(February 23, 2006 - Burbank, CA) – The action drama "Blood Diamond," directed by Edward Zwick ("The Last Samurai," "Courage Under Fire") and starring Leonardo DiCaprio (Oscar nominee for "The Aviator" and "What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?"), Jennifer Connelly (Academy Award winner for "A Beautiful Mind") and Djimon Hounsou (Oscar nominee for "In America") has commenced production in South Africa and Mozambique. The announcement was made today by Jeff Robinov, President of Production, Warner Bros. Pictures. Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990s Sierra Leone, "Blood Diamond" is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a South African mercenary, and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon – who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields – has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon’s family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have. Directed by Edward Zwick from a screenplay by Charles Leavitt ("The Mighty") and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz ("The Last Samurai"), story by Charles Leavitt ("The Mighty") and C. Gaby Mitchell, "Blood Diamond" is produced by Paula Weinstein ("Monster-In-Law"), Marshall Herskovitz, Edward Zwick, Gillian Gorfil ("Dangerous Ground") and Graham King ("The Aviator"). The executive producers are Len Amato ("Iron Jawed Angels") and Benjamin Waisbren ("V For Vendetta"). The co-producer is Kevin De La Noy ("Timeline"). The director of photography is Eduardo Serra ("Unbreakable"); the production designer is Dan Weil ("Syriana"); the costume designer is Ngila Dickson ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy); and the editor is Steven Rosenblum ("The Last Samurai"). "Blood Diamond" will film on location in Port Edward, South Africa; Maputo, Mozambique and Cape Town, South Africa. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Virtual Studios, "Blood Diamond," a Spring Creek / Bedford Falls production, in association with Initial Entertainment Group. "Blood Diamond" will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
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