The Big Empty - Press Notes

Last Update: 13 November 2003
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Long Synopsis

JOHN PERSON (Jon Favreau) is a 30-something struggling actor living alone and facing eviction from his unfurnished apartment in Hollywood. He waits by the phone for a casting director or his agent to call with his big break. While trying to keep his dream alive, he works part-time as a messenger delivering scripts he'll never star in to producers he'll never work for. John's future couldn't look bleaker. Not even a small loan offer from his pretty neighbor GRACE (Joey Lauren Adams) can stem the tide of John's mounting debts.

One evening, John's weird neighbor NEELY (Bud Cort) visits him with an offer. If John agrees to courier a blue suitcase up to the desert truck stop of Baker, California and deliver it to a trucker named COWBOY (Sean Bean), he will be paid the $27,000 he needs to erase his debt. John must leave immediately, never open the suitcase, and guard it with his life. He will be given a loaded gun, should the safety of the suitcase ever become compromised. Skeptical, John declines the offer until Neely persuades him by producing a dossier filled with intimate details of John's life that no one could possibly know. Something very strange is going on, but the desperate actor agrees to the deal.

Halfway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, John finds Baker, California - gateway to Death Valley. There, in the middle of nowhere, at a seedy motel in the shadow of The World's Largest Thermometer, he will simply deliver the locked suitcase to Cowboy, be paid in cold, hard cash, and move on with his life, debt-free.

Upon John's arrival at the Royal Hawaiian motel, night clerk ELRON (Jon Gries) tells him that he's already missed the mysterious and dangerous-looking Cowboy. John must check into the motel and wait until Cowboy returns. It could be days.

Later, at the local watering hole, STELLA (Daryl Hannah) updates John about Cowboy's quick visit and a few of the other mishaps around town. It isn't long before John is reluctantly mixed up with young local vixen RUTHIE (Rachael Leigh Cook), her hotheaded, jealous boyfriend RANDY (Adam Beach) and paranoid, alien-obsessed locals. When John returns to the motel, he finds a bowling bag left for him by Cowboy. This too is locked with instructions never to open it.

The next day, Neely's headless body turns up back home. FBI Special Agent BANKS (Kelsey Grammer) arrives in Baker to question John about the murder and decapitation of his strange neighbor and hundreds of people recently gone missing. John realizes that he might be mixed up in something much more dangerous and bizarre than he ever imagined.

Later that dark night, Cowboy makes a violent reappearance.John now finds himself caught somewhere between the surreal, the supernatural and the just plain weird. As the showdown begins, John is faced with a choice that could change his life forever. Has this whole town gone mad? Or are the half-cocked, paranoid locals, who John dismissed as crazy, the only sane things about this strange parallel universe known as The Big Empty?

Press Notes Main Page
Soundtrack Info 
About the Production
Locking in the Actors
Let's Put Baker on the Map!
Subliminally Speaking
About the Cast
- Jon Favreau
- Rachael Leigh Cook
- Kelsey Grammer
- Sean Bean
- Daryl Hannah
- Adam Beach
- Joey Lauren Adams
- Melora Walters
- Jon Gries
- Bud Cort
- Gary Farmer
- Brent Briscoe
 About the Filmmakers
- Steve Anderson (Director)
- Doug Mankoff (Producer)
- Gregg L. Daniel (Producer)
- Andrew Spaulding (Producer)
- Keith Resnick (Producer)
- Steve Bickel (Executive Producer)
- Jeffrey Kramer (Executive Producer)
- Steven G. Kaplan (Executive Producer)
- Peter Wetherell (Executive Producer)
- Jory Weitz (Casting Director)
- Scott Scalise (Film Editor)
- Aaron Osborne (Production Designer)
- Chris Manley (Director of Photography)
- Brian Tyler (Music Composer)
- Dondi Bastone (Music Supervisor)
- Kristin M. Burke (Costume Designer)


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