THE UPSIDE is inspired by the 2011 box office hit French film Les
Producers Jason Blumenthal, Todd Black and Steve Tisch from Escape Artists were
thrilled at the
prospect of recreating the French classic, having seen it a few years back and
absolutely loving the
story. Says Black, "Our decision to remake Les Intouchables stemmed from a
desire to dive deeper
into the lives of the incredible real people the original film is based on. We
wanted to know more
about their stories and believed we could give audiences a fresh interpretation
that honored the
brilliance of the French version."
Though Director Neil Burger had immense admiration for the original, he was
communicating to Blumenthal, Black and Tisch that he felt an English language
bring the story to an entirely new level for American audiences. While Burger
was specific in
what he envisioned for the film, it was his ability to collaborate with the
producers as well as with
writer Jon Hartmere that eventually brought the script to fruition. "Neil is a
says Black. "He has a very firm vision of what he wants, but he also encourages
fosters a collaborative and open working environment that we believe made the
film even more
"The movie is about people bridging the divisions between us, which to me is
important theme," explains director Neil Burger. "I wanted the movie to feel
real and to be as
honest as possible. That goes with the depiction of Phillip and his disability.
To be as honest as we
could about that experience and ultimately be as respectful as we could about
that. And the same
with Kevin's character's experience. His background being from the South Bronx
and what he's
going through in his life. The movie is about respect and it's about compassion.
And I think that
had to be part of the filmmaking as well. To be as honest and respectful as
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