News / Arts & Entertainment

Murder Conviction Leads to Jail Break in Thriller, 'The Next Three Days'

Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) and John Brennan (Russell Crowe) in THE NEXT THREE DAYS.
Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) and John Brennan (Russell Crowe) in THE NEXT THREE DAYS.

Multimedia

Audio
Alan Silverman



Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks co-star in the American version of a 2008 French thriller about a schoolteacher who devises a plan to break his wife out of prison. The original was Pour Elle released with the English title Anything For Her. The Hollywood adaptation, by Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis is called The Next Three Days.



Elizabeth Banks stars as Lara Brennan in THE NEXT THREE DAYS
Elizabeth Banks stars as Lara Brennan in THE NEXT THREE DAYS

College professor John is stunned and their young son is frantic when wife and mother Lara is dragged out in handcuffs, accused of murdering her boss. Convicted on circumstantial evidence, she is sentenced to life in prison. Refusing to believe that Lara did it, John pursues every possible appeal, but to no avail.

"Forget that Lara is your wife. Look at the evidence."
"I've seen the evidence. She is innocent."
"It doesn't matter what we believe; Lara is not getting out."


With only three days before her transfer from the local jail to a high security prison, John sets out to break Lara out and reunite their family …even if they have to be on the run.

"Why are you doing this?"
"Because we have no other choice."


Russell Crowe stars as John Brennan in THE NEXT THREE DAYS
Russell Crowe stars as John Brennan in THE NEXT THREE DAYS

Russell Crowe stars as the distraught and determined husband.

"He has obviously got an unshakeable belief in his wife," explains Crowe, "and that transfers into how he researches what he needs to research and then when he hits those hurdles and things don't work out properly, the mere fact that he keeps going …the transformation, if there is one, is in his persistence.

"One of the things I liked about the film is you see him go through the process of the research," Crowe adds,  "thinking that maybe some of this stuff isn't going to come in handy or useful or whatever. Then he does certain things and you realize he really thought this out. This plan is multi-layered and I think that is one of the things that energizes that last act. Also, there's that thing of stepping over a certain line and stepping into a sort of a darker side of life and not fully realizing that comes with a certain level of commitment."

Russell Crowe, left, and Director/Sreenwriter/Producer Paul Haggis, right, on the set of THE NEXT THREE DAYS
Russell Crowe, left, and Director/Sreenwriter/Producer Paul Haggis, right, on the set of THE NEXT THREE DAYS

An academic, John researches the jailbreak plan as he might for a scholarly thesis. Writer-director Paul Haggis says that parallels how he found details for the plot on the Internet.

"I do search around a lot and when we started to figure out how to do this movie that's what I did. I just went online and said 'he's a teacher, I'm a writer …how would I break my wife out of jail?' The first thing I do is go to the Internet and search; and everything you see in the movie I found in the first day. It's all there. You can learn how to do all of these things. It's amazing what you can find on the Internet," Haggis said.

"From the time you make the call, the police can have the center of the city sealed tight in 15 minutes. Within 35 minutes they can have cops at every toll booth on the interstate (highway)."
"What if you can't get out? Thirty-five minutes is not a lot of time."
"Then surrender, because they will shoot you on sight."


John Brennan (Russell Crowe), left, and Mouss (RZA), right, in THE NEXT THREE DAYS
John Brennan (Russell Crowe), left, and Mouss (RZA), right, in THE NEXT THREE DAYS

"We all think 'Russell Crowe - action, larger than life' because of Gladiator, Robin Hood and maybe two or three other films," notes the director, "but you look at the body of his work which is complex characters [and] he plays an 'everyman' so beautifully. That's why I knew when casting him that you throw those preconceptions out three minutes into the film and you go 'oh, he's never going to be able to pull this off.' That's why you cast Russell Crowe in the movie."

Haggis cast Elizabeth Banks as Lara.  As a mother in real life, Banks says she understands John's motivation is more than just a loving husband desperate to save his wife.

Luke (Ty Simpkins) and Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) in THE NEXT THREE DAYS
Luke (Ty Simpkins) and Lara Brennan (Elizabeth Banks) in THE NEXT THREE DAYS

"The stakes of the movie are so much higher. It is not just a love story," says Banks." It's a story about a man who has a motherless child and needs to figure out how he is going to get his son's mother back."

John never questions Lara's innocence; but filmmaker Haggis wants audience members to make up their own minds.

"It is about the nature of trust and belief and his character completely believes in her innocence," Haggis says. "We have to look at that and go 'I think he's a little mad' because everyone, including her own attorney, looks at the same evidence and says she is guilty. So it is up to the audience to decide."

"I don't care what you say or how you say it. I don't believe you did it and I never will. I know who you are and I promise you this will not be your life."


The Next Three Days also features Liam Neeson as a prison break expert John consults in his research. Rap star plays a shady character that helps him get what he needs for the plan. The film was shot on location in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

You May Like

Russian Help on Iran Less Promising on Syria, Ukraine

US-Russian collaboration to secure a deal on Iran's nuclear program has raised hopes of closer cooperation on other world issues More

Video US: Millions Exploited by Vast Fortunes of Human Trafficking

State Department's annual report calls exploitation 'modern slavery,' brutalizing girls, women into prostitution and forcing men, women and children into low-wage jobs across the globe More

US-Ethiopia Relationship Strong, But Complicated

While Ethiopia serves as a valuable security ally and a bulwark against terrorism - the U.S., is a major aid donor and economic stimulator More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backersi
X
Michael Bowman
July 26, 2015 8:44 PM
Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Underground Streetcar Station In Washington, DC, to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Obama Encourages Kenya to Fix Cultures of Corruption, Discrimination

President Barack Obama bid farewell to Kenya Sunday with a major speech at as stadium outside the capital Nairobi where he called on Kenyans to change the cultures of corruption and discrimination that can hold society back. VOA East Africa Correspondent Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video California Towns Welcome Special Olympics Athletes

Cities and towns in Southern California are greeting thousands of athletes who are arriving for Special Olympics, a competition for people with intellectual disabilities. The games will run from July 25th through August 2nd. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, where athletes from Namibia, Singapore and Tanzania got a rousing welcome from local residents.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.
Video

Video Hoverbike Flying Toward Reality

Another long-standing dream of many technological inventors is quickly approaching reality: U.S.- and British-based firms are cooperating in the development of an individual flying platform they call a hoverbike. They say it may revolutionize the concept of flying, including in the U.S. military. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video As Japan Expands Defense Role, Protests Follow

The Japanese government is moving forward with a controversial security bill that would authorize the military to fight abroad for the first time since World War II. Leaders say it is critical to defend against rising threats from China and North Korea. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Japan on the big changes ahead, and the opposition they are drawing.
Video

Video Rise in HIV Infections Worries Ugandan Officials

Uganda had the third-highest number of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa last year, reversing its reputation for successfully tackling the epidemic in the 1990s. Although the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS is still half of what it was in the 1980s, the increase in new infections is worrying to health workers. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video Replacing Poppies with Coffee in Myanmar

The remote mountains of Myanmar’s Shan state are home to the second-largest opium-producing region in the world. After a drop during the 2000s, production surged in the past eight years to feed an increasing demand for heroin in China. But farmers are now making less on the crop, and the U.N. is hoping many will make the switch to growing coffee. Daniel de Carteret reports for VOA from Taunggyi.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”