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The Terminal - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

HAVING announced that he and Tom Cruise are possibly to reunite for a remake of The War of the Worlds, it is perhaps relevant to check out what’s in the more immediate future for Steven Spielberg.

The film in question is The Terminal, a romantic comedy, based on a true story, which unites Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones on-screen for the first time.

Due for release in America as part of Summer’s blockbuster season, The Terminal tells the story of Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks), a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe, whose homeland erupts in a fiery coup while he is in the air en route to America.

Stranded at Kennedy Airport, with a passport from nowhere, he is unauthorised to actually enter the United States and must improvise his days and nights in the terminal’s international transit lounge until the war at home is over.

As the weeks and months stretch on, however, Viktor finds the compressed universe of the terminal to be a richly complex world of absurdity, generosity, ambition, amusement, status, serendipity and even romance with a beautiful flight attendant, named Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

But Viktor has long worn out his welcome with airport official, Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci), who considers him a bureaucratic glitch, a problem he cannot control but wants desperately to erase.

The most interesting aspect of the film, however, is its grounding in reality, as according to a report in the New York Times, the urban legend surrounding its inspiration is true.

Surrounded by a mountain of his possessions near the Paris Bye Bye lounge at Terminal 1 in Charles de Gaulle International Airport, Merhan Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian exile, is still there after 15 years - and has become a celebrity homeless person.

Filming began on Spielberg’s take on the legend on October 1, 2003, in Los Angeles, and the majority of the movie's interiors have been shot on a two-and-a-half story recreation of a full-size operating terminal, which has been constructed in an enormous hanger located at Palmdale's famed ‘aerospace alley’, to the north of the city.

The support cast includes Chi McBride (of TV's Boston Public), Diego Luna (Y Tu Mama, Tambien/Open Range), Barry ‘Shabaka’ Henley (Ali), Kumar Pallana (The Royal Tenenbaums), Eddie Jones (Seabiscuit) and Jude Ciccolella (Down With Love).

Judging by Spielberg’s form of late, following Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report (his Cruise collaboration), The Terminal should be the date movie of the Summer, as well as another enjoyable light production from the blockbuster king.

Hanks, of course, will be working with Spielberg for the first time since their Oscar-winning collaborations on Saving Private Ryan and the TV mini-series, Band of Brothers.

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