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In November 2006, producer Nick Wechsler used independent financing to acquire film rights to adapt the 2006 novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy. When Wechsler had watched John Hillcoat's 2005 film The Proposition after reading The Road, the producer decided to pursue Hillcoat to direct the film adaptation.

Wechsler described Hillcoat's style: "There was something beautiful in the way John captured the stark primitive humanity of the West in that movie." In April 2007, Joe Penhall was hired to script the adapted screenplay.

Wechsler and his fellow producers Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz planned to have a script and an actor cast to portray the father before pursuing a distributor for the film.

By the following November, actor Viggo Mortensen had entered negotiations with the filmmakers to portray the father, though he was occupied with filming Appaloosa in New Mexico. The film had a budget of USD 20 million.

Filming began in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area in late February 2008, continuing for eight weeks before moving on to northwestern Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Oregon. Hillcoat preferred to shoot in real locations, saying "We didn't want to go the CGI world."

Pennsylvania, where most of the filming took place, was chosen for its tax breaks and its abundance of locations that looked abandoned or decayed: coalfields, dunes, and run-down parts of Pittsburgh.

Filming was also done at the 1892 amusement resort (Conneaut Lake Park) after one of the park's buildings (the Dreamland Ballroom) was destroyed in a fire in February 2008. The beaches of Presque Isle State Park in Erie, Pennsylvania were also used.

Hillcoat also said of using Pittsburgh as a practical location, "It's a beautiful place in fall with the colors changing, but in winter, it can be very bleak. There are city blocks that are abandoned. The woods can be brutal."

Filmmakers also shot scenes in parts of New Orleans that had been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina and on Mount St. Helens in Washington. The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, a stretch of abandoned roadway between Hustontown and Breezewood, Pennsylvania, was used for much of the production.

Hillcoat sought to make the film faithful to the spirit of the book, creating "a world in severe trauma," although the circumstances of the apocalyptic event are never explained.

Hillcoat said "That's what makes it more realistic, then it immediately becomes about survival and how you get through each day as opposed to what actually happened." Filmmakers took advantage of days with bad weather to portray the post-apocalyptic environment.

Mark Forker, the director of special effects for the film, sought to make the landscape convincing, handling sky replacement and digitally removing greenery from scenes.

The Road was originally scheduled to be released in November 2008. It was pushed back to be released in December, and then pushed back a second time to sometime in 2009.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio decided that the film would benefit from a longer post-production process and a less crowded release calendar. A new release date was scheduled for October 16, 2009.

However, according to reports from Screen Rant and /Film, the Weinsteins had decided at the last minute to delay the film to November 25, 2009 as a possible move to make the film more of an Oscar contender, bumping their previous film set for that date, Rob Marshall's adaptation of the musical Nine (which was also predicted to be a huge awards contender) into December 2009.

The film had its world premiere in September 2009 at the Venice International Film Festival where it was in competition for the Golden Lion and Silver Lion prizes, and then at the Telluride Film Festival. It also screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

The DVD and Blu-ray versions were released on May 17, 2010, in the UK, and May 25, 2010, in the United States.

The film currently holds a 75% Fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, based on 199 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. It also has a score of 64/100 on Metacritic, based on 33 reviews, indicating generally positive reviews from critics.

A. O. Scott from At the Movies stated that while the film "...hits a few tinny, sentimental notes", he "...admires the craft and conviction of this film, and [he] was impressed enough by the look and the performances to recommend that you see it."

Peter Travers from Rolling Stone calls the film a "...haunting portrait of America as no country for old men or young..." He states that "... Hillcoat -- through the artistry of Mortensen and Smit-McPhee -- carries the fire of our shared humanity and lets it burn bright and true."

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com

The Road 2009 - Plot & Screenshots

The movie opens in a flash back where we see the Man (Viggo Mortensen) in bed with his wife (Charlize Theron). The man wakes up to a sound and a glow coming from outside the window of their room. He walks to the window and looks out. In a hurry, he then runs into the bathroom where he begins to fill the sink and bathtub. His wife wakes up and comes into the bathroom and asks why he is taking a shower. He says, Im not taking a shower.

She then looks outside to see what he saw. The scene then cuts to the present where the man is walking with his son down a snow-covered road. As the Man and his son are walking, we hear a narration by the Man explaining that he does not keep track of time anymore. He further explains (in a very vague way) that a few years ago at 1:17, there was a bright flash in the sky followed by rumbling sounds and that was when time stopped.

As the Man and his son walk and search abandoned cars, the narration continues. He then says that the sun has not come out for a long time; the weather is getting colder and greyer every day. He then says the things he fears the most are cannibals and hunger. They are walking to the coast and heading south to see if things are warmer and better there.

