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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."