Soldier, Starring Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Connie Nielsen, Gary Busey and Michael Chiklis, Begins Production for Warner Bros. and Jerry Weintraub Productions

February 26, 1998

Principal photography began January 20 in Los Angeles on "Soldier," an action adventure set in the 21st century. The film, a Jerry Weintraub Production to be released worldwide by Warner Bros., stars Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Connie Nielsen, Gary Busey and Michael Chiklis and is directed by Paul Anderson from a script by David Webb Peoples. Jeremy Bolt co-produces and R.J. Louis and Susan Ekins executive produce. The behind-the-camera talent includes director of photography David Tattersall ("Star Wars: Epsiode One," "Con Air") and production designer David L. Snyder (Academy Award-nominated art director for "Blade Runner").

In "Soldier," Russel plays Todd, a veteran of numerous galactic conflicts and maneuvers who finds himself rendered obsolete by a new generation of specially bred warriors lead by Caine 607 (Lee). Following a government test where Caine powerfully defeats Todd, the vanquished soldier is left for dead on a remote garbage outpost at the edge of the galaxy. Gradually nursed back to health, Todd begins to learn about the everyday aspects of life beyond the battlefield, until he is called to defend the outpost against Caine and his scientifically engineered squadron.

Kurt Russell has enjoyed a successful acting career since he was 12 years old. After starring in numerous projects for Disney, he earned critical and public acclaim for his starring performance in the telefilm "Elvis," directed by John Carpenter, 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 Zemekis' "Used Cars," Mike Nichols' "Silkwood," Jonathan Demme's "Swing Shift," Robert Towne's "Tequila Sunrise," Andre Konchalevsky's "Tango & Cash" and Ron Howard's "Backdraft." His other film credits include "Unlawful Entry," "Captain Ron," "Tombstone" and "Stargate." Most recently Russell was seen in "Executive Decision," "Escape from L.A." (again for John Carpenter) and the recent hit thriller "Breakdown."Jason Scott Lee recently starred in "Murder In Mind" and as Mowgli in the live-action retelling of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book." He previously starred as the Eskimo Avik in the Cannes-acclaimed arthouse hit "Map of the Human Heart" and in the title role of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story."

A native of Hawaii and expert in the martial art of Jeet Kune Do, Lee debuted with a comic role in "Born in East L.A.," which he followed with "Back to the Future, Part II." He also starred in the after-school special "American Eyes" and counts "Rapa Nui" among his other feature film credits. Upcoming projects include "Talos the Mummy" and "The Green Hornet."

Connie Nielsen starred in the recent Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino thriller "The Devil's Advocate." Her upcoming projects include the Bill Murray comedy "Rushmore" and "Permanent Midnight," opposite Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley and Janeane Garofalo.

Gary Busey had his breakthrough performance in the title role of "The Buddy Holly Story," which garnered him both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor, as well as a Best Actor Award from the National Society of Film Critics and the New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics. He has since starred in more than 40 features films in the last two decades including "Carny," "Lethal Weapon," "Predator 2," "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys," "The Player," "Under Siege," "The Firm," "Chasers," "The Chain," "Deadly Current," "Carried Away," the recent "Lost Highway" and the forthcoming "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

Michael Chiklis is best known to television audiences as the warmhearted police commissioner Toni Scali in the self-titled "The Commish," the acclaimed drama that ran for four seasons on ABC. Following graduation from Boston University and relocation to New York, he played the part of John Belushi in the motion picture "Wired." Chiklis continued to work in the theater before and after filming "Wired" and recently starred in "The Caveman" on Broadway at the Boothe Theater. He starred in episodes of the series "Miami Vice," "B.L. Stryker," "Wiseguy," "L.A. Law" and "Murphy Brown" before being cast as "The Commish." His feature film credits include Oliver Stone's "Nixon" and "The Taxman."

Paul Anderson's American motion picture directing debut was the worldwide hit "Mortal Kombat." A native of Great Britain, Anderson started his career as a writer/director for British television, notably on the controversial drama "Speed" and the award-winning documentary "The Spiral Cage." His other directing credits include "Event Horizon," starring Laurence Fishburne, and "Shopping" (which he also wrote).

Jerry Weintraub's credits as a motion-picture producer include "Nashville," "Oh God!," "Diner," "The Karate Kid" and its sequels, "Cruising," "Pure Country" and "The Specialist." Upcoming projects include "The Avengers," starring Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery.

David Webb Peoples received both an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for his script for Clint Eastwood's Best Picture Oscar-winner, "Unforgiven." His other writing credits include "Twelve Monkeys," "Deadfall," "Hero," "Leviathan," "The Blood of Heroes" and the seminal science fiction film "Blade Runner."

Jeremy Bolt is Paul Anderson's partner in Impact Pictures. He produced the recent "Event Horizon" and lists among his other producing credits "Stiff Upper Lips," Paul Anderson's "Shopping," "The Turn of the Screw" and Julian Temple's forthcoming "Vigo." He associate produced Ken Russell's "Whore" and the telefeature "The Strange Affliction of Anton Bruckner." He also served as assistant producer on "The Rainbow" and "The Lair of the White Worm."

R.J. Louis has worked with producer Weintraub since 1984, when he served as executive producer on "The Karate Kid" and its sequels. Louis produced "Mac and Me" and served as co-producer on both "The Specialist" and "Vegas Vacation." He also executive produced "Pure Country."

Susan Ekins has been working with Jerry Weintraub for more than 14 years and is Vice President of Jerry Weintraub Productions. She was associate producer of "Pure Country" and "The Specialist" and executive producer of "Vegas Vacation" and the upcoming "The Avengers."

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