After the phenomenal international success of their trio of films, Shallow Grave, Trainspotting and A Life Less Ordinary, the directing, producing and scriptwriting team of Danny Boyle, Andrew Macdonald and John Hodge, decided to turn their attention to somewhere further afield - to paradise. Or rather, paradise lost. Alex Garland's novel, about a young man travelling in Thailand who finds his way to a beach-side utopia only to become the catalyst for its destruction, was the publishing phenomenon of 1996.
"We were looking for a project that had a truly international feel to it and Garland's book fit this criteria perfectly," says Macdonald.
The combination of the hip film-makers' du jour with the must-read of the late 1990s proved irresistible to both 20th Century Fox, which agreed to back the film, and one of the world's biggest film stars, Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio signed to play the lead in what would be his first film since Titanic.
"I wanted my next film to be something I felt strongly about and The Beach and the character of Richard were the first things I felt some kind of connection with," says DiCaprio. "Because Richard has been saturated with digital information he's never had any need to feel real emotion. So he sets off on a journey to Thailand to find something real in life. Richard is constantly looking for a much deeper sensation."
The Beach was shot in Thailand at the beginning of 1999 and premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in February this year. It has taken approximately $140m worldwide to date.
- Type of film
- Danny Boyle
- John Hodge, based on the book by Alex Garland
- Director of Photography
- Darius Khondji
- Angelo Badalamenti.
- Principal Cast
- Leonardo DiCaprio, Virginie Ledoyen, Guillaume Canet, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle