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Criminal (2016) Poster

(2016)

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Nicolas Cage turned down a lead role.
During the medical operation sequence, it is not actually actor Ryan Reynolds, but a doll / dummy made of him out of prosthetic special effects. It would have been expensive to contract the actor for two days work which is how long it took to shoot the sequence and also tiresome for him to sit in an operating dentists like chair.
Star Kevin Costner, a director himself, having starred in Waterworld (1995), and having won a Best Director Academy Award for Dances with Wolves (1990), directed the underwater sequence shot in the water tank, when director Ariel Vromen could not due to scheduling conflicts.
The picture re-unites three actors from Oliver Stone's JFK (1991): Gary Oldman, Kevin Costner, and Tommy Lee Jones. All three stars are also film directors themselves.
The clean environment where Dr. Franks performs surgery on Jerico Stewart in the abandoned warehouse is a modular clean room and was designed and built by UK cleanroom manufacturer Connect 2 Cleanrooms. It was supplied with wider soft wall panels than is usual, to improve vision for the cameras.
The nick-name of Jan Strook (Michael Pitt) is "The Dutchman". The character is nick-named such because the opening scene was supposed to take place in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This was later changed to London in England when the budget did not allow for filming in Amsterdam, but the writers chose to keep the nickname anyway.
Star Ryan Reynolds appeared in a supporting role in this movie due to a break in his schedule after completing principal photography on the 20th Century Fox super-hero hit comedy movie Deadpool (2016).
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Gary Oldman was especially pleased to reunite with Kevin Costner - having previously starred with him and Tommy Lee Jones in Oliver Stone's award-winning JFK (1991) as well as to join forces with director Ariel Vromen for the first time. "I love Kevin both as an actor and as a director," said Oldman. "This role is unlike anything Kevin has played before and he certainly looks unlike we have ever seen him. It has been 20 years since Kevin, Tommy Lee Jones and myself worked together on JFK (1991), and now we are reunited on Criminal (2016) so it is quite thrilling." Oldman continued: "I thought Ariel's The Iceman (2012) was a terrific picture. He is smart, young, and he infuses the set with a great atmosphere."
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Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Antje Traue and Kevin Costner have all appeared in DC comics films: Reynolds as Hal Jordan/Green Lantern (Green Lantern (2011)), Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)), Jones as Two-Face (Batman Forever (1995)), Oldman as Commissioner Gordon (The Dark Knight Trilogy), Antje Traue as Faora-Ul, and Costner as Jonathan Kent (Man of Steel (2013) & Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice). Tommy Lee Jones and Ryan Reynolds have also appeared in Marvel comic films. Tommy Lee Jones played General Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011). Ryan Reynolds played Wade Wilson/Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and Deadpool (2016).
Gary Oldman and Michael Pitt have both played the character Mason Verger from Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels. Oldman in the film Hannibal (2001) and Pitt in the TV adaptation Hannibal (2013).
Co-screenwriter David Weisberg of the screenwriting team of himself and Douglas Cook, said: "We are very interested in the work of futurist Ray Kurzweil [Raymond Kurzweil]" referring to the computer scientist and inventor who has become renown for his bold predictions about how coming scientific revolutions and artificial intelligence will change humanity forever. Weisberg continued: "Kurzweil talks a lot about who and what we are as human beings. He has this concept that all we are is the summation of our memories. And those memories are nothing more than connections in the brain - so when find a way to fully map those connections it should be possible to reproduce them in another medium. That was part of our inspiration. But the medium we have chosen in this movie is not a computer. The medium is another human being, giving us the intriguing idea of 'memory transfer.' This technology has almost arrived, and we believe it is close enough to actually be possible."
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Star Kevin Costner gave equal credit to director Ariel Vromen. Costner said: "Ariel was so certain I was right to play Jerico. I kept looking in the mirror, questioning why me? I'm Kevin Costner, I'm a cowboy, I play baseball," he admitted. "But not for Ariel. That determination made me respond to him that much more as a director. Ariel brings something to Criminal that another director would not. There is an 'Ariel energy' that I'm sure will become his signature."
