creative team that brings the shocking reality show to life includes director of photography Scott Kevan (Cabin Fever, Stomp the Yard), editor Niven Howie (Dawn of the Dead, Resident Evil: Extinction), production designer Paul Denham Austerberry (30 Days of Night, Resident Evil: Apocalypse) and composer Paul Haslinger (Underworld, Prom Night).
Death Race is written by Anderson and based on the screenplay by Robert Thom and Charles Griffith, from a story by Ib Melchior. The film's executive producers are Corman, Dennis E. Jones, Don Granger and Ryan Kavanaugh.
Universal Pictures' Death Race opens nationwide on Aug. 22, and is rated R for strong violence and language.