The Man and his son stop at a car in the road and make camp. While they sit in the car talking, we see that the Man has a pistol with 2 rounds in it and a shopping cart full of things they have collected. The two talk about the boys mother and we understand that she has died. The Man also explains to the son how to kill himself the right way with the gun, and the reason there are 2 bullets left are for one for each of them.

The two fall asleep and the Man has a dream/flashback. In this flashback, we see the Man and his wife talking about killing themselves like the other families in the area. She says that if they are caught, they will be raped, killed and eaten. He says that she needs to be strong and stop talking about that. She says that they only have 2 bullets left and that they should use them now. The Man gets up to go to the kitchen in anger/sadness.

The wife then looks down and we see that her water has broken and she is pregnant. She then starts to lose control and wants to kill herself before she has the child because she does not want to raise a child in this world. The Man talks her out of it and we see him helping her through labor. Right then the flashback ends as the man wakes up suddenly to the sound of a truck in the distance.

He wakes his son and they run out of the truck they were sleeping in into the nearby woods, leaving the cart. They jump and hide in a ditch and leave the cart by the truck they were sleeping in. Through a nearby tunnel, a truck full of men drives down the road and stops by the Mans cart. The men get off of the truck and start looking through the nearby woods for them. One stranger walks very close to the hiding Man and his son, and stops to urinate on a tree.

He then sees the man and the son hiding and tells them to come to the truck because they have food. The Man is pointing the gun at the stranger and tells him to not look back at the people he came with and to come with them or he would shoot him in the head. He refuses and calls the Man a coward. Just then the truck starts and startles the Man and his son. The stranger then jumps down and grabs the son at knifepoint.

The Man then shoots the stranger in the head, grabs his son and runs into the woods hiding over night avoiding the group who were looking for them. The next morning, the Man and his son go back for the cart. Almost all of their stuff is gone, and as they are cleaning up the little that is left, we see a bloody pile of flesh on the ground and we get the idea that the men ate the stranger who was just shot.

The Man and his son continue to walk. They stop and talk about different things. The son asks if they are still the good guys. The Man explains that they are always going to be the good guys, and they are carrying the fire inside together. They stop at another truck to sleep, which is parked on top of a very high bridge. The Man and his son go to sleep. In the morning, the Man wakes up and walks to the edge of the bridge where he takes a wallet out of his jacket with a picture of his wife in it.

He throws it over the bridge. We then get another flashback of the Man and his wife together with the son who is older now (almost as old as he is in the present). The wife says she is going to leave and the man begs her to stay another night. She blames the man for not letting her die earlier, refuses and walks outside without saying goodbye to the son. She takes off her jacket and outer clothing and walks off into the dark to die.

The flashback is over and the Man is still at the edge of the bridge. He takes off his wedding ring and slides it to the edge of the bridge without pushing it over the side, and leaves it. The two walk on and see a large house in the distance. After looking at it through binoculars, they decide to go into the home. In the main room, there is a pile of shoes about 5 feet high. The Man is very confused and goes into the kitchen where he sees a large door in the floor, which is locked.

He pries the lock open and the two go down into the dark room. They hear something in the darkness and when they get close, a naked man comes into the light. The Man and she son get scared and try to leave. As they attempt to leave, the see an entire group of malnourished people sitting scared and naked in the dark. They franticly try to leave as another naked man grabs the Man and he has to fight them off. They get out of the cellar and push a table over the door.

The son screams and out the window, we see another group of people walking to the home with weapons. We also see large vats with metal bloody hooks over them and we can tell that they are used for eating the people in the locked cellar. The Man and his son run upstairs and hide in a bathroom. The Man hears a woman say she is going upstairs to change. The Man gets his gun and puts it to his sons head and gets ready to shoot him to protect him from the cannibals downstairs.

As the woman makes her way upstairs, the naked people in the cellar break the door open and a large commotion breaks out. In the commotion, the Man and his son run out and quickly hide while the people in the home try to find them. They stay for a while and in the middle of the night they leave. As they are walking, they find the neighborhood where the Man grew up and his old home. He walks through the home remembering the things of his past.

The son wants to wait outside. While he is sitting on the porch, the son sees a boy in a room across the street. He runs to see them and starts chasing a boy about his age. The Man then comes running after him and will not let him go any further. The Man says he imagined the boy and they leave. They come across another home on the road. They go through the home and see a man who died in his bed. They take a blanket and walk about. In the yard of this home is a pile of rubble.

They look through the rubble and find a steel hatch which the Man pries open. They go into the hatch, which turns out, to be a bomb shelter stocked full of food. They eat; get a shave, the shower and make home in the new shelter. After 2 nights in the shelter, the Man wakes up coughing up some blood. They hear something from above the shelter and they both say it is a dog. The Man says they must leave because with a dog is people.


Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Main

1916 to 1964

1965 to 1981

1995 to 1998

2004 to 2008

2009 to 2010

2011 to Present

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