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Alice Eve plays an American agent stationed in London. In real life, she was actually born in London and now lives and works in America.
Ryan Reynolds and Scott Adkins both played the role of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
As Dr. Franks, Tommy Lee Jones tackled a character quite different from any he has played in his long career, which includes four Academy Award nominations including a Best Supporting Actor Oscar win for The Fugitive (1993). Often cast as tough, salt-of-the-earth men, Jones here plays a scientist caught up in the quest for a medical breakthrough without foreseeing the full consequences. "We were trying to break the norm in terms of casting," explained director Ariel Vromen. "We get so used to seeing the same heroes in the same hero roles, it can become suffocating. Having Tommy Lee play a vulnerable man is a fresh approach. Likewise, seeing a professional, scheming, energetic Gary Oldman is unusual. These are all extremely talented actors and I love that their characters are the opposite of what the audience will be expecting." Jones said of his character: "Dr. Franks is a more passive character and I did enjoy playing this role. It's an unusual part for me." He especially enjoyed collaborating with Kevin Costner as his patient and adversary Jerico Stewart. "Kevin is really playing two characters and, from my perspective, he's done a very good job," said Jones. "The story of a putting one person's brain in another person's body is an old narrative structure. But Kevin has an original approach. It really looks brand new when it is in his hands."
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Sound-stages at the world-renowned Pinewood Studios were used for Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds)'s basement, scenes inside a submarine U-boat, and one of production designer Jon Henson's favorite sets of all: Jerico Stewart's prison cell. "It was hard to make the prison cell work, as Jerico had to be chained to the ceiling with a neck brace," said Henson. "Kevin wanted to be able to swing around the room on this chain, but prison cells tend to be cramped environments. We decided he would be housed in a special high-security unit. We built the ceilings very low, which helped with the feeling of claustrophobia. We added a small window in the center of the ceiling, which gave us an interesting light sauce. And we also based the colorations and ironwork on existing US prison environments that I think all of that combined gives it some realism," said Henson.
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One of the most fascinating aspects of playing Jerico Stewart was figuring out his tricky relationship with Bill Pope [Ryan Reynolds]'s widow, Jill Pope, played by Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who unexpectedly lures Jerico and introduces him to feelings of love, loyalty and regret he's never encountered. Star Kevin Costner found an unusual rapport with her, with both characters deeply unnerved by one another yet drawn to each other. Costner commented: "Gal is an actress I was not aware of before this movie and I had a great experience with her. Her character brings femininity to a movie that is hard and cold in parts. On day one, we were thrown into the really rough scene where my character starts to assault her. I walked onto the set with a shaved head and nasty four-inch scar and had to bind her with tape, but Gal was so prepared and so generous. I think at first she is scared and revolted by Jerico but her curiosity gets the better of her and they find a connection."
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Filming locations in the movie spanned a wide range. These included: Millennium Mill at Royal Victoria Dock; a house in leafy Kingston Upon Thames, once the property of the King in Saxon times; privately-owned Blackbushe Airport; Croydon College; the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East; and RAF St. Athan Airport in Cardiff doubling for Dover Air Force Base, where the production utilized the100-ton Airbus A400 transport aircraft along with numerous C130 Hercules transport aircraft.
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Director Ariel Vromen commented on the casting of Kevin Costner saying he couldn't have imagined a better choice. Vromen said: "We're so used to Kevin playing lovable, charming characters. I thought it would be exciting to break him down and then reintroduce the charm. The challenge was could Kevin be that mean, angry, raw and violent - but Kevin was amazing. The duality that he projects is intense and he was able to reach all the different emotional levels of Jerico's journey. No one will have ever seen Kevin play a role like this before and that is a very exciting prospect for a director."
