Chicago filmmakers Chris Charles, Columbia College Chicago Adjunct Professor Danny Kravitz, and three-time Academy Award nominee Robert Lorenz have a No. 1 box-office hit this week with the Liam Neeson thriller, The Marksman.
The idea was first hatched in 2009, and the journey from script to screen was a long one. “It was ultimately our producer, Tai Duncan, who got the script, then titled The Minuteman, into the hands of Robert Lorenz,” said Charles.
Robert Lorenz was Clint Eastwood’s producing partner, having helmed some of the most iconic films over the past 20 years, including Mystic River, Gran Torino, and American Sniper.
“Rob signed on to co-write and direct, and collaborating with him was a real privilege,” said Charles. “After the three of us revised the script together, Rob sold his vision for the project to Liam Neeson. And once Liam was attached, we knew we had the green light.”
In the film, a dying woman (Teresa Ruiz) pleads with Liam’s character, Jim, to take her 11-year-old son (Jacob Perez) to his family in Chicago – the only place he’ll be safe from drug cartel assassins. For much of the film, Jim grapples with this decision, trying to decide between doing what’s best for him and what’s right.
“Rob is from Chicago,” said Charles. “I lived in Chicago for many years, and Danny is a longtime Chicagoan, so it was especially meaningful for our creative team to end the movie in the Windy City.”
Jim sneaks Miguel out of the local U.S. Customs and Border Patrol station and together, they hit the road with the group of killers in pursuit. Jim and Miguel slowly begin to overcome their differences and begin to forge an unlikely friendship, while the assassins blaze a cold-blooded trail, hot on their heels.
The Marksman opens today in Chicago Theaters. CHECK HERE for locations and times.
Watch for our upcoming Zoom interview with the screenwriters!