The Runaway Jury

Release Date: October 17, 2003

Dammit, Dustin, I've told you 100 times, there's no such thing 'dynamite' in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

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Based on a novel by John Grisham, this project actually took six years to make it through the development stage, going through a number of near starts and various stars shuffling in and out of the primary roles. Some of the trouble arose from the fact that the story in the book began to seem outdated. The premise involved a jury that is set up to go against a tobacco company, but a number of similar court cases were already complete with widely publicized results. Instead, the plot will be Bowling for Columbine-fresh with a screenplay that deals with the gun industry, set in the deep south locale of New Orleans.

The story itself deals with a law school dropout named Nick Easter who manages to fabricate an identity for himself and become foreman on a jury that is dealing with a landmark case against a gun manufacturing company. His intentions aren’t precisely honorable (though in an “end justifies the means” way, they are). His presence on the jury is calculated to influence the other members to vote against the defendant as he and his girlfriend have revenge against the gun industry on their minds. While Nick works to sway the jury, his girlfriend tampers with the attorneys involved in the case, which involves the widow of a man who was killed in an office shooting with the perpetrator using a weapon that was illegally acquired.

This film has a truly spectacular and extraordinarily talented cast. BOP favorite John Cusack plays the pivotal part of Nick Easter, a role that had previously been assigned to both Edward Norton and Will Smith before they dropped out. His girlfriend will be portrayed by Rachel Weisz, who has been nothing short of terrific in recent movies like About a Boy and Confidence. Dustin Hoffman will play the plaintiff’s attorney, while Gene Hackman, who was pivotal in another Grisham adaptation, The Firm, will play the sly advisor to the gun company’s lawyers. Fans of Cusack will be amused to note that Jeremy Piven once again plays a supporting role in his friend's film.

Also adding to the movie’s pedigree are director Gary Fleder (who had a breakout hit with Don’t Say a Word) and screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who were also responsible for the cult film Rounders. The movie is being filmed on a budget of $60 million, though around $15 million of that went to Grisham for the movie rights. Between the outstanding performers and the followers of Grisham’s books, the movie should be easy to market and a draw for a very wide demographic. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Runaway Jury
Main Cast John Cusack, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Rachel Weisz
Supporting Cast Jennifer Beals, Bruce Davison, Luis Guzman, Orlando Jones, Jeremy Piven, Nora Dunn
Director Gary Fleder
Screenwriter Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG-13
Running Time 127 minutes
Screen Count 2,815
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for The Runaway Jury
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Firm, The 7/2/9330.48 44.39 2393 12737.00 17844.1 158.35 230.63 4.77
Client, The 7/22/9417.17 25.37 2052 8367.00 11894.3 92.04 136.02 5.02
Absolute Power * 2/14/9716.77 22.03 2568 6530.00 8251.4 50.07 65.77 2.99
Identity 4/25/0316.23 16.23 2733 5937.00 5937.0 51.48 51.48 3.17
Time to Kill, A 7/26/9614.82 20.21 2123 6981.00 9160.6 108.77 148.39 7.01
Chamber, The 10/11/966.16 8.40 2026 3040.00 3989.1 14.41 19.65 2.34



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