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Reunites Alice Eve and Tommy Lee Jones, who both appeared in Men in Black 3 (2012).
This will be the second time Ariel Vromen has directed a movie for Millennium Films. The first time was The Iceman (2012).
The science in the film might be fresh and evolving, but the idea hooks into timeless themes that have been fascinating humankind for ages - from who we are if our memories are obliterated to the dream of bringing the dead back to life - and that set the production team's imaginations reeling. They began to envision a character unlike any other, a criminal whose frontal lobes were so badly damaged they left him full of violent rage and devoid of feeling for others . . . until he suddenly gets his first chance at deep human emotions in the midst of an all-out run for his life. Co-screenwriter Douglas Cook said: "It's a kind of modern 'Frankenstein' concept. We were intrigued by the idea of what happens if you take a very damaged monster and actually start to humanize him through the effects of this memory transfer. What happens to a criminal when he starts having the feelings associated with a CIA agent's memories? For someone like Jerico, damaged at a young age . . . this is a revolution within him. For us the magic of this movie is allowing audiences to take a journey with this horrible man who uncovers a heart and a soul through the course of the story. One of the tragedies of Jerico [Stewart (Kevin Costner] is that before he had the memory transfer, he was oblivious. But now, he realizes what a monster he had been, and he doesn't want to be that 'thing' any more . . . yet he is aware that the operation he had is not forever and the monster will return. As we wrote, we focused on delivering huge action but also on the transformation of this character."
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First movie with both Gal Gadot and Kevin Costner, who both appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Five of the film's cast have appeared in Batman / Dark Knight movie or television filmed adaptations. These are: Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Robert Davi, and Kevin Costner: Gadot was Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016); Jones was Two-Face in Batman Forever (1995); Oldman was Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy; Costner was Jonathan Kent in both Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016); whilst Davi appeared in the television series Batman Beyond (1999). Several other actors have also appeared in various comic book movies: Alice Eve and Tommy Lee Jones were both in Men in Black 3 (2012) whilst Jones was also in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011); Ryan Reynolds was in Green Lantern (2011), Deadpool (2016), Blade: Trinity (2004), R.I.P.D. (2013), and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)); and Antje Traue was in Man of Steel (2013).
The movie's screenwriters, Douglas Cook and David Weisberg, embarked on intensive research, uncovering scientists who are exploring early stages of the surgery imposed on Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) in this picture. Already, scientists have accomplished gene transfers into animal brain neurons and started making comprehensive maps of an individual brain's neurons, gene expression states and electro-chemical signals, suggesting a brave new world of neurological manipulation lies on the horizon. Co-screenwriter David Weisberg said: "We did a lot of research and, in the build up to production, Ariel also spent a lot of time talking to some scientists in Japan who are pursuing this very research. This is something that is remarkably close to happening one day in real life."
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Israeli actress Gal Gadot was drawn to her character Jill's own transformation in the course of the story. "With Bill, Jill had settled for a convenient life, staying with a husband who she had trouble communicating with because it was comfortable. When her husband dies, Jill has no choice other than to fight for the truth," Gadot observed. Her character has to span both fear and inexplicable attraction in her relationship with Jerico, a process Gadot says star Kevin Costner helped tremendously. "Kevin brings his own charm to the hardcore character of Jerico. He is an incredible actor and by the end of the film, he goes through an amazing transformation." Gadot notes that part of the fun of her character is that she is in the dark about who Jerico is and what he wants, though the audience knows. "My character is suddenly confronted by a total stranger who knows every detail about her. She is mystified and the audience will be on the edge of their seats because there is so much going on at every level."
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Star Kevin Costner enjoyed the tense relationship his character has with Dr. Franks (Tommy Lee Jones), the neurosurgeon who forcibly alters Jerico's brain - leaving him angry, in peril but also capable of love and hope for the first time. "It's interesting to see Tommy take on a very different type of role in this movie. Dr. Franks has worked his whole life towards this moment when he can perform his groundbreaking brain surgery. He's a highly intelligent man who sees his dream being kicked around and ultimately threatened, so he needs to be very measured in the way he reacts and deals with Jerico," Costner observed.
