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'THE PELICAN BRIEF,' STARRING JULIA ROBERTS, DENZEL WASHINGTON, BEGINS FILMING IN NEW ORLEANS UNDER ALAN PAKULA'S DIRECTION

 BURBANK, Calif., May 21 /PRNewswire/ -- "The Pelican Brief," starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington and directed by Alan J. Pakula, will begin principal photography in New Orleans on May 21, 1993, for release by Warner Bros. The announcement was made today by Bruce Berman, president of Worldwide Production for Warner Bros. Pictures.
 Produced by Pakula and Pieter Jan Brugge, "The Pelican Brief" has a screenplay by Pakula, based on the best-selling novel by John Grisham. The thriller will be filming for four weeks in New Orleans and for 10 weeks in Washington D.C. It will also shoot in New York.
 The film follows Darby Shaw, a New Orleans law student, who finds herself embroiled in a dangerous and complex plot extending to the highest levels of government when she writes a speculative legal brief concerning the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. When the murderous net begins to close in on her, the young woman embarks on a desperate flight for her life, with a Washington investigative reporter as her only confidant and ally.
 The film also stars Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, Robert Culp, James B. Sikking, William Atherton, Stanley Tucci and John Lithgow, with a special appearance by Hume Cronyn.
 Roberts first gained widespread attention and critical acclaim with her co-starring role in the film "Mystic Pizza." Director Herbert Ross spotted her in that film and cast Roberts in the coveted role of Shelby Eatenton in "Steel Magnolias," leading to an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Roberts' next film, "Pretty Woman," was a box-office smash and brought her a second Academy Award nomination. This was followed by a series of successful films such as "Flatliners," "Sleeping With the Enemy," "Dying Young" and "Hook."
 Academy Award-winning actor Washington's acclaimed film portrayals include the title role in "Malcolm X," "Cry Freedom," "Mo' Better Blues," "A Soldier's Story," and his Oscar-winning role (for Best Supporting Actor) in "Glory." He is currently featured as Don Pedro in Kenneth Branagh's screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" and will be seen in Jonathan Demme's upcoming "Philadelphia."
 Pakula's suspense thrillers have explored the deadly machinations and intense paranoia in such worlds as criminal law, politics and journalism. His numerous directorial credits include "Presumed Innocent," "All the President's Men," "Klute," "The Parallax View" and "The Sterile Cuckoo." He was nominated for an Academy Award for his first screenplay, an adaptation of William Styron's novel "Sophie's Choice," a film he also directed. Pakula was also nominated for an Academy Award for directing "All the President's Men" and won the New York Film Critics Award and the National Board of Review Award for his work on that film. Among his other film credits are "Comes A Horseman," "Starting Over," "Rollover" and most recently, "Consenting Adults."
 Producer Brugge co-produced "Glory," which won three Academy Awards. He executive produced the upcoming Carl Reiner comedy "Triple Indemnity," as well as "The Vanishing." He also previously teamed with Pakula as executive producer of "Consenting Adults."
 Behind-the-scenes talent includes casting director Alixe Gordin, director of photography Stephen Goldblatt, production designer Philip Rosenberg, costumer designer Albert Wolsky and editor Tom Rolf.
 -0- 5/21/93
 /CONTACT: Warner Bros. Publicity, 818-954-6217


CO: Warner Bros. ST: California IN: ENT SU:

JB-MS -- LA020 -- 1245 05/21/93 14:01 EDT
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Date:May 21, 1993
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