(April 13, 2000 – Burbank, CA) - Principal photography began at the beginning of March 2000 on "3000 Miles To Graceland," an action thriller starring Kurt Russell and Kevin Costner. Filming on the Franchise Pictures production started in Vancouver, and moved to Las Vegas on March 13th for two weeks of location work. Produced by Elie Samaha, Demian Lichtenstein, Richard Spero and Eric Manes, "3000 Miles to Graceland" returned to Vancouver upon completion of the Nevada portion of the shoot. Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute the film in the United States and Canada. "3000 Miles To Graceland" is directed by Demian Lichtenstein from a screenplay he co-wrote with Richard Recco. A successful music video director, Lichtenstein made his feature film debut in 1997 with the indie "Lowball." The executive producers of "3000 Miles to Graceland" are Andrew Stevens, Don Carmody and Tracee Stanley. Behind the camera talent includes David Franco as director of photography, Michael Duthie as editor, Robert deVico as production designer, and Mary McLeod as costume designer. "3000 Miles To Graceland" begins with an unprecedented and explosive casino heist in Las Vegas at an Elvis Presley convention. Posing as Elvis impersonators, Michael (Kurt Russell), Murphy (Kevin Costner) and their three cohorts boldly enter the Riviera Casino in full Presley garb, armed with guitar cases full of weaponry. Their cunning plan is executed with near precision as they steal away with millions in a dramatic helicopter escape from the rooftop of the hotel. But the body count is high, the casino is in ruins, and dissension amongst the five thieves leads to betrayal, chaos and greed. Murphy treacherously turns on his men, and attempts to murder each member of the gang. But Michael survives, and in possession of the stolen money sets out to launder the marked currency with Murphy in hot pursuit. Along the way, Michael reluctantly finds himself paired with Cybil (Courteney Cox Arquette), a beautiful one-night stand he just can't shake, and her young son. Russell and Costner are joined by an ensemble cast that features Courteney Cox Arquette, Christian Slater, Kevin Pollak ("The Whole Nine Yards"), David Arquette ("Scream 3"), Jon Lovitz ("A League of Their Own"), Howie Long ("Broken Arrow"), Thomas Haden Church ("George of the Jungle") and Bokeem Woodbine ("Dead Presidents"). Rap artist Ice T and newcomer David Kaye round out the supporting roles. Kurt Russell's career as an actor began almost 40 years ago when he landed his first role at the age of 10 in the Elvis Presley movie, "It Happened at the World's Fair." In 1960, Walt Disney signed the child actor to a ten year contract. When this ended, Russell played major league baseball. In 1979 he gave a classic performance as Elvis Presley in John Carpenter's ABC-TV movie of the week, "Elvis," for which Russell received an Emmy nomination. He collaborated with Carpenter again on the features "The Thing," "Escape from New York," and "Big Trouble in Little China." Russell went on to star in Robert Zemeckis' "Used Cars," Mike Nichols' "Silkwood," Jonathan Demme's "Swing Shift," Robert Towne's "Tequila Sunrise," Andrei Konchalovsky's "Tango & Cash" and Ron Howard's "Backdraft." His other film credits include "Unlawful Entry," "Captain Ron," "Tombstone" and "Stargate." Most recently Russell starred in "Executive Decision," "Escape from L.A." (again for John Carpenter), the hit thriller "Breakdown" and "Soldier." His television credits include the telefeatures "Amber Waves" and the "The Deadly Tower," in which Russell portrayed the Texas murderer Charles Whitman. Kevin Costner's big break as an actor came when he was cast in Lawrence Kasdan's hit film "The Big Chill." Even though his role wound up on the cutting room floor, director Kasdan remembered the actor and cast him in "Silverado." He then appeared in "The Untouchables" and "No Way Out," but Costner's biggest break hit with "Bull Durham." Following this, he starred in "Field of Dreams" and "Revenge" before starring in and directing his Academy Award®-winning film "Dances With Wolves." He won an Oscar as Best Director and a Golden Globe Award for Best Picture. In 1992 Costner was nominated for his first Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in Oliver Stone's "JFK." Among his many credits are "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," The Bodyguard," "Wyatt Earp," "The War," "Waterworld," "Tin Cup," "The Postman," "Message In A Bottle" and "For Love of the Game." He will next be seen starring in "Thirteen Days." Courteney Cox Arquette is best known for her role as Monica Gellar in the hit television series "Friends," currently in its sixth season. On screen, she recently starred in Wes Craven's "Scream 3," following her success in "Scream" and "Scream 2." Other feature film credits include Warner Bros.' "Commandments," opposite Aidan Quinn, "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," opposite Jim Carrey, "Cocoon II," "Mr. Destiny" and "Rules of the Game." Cox made her television debut on the hit NBC situation comedy "Family Ties" opposite Michael J. Fox. Other television credits include HBO's "Dream On," "The Trouble with Larry" and Showtime's "Hands That See." She was also featured in such television shows as "Seinfeld" and "The Larry Sanders