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Director Ariel Vromen and co-screenwriter David Weisberg are cousins.
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Actor Ryan Reynolds worked for four days on this film.
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This will be the first movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and star Natalie Burn. The second movie is Mechanic: Resurrection (2016).
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Ryan Reynolds and Antje Traue were both in Woman in Gold (2015) but they had no scenes together.
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Actor Jordi Molla portrayed the role of power hungry tyrant, Heimdahl, who is after Jan Strook aka The Dutchman (Michael Pitt)'s ability to control the most powerful weaponry on earth to fulfill his own hunger to disrupt civilization. Molla remembered his first impressions of the film's script: "When my character appeared, I had a feeling he would be killed by page 10. I was so surprised when he kept going until the end! It's filled with interesting ideas including implanting memories into someone else's brain. Also, I really liked that the movie talks about the system, how the world works and the power structure. All that stuff appealed to me." Molla felt confident in director Ariel Vromen's approach. "He gave the actors a lot of freedom. For example, a point of reference for me was the writer Eckhart Tolle. I really wanted to bring some of his ideology to Heimdahl. He became my point of reference - and Ariel liked the idea but he also controlled what I was doing." Perhaps the greatest attraction for Molla was taking the coveted villain role, especially one who is not so black-and-white. "Audiences always love the bad guy - and as an actor, you are allowed to do things you are not allowed to do in reality, to explore your dark side," Molla observed. "Heimdahl is a pretty sophisticated villain; his strength is in how he sees the world because he wants to change it. He is a millionaire with a vision, so he is like a messiah. I have to say, I agree with many things Heimdahl says about governments, religion, banks, and about the brainwashing of corporations. He has some good points." Of his cast-mates, Molla concluded: "When you have Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner on the set, you learn every day and it is just a gift."
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This will be the first original movie Ariel Vromen has directed since Danika (2006).
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The mix of searing, high-octane action with the psychological intensity of a man trying to figure out if he is killer or savior was irresistible. Director Ariel Vromen pointed out: "This is a big thriller. We have massive action sequences with cars, helicopter and the huge Airbus 400, along with intense fight scenes and excitement. However, I believe today's audiences are also looking for something beyond thrilling explosions and car crashes. I felt the unique journey of Jerico's growth into a different person could be just as exciting as the non-stop action."
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When executive producer Avi Lerner, founder of Millennium Films, read the completed screenplay, he was riveted by the rocketing pace and suspense, by the story's rich array of spies, doctors, hackers and convicts, and especially by the mind-boggling implications for a future in which memories may no longer be private and personal possessions. Lerner said: "Immediately we liked the concept of a real-life, scientifically-based transfer between good and evil. And then you have all the elements of the espionage action. It's really a unique thriller and maybe even a little risky. Who could believe that very soon you will be able to take DNA in one brain and transfer it to another person? We can't say when it will happen but we know now that it is likely around the corner."
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Executive Producer Avi Lerner was gratified to give director Ariel Vromen a shot at his biggest, most star-studded production yet. Lerner said: "What I really like about Ariel is that he is very sensitive. This is an action-packed, fun movie but at the same time, he captures the emotions in every moment." Co-screenwriter Douglas Cook added: "We've had a lot of fun working with Ariel in shaping the script because he was so keyed into the characters. As a director, he has an artist's temperament, which is compelling on an action movie. On the one hand he totally delivers on the action and it is a really fun ride. At the same time, he gets into the idea of how memory shapes us - and that is so unusual for this kind of picture." The excitement for screenwriters Cook and David Weisberg mounted as the cast began to take shape. Weisberg summed-up: "Ariel brought together a fabulous cast. Kevin [Costner] has really embraced Jerico [Stewart] and takes this chance to show people a very new Kevin Costner. We were amazed by what he did."
