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"Ladder 49" Starts Production
Baltimore-March 26, 2003

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Principal photography is scheduled to begin in Baltimore, MD on Touchstone Pictures', Beacon Pictures', and Casey Silver Productions' action drama "Ladder 49," under the direction of Jay Russell from a screenplay by Lewis Colick. The film is produced by Casey Silver and stars Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett, and Morris Chestnut. Marty Ewing executive produces. Buena Vista Pictures distributes.

Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) is a fireman -- he saves lives for a living. But as rewarding as the work is, the physical toll, high risk, and low pay often make Jack wonder if he has done the right thing for his wife and children. Even the support and encouragement he receives from his mentor and chief (John Travolta) and the fellow firemen in his firehouse, Ladder 49, can't help Jack shake the feeling. But when Jack becomes trapped in the worst blaze of his career, it is now he who needs to be rescued. With the fire raging in every direction and his brothers-in-arms struggling to set him free, the question of whether Jack will live or die hangs in the balance.

Filming of "Ladder 49" will take place in and around Baltimore, commencing Wednesday, March 26th, 2003. "It's great to be back in Baltimore," says director Jay Russell. "We filmed 'Tuck Everlasting' here, and it was a tremendous experience. We're grateful for the outstanding and ongoing cooperation that Governor Bob Ehrlich, Jr., the Mayor of Baltimore Martin O'Malley, Fire Chief William Goodwin and the Film Commission's Jack Gerbes have provided," says director Jay Russell.

In Baltimore, the main filming location will be the Gorsuch Fire Station, which has been retired from use and refurbished for "Ladder 49." In addition, the men and women of Engine Station 8 have also provided support in the filmmakers' research.

Also starring in "Ladder 49" are Robert Patrick, Balthazar Getty, Jay Hernandez, Billy Burke, and Tim Guinee.

"Ladder 49" boasts an exceptional creative team that includes production designer Tony Burrough, art director Gregory Bolton, set decorator Maggie Martin, cinematographer James L. Carter, costume designer Renee Ehrlich Kalfus, editor Bud S. Smith, sound mixer Kirk Francis, special effects coordinator Larry Fioritto, stunt coordinator George Aguilar, visual effect supervisor Peter Donen, visual effects producer Henric Nieminen, and fire consultant Chief Mike Moritz.

SOURCE: Touchstone Pictures

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