Show." The former model had her first brush with fame when, as a teenager, she played the starstruck fan hauled on stage by Bruce Springsteen in his "Dancing in the Dark" video. Cox will next be seen in "The Shrink is In" in which she stars with her husband, David Arquette, and Miramax' "Alien Love Triangle" opposite Kenneth Branagh, and directed by Danny Boyle. Christian Slater has starred on and off Broadway, appeared in more than 20 feature films, and has recently become a producer and director. Slater made his screen debut in 1985 with "The Legend of Billie Jean." He followed with memorable performances in "In the Name of the Rose," Francis Ford Coppola's "Tucker: The Man and his Dream", "Heathers," "Young Guns II," "Pump Up the Volume," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "Untamed Heart," and Tony Scott's "True Romance," written by Quentin Tarantino. Other feature film credits for Slater include "Murder in the First," "Bed of Roses," John Woo's "Broken Arrow," the offbeat comedy "The Tears of Julian Po" and played an aristocrat in "Basil," which he also co-produced. Slater garnered critical acclaim for his starring role in the recent Broadway production of "Side Man." He recently starred in and co-produced the action feature "Hard Rain" and can soon be seen in the recently completed independent film "The Contender." Slater made his directorial debut with the Showtime short feature "Museum of Love." Director Demian Lichtenstein, who also serves as writer and producer on "3000 Miles To Graceland," formed Lightstone Entertainment during his senior year in film school at New York University. Following his graduation, Lichtenstein quickly became a successful music video director working with such industry heavyweights as Sting and Eric Clapton. Lichtenstein made his feature film debut with the independent film "Lowball," and in 1999 he brought his independent production company to Los Angeles, where he currently serves as president. Elie Samaha is Chairman/CEO of Franchise Pictures, which has become one of the most prolific production and co-financing companies in the entertainment industry. Samaha, a producer with over 40 films to his credit, has built Franchise into a powerful mini-studio with mainstream films populated with some of the industry's biggest box-office stars. With a co-financing and domestic distribution arrangement with Warner Bros., Franchise retains foreign rights and operates as a full-service international sales company encompassing distribution, marketing and delivery, with output deals covering territories worldwide. Samaha with partner Andrew Stevens recently formed Franchise Classics to produce and distribute films under $10 million. Richard Spero recently served as a producer on Miramax' "Rhyme and Reason", starring Sean "Puffy" Combs and Notorious B.I.G. The album for the film went gold on the billboard charts with the lead track hitting number one. He began his career in the film business working for producers Joel Silver and Barry Josephson, which proved to be an invaluable training ground. Before turning his talents to producing, Spero spent several years working with senior talent agents at William Morris. Eric Manes, a NYU film school graduate, recently wrote and produced New Line Cinema's "Campfire Tales". Among his many projects in pre-production as writer and producer are "The Hindenburg," directed by Jan de Bont and produced by Arnold Kopelson, "Ed Gein" which begins shooting in June for Unipix/Tri-Star, and a television series for Fox titled "Taboo." He also created, wrote and is serving as executive producer on "Dare," a pilot currently in production for MTV. Andrew Stevens is partnered with Elie Samaha in Franchise Pictures where he serves as president and chief operating officer of the company as well as heading up the newly formed Franchise Classics division. Stevens has served as producer or executive producer on more than 90 motion pictures in his career, including "The Whole Nine Yards," and the soon to be released "Battlefield Earth" starring John Travolta, "The Art of War" starring Wesley Snipes, "Get Carter" starring Sylvester Stallone and "The Pledge" starring Jack Nicholson. Don Carmody has been producing films for twenty-five years, begining with David Cronenberg's early shockers, "They Came From Within" and "Rabid." Starting his own production company in 1980, Carmody went on to produce such films as "Porky's" and "Switching Channels." Other producing credits include "Johnny Mnemonic," and Sidney Lumet's "Guilty As Sin," "Night Falls On Manhattan" and"Critical Care." Carmody also served as executive producer on "The Mighty," "Senseless," "Studio 54" and "Good Will Hunting." He is currently completing a year long contract as executive producer with Franchise Pictures overseeing physical production on a number of their films. "3000 Miles To Graceland" was brought to Franchise Pictures by Tracee Stanley, president of development and acquisitions, who has been with the company for five years. Stanley also produced "Viva Las Nowhere" starring Daniel Stern and James Caan, and "Animal Factory" starring William Dafoe and Eddie Furlong. Andrew Kramer, executive vice president of business affairs, negotiated all of the deals on behalf of Franchise Pictures.
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