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Leading the film's star-studded cast was award winning star actor and director Kevin Costner in one of his most challenging and unusual roles. As Jerico Stewart, Costner had to inhabit two minds at once - that of a hard-bitten, unfeeling criminal capable of anything and that of a patriotic spy and family man driven to be a good man - and find the ways they fuse in one man's reeling mind. Costner said of his reaction to the script: "I'm always attracted to projects when they are multi-layered and this story is very much that. Criminal (2016) is definitely an action movie but I responded most strongly to the complexity of my character, to all the confusion and turmoil that is scrambled up inside Jerico as he comes to terms with what he is experiencing." Costner continued: "When we meet Jerico, he is in prison and has spent most of his life there. An injury he suffered as a child rendered him a sociopath, so he has no understanding that the things he does are wrong. He just reacts, sometimes violently, sometimes humorously. He is so unpredictable that he is not even allowed near anyone in jail. But after his operation, Jericho starts going back and forth between who he was and who Bill Pope [Ryan Reynolds] is. He's very mixed-up and suddenly he's comprehending things and having sensations that he's never experienced before on every level. And that's what I had to figure out how to portray."
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Actor Gary Oldman said of his CIA Chief Quaker Wells character: "Quaker is one of those people who chases bad guys and is very good at his job, but he's become more and more cynical. He spends a great deal of his time chasing people and he is now chasing the computer genius known as The Dutchman, who has tapped into the U.S. Central Command and Control. The key to finding The Dutchman turns out to be Jerico; but the frustrating thing is that Quaker is always one step behind Jerico."
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The man who sets the events of Criminal (2016) in motion is Jan Strook, the hacker also known as The Dutchman, who has found an elusive back door into the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Taking the role was actor Michael Pitt. He described his character as the kind of person "who probably hacked into NASA when he was fourteen and then started working for various people. He's managed to break into the Emergency Command and Control system of the United States of America, but now he's trying to hand that power over and the Americans are supposed to be hiding him."
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The villain Heimdahl's partner in crime in the film is Elsa Mueller who was played by German actress Antje Traue, who was also known for her role playing a villain in the earlier Man of Steel (2013) movie. Traue said that director Ariel Vromen won her over for this film. "In our first conversation, I was really struck by the way Ariel spoke about Elsa; he left me feeling we could do something really interesting with the character," she recalled. "His process is fluid and he is both spontaneous and decisive on set. What I have been most impressed by is his ability to embrace the action, keeping up the pace with a huge amount of energy, then slowing things down for the drama. He loves actors and he allows you to take your time to get it right." As for her character Elsa, Traue said: "Elsa has taken a dark path. She was raised in challenging circumstances which drives her and she lives an alternative lifestyle. I think she has developed a very high tolerance for pain. There is an attraction to powerful men and that is what makes her follow Heimdahl. Elsa is good with weapons and has a very strong physicality. She is a strong woman who knows how to protect herself and those close to her." Traue relished the role of the bad girl: "It's a safe place to get your venom out and do all the things you are not supposed to in society," she commented. "Before I started this project, I played a very soft and introverted character. Elsa is the total opposite, which is liberating." The costumes of designer Jill Taylor helped further define the character. Traue said. "Costume fittings can be frustrating but with Jill it was different. The inspiration was Faye Dunaway in Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), elegant yet lethal. Jill created a look that isn't stereotypical, with flowing, soft, feminine fabrics. Then she changes into her combat clothes and amazing leather jacket. The costumes are a fun part of Elsa's journey."
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British actress Alice Eve was cast in the role of CIA Operative Marta Lynch. Eve started her preparation with research into the lonely lives of CIA agents. "It is an incredibly private and isolated existence," Eve observed. "You can't tell your family, friends or your lover what you have been doing. It's interesting to imagine what that does to you psychologically. It is probably quite harrowing, and I think the bond that is created through working together under those secretive circumstances is very intense." The bond between the actors on set was also very close, Eve noted. She especially enjoyed working with actor Gary Oldman who plays her CIA boss. Eve said: "Gary is such a dedicated and immersive actor. I very much like working with that kind of commitment because one can grow with the experience, which is really what it is all about."
