- Title: UNITED STATES: "CONGO" PREMIERES IN LOS ANGELES
- Date: 22nd June 1995
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA (JUNE, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) (SOUNDBITE ENGLISH) DIRECTOR FRANK MARSHALL SAYING HE WANTED THE BEST PEOPLE FOR THE ROLES BECAUSE IT WAS AN ENSEMBLE PIECE. IF THEY HAD JUST ONE STAR IT WOULD UNBALANCE THINGS
- Reuters ID: LVA9JAWIO3NJ16PON7DA5QQW873V
- Location: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:22
- Topics: Entertainment
- Story Text: It's the latest action-adventure movie from Hollywood. But you probably won't recognise anyone involved except the author - Michael Crichton.
The hugely-successful novelist responsible for "Jurassic Park," "Disclosure" and "Rising Sun" also wrote "Congo", which has just premiered in Los Angeles.
Set in the jungles of Africa, Congo was actually filmed at the base of a live volcano in Costa Rica.
It tells the story of a supervisor for a communications company who joins forces with a primatologist to return a tame gorilla to the wild. Adding to the plot is an expedition to a fabled lost city, where the team finds diamond mine protected by armed apes.
Director Frank Marshall says he wanted an ensemble cast, something a big name star would have detracted from. With up to five characters in each shot, a star would have hogged the limelight.
Instead Marshall cast relative unknowns Laura Linney and Dylan Walsh in the lead roles as supervisor Karen Ross and primatologist Monroe Kelly. Ernie Hudson plays expedition member Peter Elliot.
The gorillas were brought to life by special effects expert Stan Winston. Intricate gorilla suits were supplemented by electronically-controlled facial movements.
The film's location shooting was delayed by the volcano, and complicated by huge mosquitos.
Hudson says the cast smothered themselves in insect repellant, but paid the price for applying it to rather sensitive areas.
Linney described the making of the film as a huge adventure.
Congo's climactic earthquake sequence was shot using eight cameras, one of which was crushed in the process, rendering its film unuseable.
Money raised at the premiere was donated to organisations helping protect gorillas worldwide.
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- Embargoed:7th July 1995 13:00
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