Pinkett, Conrad join Propaganda’s ‘Force’

Jada Pinkett has joined the cast of Propaganda Films’ “Force Majeure,” which begins shooting Saturday in New York.

Based on the 1990 French movie of the same name, the film stars Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche and Joaquin Phoenix. In the director’s chair is Joseph Ruben, who helmed “Sleeping with the Enemy” and “The Good Son.”

Casting was completed this week with the announcement of Pinkett’s participation, as well as that of David Conrad, who played Leo in “Relativity” and appeared in the film “Snow White in the Black Forest.” Pinkett was in “The Nutty Professor” and “Set It Off” and appears in “Scream II,” due next month, and “Woo,” scheduled for release on April 1, 1998.

Exec producers are Ezra Swerdlow and David Arnold, with Alain Bernheim and Steve Golin producing. Screenplay, penned by Bruce Robinson and Wesley Strick, focuses on the tribulations in Malaysia of a young man (Phoenix) accused of drug trafficking. He is sentenced to death, but can win a reprieve if his two friends (Vaughn and Conrad), who had been traveling with him, return to Malaysia to share the blame. Heche plays an attorney who must persuade the two buddies to do the right thing.

In Malaysia, where death sentences for drug trafficking are a fact of life, government officials forbade filming “Force Majeure.” Instead, locations have been arranged in Thailand and Macao.

Polygram Films, the distribution arm of Polygram Filmed Entertainment, will release the film in the U.S., with Polygram Film Intl. handling distribution overseas.

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