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Playing Special Agent Esteban Ruiza was Amaury Nolasco. Nolasco was gratified to have the rare chance to work with simultaneously with Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones. "Working with these three Academy Award-winning and nominated actors was like going back to school," he mused. "All I did was watch and learn. Seeing their process, watching how they approached every scene and listening to their anecdotes in between takes was all priceless. Don't tell anyone, but I would have taken this role for free just to get the opportunity to work with these three giants." Most of all, Nolasco, whose character tracks Jerico Stewart through London, was moved by his story. "I found it intriguing the way Jerico gets another chance at life. This is a guy who was dealt bad cards. It was not a choice. Life was just unfair to him. But now he gets to see and live a different life. It may not be his, but it sure is better than the one he had," he concluded. "It is filled with emotions, feelings, and the ability to care and love. When he screams to Quaker Wells 'they matter to me' about Jill and Emma Pope, you see who he has become."
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Director Ariel Vromen had a very clear vision of Criminal (2016)'s London. This was one that veers off the beaten path. Vromen said: "I wanted to bring the city into the film in a way that it hasn't been seen before and film in places that even people from London never knew existed," the director explains. "I wanted it really gritty, raw and definitely less clean, so we avoided Knightsbridge and Kensington. We sought out lesser known areas and found incredibly striking locations."
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Ariel Vromen, the film's director, was especially excited to collaborate with cinematographer Dana Gonzales on this fast-moving production. Vromen said: "Dana immediately understood what I wanted. Not only did Dana get my vision but he created sets that could be lit quickly and in a way that I could shoot over 60 set-ups a day. You can only do that when your DP [director of photography] has really planned his dramatic lighting meticulously. He takes his job very seriously and he gets incredible results."
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Some of the action sequences were so complex in their choreography and crane-work that they took both hundreds of crew and hundreds of extras to pull them off. One of director Ariel Vromen's favorite sequences is when Jerico wanders through Central London's famed Borough Market, experiencing his first taste of freedom in years. "These moments weren't scripted because we wanted to see Jerico spontaneously thriving on his senses in an organic way," Vromen explained. "He's seeing everything in a new way, the sights and smells are associated with memories he doesn't recognize - and that's a very cool moment."
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Production Designer Jon Henson worked with a vast array of practical London locations. Henson's process was unusual because of the sci-fi science fiction aspects of the film. "In the early stages we put a lot of time into researching memory transfers, talking to many experts in the field," Henson recalled. "We had meetings with brain surgeons, neurologists and scientists studying memory."
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Creating the covert operating room where Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) is involuntarily implanted with Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds)'s memories was key. "This was for me the most difficult area of the film to get right," said production designer Jon Henson. "Each stage of the operation had to be carefully researched and planned. We really wanted to inject - no pun intended! - as much realism as possible. All of the operating equipment had to be made to fit Kevin comfortably; so we actually took 3D scans of Kevin's head and even 3D-printed a scale version of his skull in plastic. This was then used as a template for us to build the head braces and insertion tools. We had a brain surgeon advising us on set, as well as a neurosurgical nurse working with the set dressers and the actors." Henson also noted that the off-the-grid operating room is, by necessity, not in a hospital but in a secret warehouse location - which meant embarking on research into the creation of impromptu, sterile "clean rooms." "We found out that the military has these portable enclosures that allow them to perform operations in the field in very un-hygienic environments," Henson explains. "They are generally made from see through clear plastic so it works brilliantly on film." After scouring London, he found the perfect locale for the operating room: Harmsworth Quay's abandoned print works, now a ghostly industrial space. "We built a portable clean room to match military specs and placed it into the middle of this grungy old print works," he mused. "It works visually very well, because you have this very intriguing mix of a sterile operating room and dirty surroundings."
