13

13

Jason Statham stars in Anchor Bay Films' 13. Photo Credit: Jim Bridges. Property of Anchor Bay Films. All rights reserved.

13 (2010/2011)

Also Known As: Thirteen

Opened: 10/28/2011 Limited

Limited10/28/2011
Monica 4-Plex10/28/2011 - 11/03/20117 days
Village East10/28/2011 - 11/03/20117 days
DVD11/08/2011

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home

Genre: Thriller

Rated: R for disturbing violence, language and brief drug use.

Synopsis

Sam Riley (Control), Ray Winstone (Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon ("Boardwalk Empire"), Academy Award® nominee Mickey Rourke and Jason Statham star in this intense thriller about the underground "sport" of Russian roulette. It is fiercely organized and ferociously secret. It attracts depraved gamblers and desperate men. And tonight, one naive young player will mistakenly become a numbered participant in a deadly world of power, violence and chance where the ultimate bets are decided by a squeeze of the trigger. Emmanuelle Chriqui ("Entourage"), Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood"), David Zayas ("Dexter") and Ben Gazzara (Road House) co-star in writer/director Gela Babluani's white-knuckle American remake of his 13 Tzameti, the film that swept Europe, shocked Sundance and now translates as one of the most extreme edge-of-your-seat thrillers of the year.

About the Production

13 Tzameti, the original black and white French film by director Gela Babluani, was a critical hit, winning awards such as the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema in 2006. The dark tale of a naive man who falls into a shadow world of deadly, high stakes gambling launched Babluani's career, solidifying his reputation as a young director to watch. Says Babluani, "For me...stories are created by human beings and there are two different ways for me to tell the story so the characters are making the story or the situations are making the characters. I'm more interested about the second one." The film is a story about the characters responding to a strange and desperate situation. It is a dark exploration of human nature.

13 Tzameti caught the eye of Overnight Productions producers Rick Schwartz and Aaron Kaufman. Says Kaufman, "the film was really interesting in that it was a thriller and it had horror elements to it. But ultimately underneath, there was a real political comment that was being made in the film. And I thought that was really interesting, that it made it classic in that way." With Overnight Productions, in combination with Magnet Media, Babluani was given the opportunity to remake his film as 13, expanding on the original and bringing it to a larger audience.

For 13, Babluani says "I was very happy to remake my movie, but it's always risky when you get back to the same story. It was interesting to come back to the same story and try to build something different with the same structure and see where I could get it."

Continues Babluani, "I'm trying to see how I can recreate the story and which kinds of new elements I can bring. There are a lot of the same elements that came from the original. All of these old elements and new elements, they can mash together."

In developing the material for the remake, Babluani was keen to shoot the film in color and in English, both departures from the original, and at the script level, the filmmakers created several new characters, drawing from the backstories of existing characters. The new characters added more casting possibilities.

Avy Kaufman, director of casting, worked closely with Babluani to assemble the best possible combination of American and British actors to inhabit the world of 13, securing established talent as well as up-and-comers, ranging from experienced performers Mickey Rourke, Ray Winstone and Jason Statham to relative newcomers Sam Riley and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. Of the cast, producer Rick Schwartz says, "you have actors from very different walks of life and people have had different journeys and stages in their careers and for some reason, it all really clicks."

Rourke was attracted to the project based on Babluani's visual style as a director. Rourke states, "I think Gela's visual sense is probably one of the most distinctive out there right now."

Fresh off of his startling debut in Control, Riley was drawn to the compelling material by the director's vision, as well. Says Riley, "I think he's brilliant, he knows exactly what he wants, he's got it all in his head and I think it'll be this first of a lot of great thrillers from him." Of the cast, Riley adds, "these guys, the types of characters that would gamble on people's lives, Gela's cast it brilliantly."

Michael Shannon, cast as Henry, the slightly sinister master of ceremonies for the brutal game, was captivated by the story. Says Shannon, "I think it's asking some pretty fundamental questions. I think it's the kind of film where if you just want to go and be shocked and thrilled and whatnot you can have that ride, but if you want to put a little bit more thought into it, it can reward you in that way as well."

On set, the mutual regard of the actors for each other as well as for the director made for an intense but rewarding collaboration. Babluani's ability to work with actors to shape performances was met with enthusiasm and respect. Observes Riley: "he's got something old school about him. I think Gela, by the way he shoots and frames a picture, is [very] European. He's an artist."

Rourke exclaims, "the wonderful thing about this is, I'm working with really, really fine actors... I don't think in my whole career I've worked with an ensemble that I have had this much interest and excitement." Rourke adds, "the only way that I could really function and be professional and be accountable is I can't take any jobs for the money or for a big payday. I've got to work with directors that I respect and with other actors that I have respect for."

Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson adds "it's already a critically acclaimed project and Gela has proven himself in the first version of this film so when we get into this one I'm going to follow instructions."

Riley comments, "I've only done two movies before this so to be in the company that I am in with Mickey Rourke, Jason (Statham), Ray Winstone and Curtis is really, well I can't believe my luck."

 

Trailer