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Life and Death Corporate Espionage in 'Paranoia'

The two most powerful tech billionaires in the world will stop at nothing to destroy each other, in Relativity Media's new thriller “Paranoia”. A bright, young rising star is seduced by unlimited wealth and power and becomes trapped in the middle of the twists and turns of the life-and-death game of corporate espionage. “Paranoia” stars Liam Hemsworth, Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman. “Paranoia” began with Joseph Finder’s New York Times best-selling techno-thriller novel of the same name. The book hit upon what would soon become some of the biggest questions of our times: Has corporate power grown out of control? Where is the line between mining digital data and dangerous, invasive surveillance? What happens when CEOs operate outside the law?

Finder encountered a world where multi-nationals now have more riches and wield more political influence than entire nations. “As I was researching the novel, I started thinking what would happen if a corporation needed a piece of transformational technology that they knew their competitor had? How far would they go to get it? That’s how I came up with Adam Cassidy...In some ways, he’s the classic guy who is forced into being a spy. But his story also takes on the whole idea of identity, about people forming relationships that are based on falsehoods and impersonation, about conscience and about doing the right thing – all of which is happening underneath the fun and suspense”.

The filmmakers started talking about the story not only in terms of an edge-of-your-seat corporate thriller pitting two ferociously competitive billionaires against each other but also as a young man’s search for identity in an age when identity is completely changeable from instant to instant, when technology leaves us feeling watched even in our most personal moments, and when the future couldn’t be more uncertain. They saw Adam Cassidy (Liam Hemsworth) on the brink not only of the most extreme personal danger but also of a cultural shift. Director Robert Luketic, too, was excited by this idea – and by the suspense of the story. “It’s a very timely tale that speaks to this new generation of Millennials who feel they’ve had their dreams stolen away – but I also love that it’s just so entertaining. It has a lot of thrills and it has characters who are great fun to watch.”The director was especially intrigued by the challenge of mirroring the title and capturing the paranoia of modern life, in which cameras are in every pocket, our daily data is being analyzed by companies and government agencies, all countered by the fact that what was once private info is now displayed on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.“Adam is in the world where we all live now – a world that is all about data mining, and where everyone leaves all kinds of trails they don’t even realize they are leaving,” Luketic notes. “Never before in history have we had so much of ourselves so accessible to the world. That was a lot of the inspiration for what we present on the screen. Ultimately, nowhere is safe for Adam because there is nowhere he can hide out of view. He is being surveyed from cameras hidden in walls and people are tracking him through his phone. It goes to the question of whether there’s a danger to having all this information about ourselves out there for the taking.”

Opening across the Philippines on Oct. 2, “Paranoia” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

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