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Numerous sequences in the film were influenced by the capital city of London in England where the picture shot. "We really wanted to try things in the city that had not been done before," said production designer Jon Henson. "For example we came across Connaught Bridge, this great East End drawbridge that opens like a gate to allow boats through. It had never been filmed before which excited us, so we came up with the idea of a gunfight on the bridge, ending in a car driving righter into the river. It required very detailed planning and permissions. We built scale models of the bridge and had many logistical meetings. But it's one of the best action sequences in the film in my opinion and it resulted in some really atmospheric underwater work that wouldn't have existed otherwise."
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Intelligence agencies featured and referenced in the movie included the CIA, MI5, and the Russian FSB (The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation).
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About two weeks after actress Gal Gadot was cast as Jill Pope in this movie, Gadot landed the role of Wonder Woman in the DC Comics movies Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Wonder Woman (2017), Justice League (2017), and Justice League Part Two.
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Said star Kevin Costner of the film's look: "The film takes place in such a unique city. London is so visually exciting; you can't cross a bridge without having your breath taken away morning, noon or night. And it works for this story." Director Ariel Vromen said it works, but ultimately all the exterior grit and visual surprises become secondary to the explosive realizations happening inside Jerico. He concluded: "We have a lot of exciting beats in the film, but I think the real connection for the audience is this man who is learning to be human for the first time."
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Bringing the story full circle, final scene of the film was shot at Camber Sands on the Kent Coast. Production Designer Jon Henson summed up: "I think Ariel [ Ariel Vromen] managed to find a really good balance between action and emotional drama throughout the film. He always wanted it to be a human story, as did I."
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Final film and produced screenplay of co-screenwriter Douglas Cook. The movie is dedicated to him.
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The film's closing credits dedication reads: "In loving memory of our dear friend Douglas S. Cook [Douglas Cook]".
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Star Kevin Costner has starred in two recent 2014 spy films, they being 3 Days to Kill (2014) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014). In both of these earlier movies, Costner portrayed a U.S. Government secret agent. With Criminal (2016), Costner inhabits the memory of one. Costner has now starred in three espionage thrillers which all have debuted within three years.
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One of two espionage and/or red curtain suspense films that actor Gary Oldman has appeared in since his Academy Award Best Actor Oscar nomination for playing George Smiley in John le Carré's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) spy movie around five years earlier. The two feature films are Criminal (2016) and Child 44 (2015).
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Star and lead actor Kevin Costner originally had doubts about appearing in this movie due to his character and the film's subject matter and originally passed on the project.
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The moving bridge action car sequence was not originally scripted on a moving bridge but a standard stationery one. It was a concept conceived by director Ariel Vromen after he had to wait at an English airport before going to the production office and saw this bridge moving.
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Star Gary Oldman previously portrayed a similar espionage section chief character in Max Mannix's spy thriller Rain Fall (2009) which was made and released around seven years earlier.
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Douglas Cook previous screenplay before this movie was Double Jeopardy (1999), which also starred Tommy Lee Jones.
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Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner)'s credo was: "You hurt me. I hurt you worse".
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The name of the USA's emergency command and control system used by the US military was "Vigilant Shield".
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The character of Bill Pope (Ryan Reynolds) is only ever referred to by that name but the film reveals within some identity information that his actual name is William Pope and therefore not unsurprisingly the name "Bill" is actually a nick-name.
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In both Criminal (2016) and 3 Days to Kill (2014), both spy movies, star Kevin Costner is seen sporting a beard.
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The code numbers featured in the film were as follows: The pin code was 6969, the door code was 1631#, and the security code was Alpha 23-65.
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3 Days to Kill (2014) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) were the first espionage films starring actor Kevin Costner since No Way Out (1987) around twenty-seven years earlier. With Criminal (2016), Costner has added another spy movie to his filmography.
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One of three feature films first released in 2016, with an espionage theme, which star actor Tommy Lee Jones. The movies are Criminal (2016), Jason Bourne (2016), and Mechanic: Resurrection (2016).
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The one man who sees Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner) entirely as a tool to get what he desperately needs is the London-based CIA chief, Quaker Wells, who is portrayed by actor Gary Oldman, who garnered an Academy Award Best Actor nomination for playing legendary fictional spy George Smiley in the earlier espionage movie in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) which was made and released about five years earlier.
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Director Ariel Vromen watched Oliver Stone's JFK (1991) between casting and principal photography. Three of its actors star in Criminal (2016): Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones. All three stars are also film directors themselves.
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According to the DVD documentary Criminal Intent (2016), the movie's original script title of "Blank Slate" was not used allegedly because of IP (intellectual property) reasons.
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The movie's main setting in the earlier scripts was originally Washington D.C. in the USA but this was in the end changed to London in England, UK.
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The action scenes filmed at the London University could only be filmed outside of term time when students were not on campus.
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One of two spies movies both first released in 2016 starring actress Gal Gadot. The first was the espionage thriller Criminal (2016) and the second is the spy comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In this movie, Ryan Reynolds' character dies and his memories are transplanted to another person. In Self/less (2015), a old man was about to die and had a surgery to become younger person played by him. And in Deadpool (2016), his character is terminally ill and has a procedure to become immortal. In R.I.P.D. (2013), he dies and takes the form of another body.
Bringing the story full circle, the emotional final scene of the film was shot at Camber Sands on the Kent Coast where the dramatic sand dunes and pristine beach mirror Jerico Stewart (Kevin Costner)'s haunting experiences. Production Designer Jon Henson summed up: "I think Ariel [ Ariel Vromen] managed to find a really good balance between action and emotional drama throughout the film. He always wanted it to be a human story, as did I."
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The name of the famous author whose books on a shelf a bag of money lay behind in the London University library was George Orwell.
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Filming locations in the movie spanned a wide range. These included: Millennium Mill at Royal Victoria Dock, where the opening shoot-out between Bill Pope and Heimdahl's men unfolds; a house in leafy Kingston Upon Thames - once the property of the King in Saxon times - as the home of Bill Pope and Jill Pope, where Jerico Stewart is driven by memories; privately-owned Blackbushe Airport, where Heimdahl holds young Emma Pope at gun-point; Croydon College, which provided the hideout where Bill Pope stashes The Dutchman, the medical research lab and the CIA interrogation unit where Quaker Wells questions Jerico Stewart; the SOAS Library, one of the world's most important academic libraries for the study of Africa, Asia and the Middle East, where Jerico searches for a mysterious duffel bag; and RAF St. Athan Airport in Cardiff doubling for Dover Air Force Base, where the production utilized the100-ton Airbus A400 transport aircraft along with numerous C130 Hercules transport aircraft.
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While actor Michael Pitt admitted his computer savvy extends only so far as music and editing software, he realized the profound power hacking can bring to those who are talented at it. Pitt's character in the film is The Dutchman aka Jan Strook. "The Dutchman's skills allow him to navigate the Dark Web, the part of the web used by terrorists and criminals," explained Pitt. "He's found a place where he can control the world's nuclear weapons, but now he is in fear for his life. He is also in fear for the world. If this technology gets in the wrong hands, anyone could send nuclear weapons to any place in the world." He winds up pursued by the relentless and destructive Heimdahl, the main villain of the movie. "Heimdahl is crazy, completely nuts, an anarchist and that is why he wants this technology. Eventually, The Dutchman does a deal with the Russians purely because he doesn't feel he has anywhere else to go. However, the Dutchman has got a conscience to a certain degree. He knows that to let Heimdahl have this technology would be crazy. It would be end of the world as we know it."
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