AL PACINO STARS IN A FILM BY BARRY LEVINSON, HBO FILMS’ YOU DON’T KNOW JACK, SUSAN SARANDON, JOHN GOODMAN, DANNY HUSTON, BRENDA VACCARO ALSO STAR; DEBUTS SPRING 2010An HBO Films Presentation Of A Levinson/Fontana Production In Association With Bee Holder Productions And Cine Mosaic Productions; Written By Adam Mazer; Executive Producers, Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Steve Lee Jones, Glenn Rigberg; Producer, Scott Ferguson
In 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian (aka Dr. Death) astonished the world as he took the end of life debate head on with his “Mercy Machine” and performed his first assisted suicide. Starring Oscar(R) winner Al Pacino (Emmy(R) winner for HBO’s “Angels in America”) in a film by Oscar(R) winner Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”), HBO Films’ YOU DON’T KNOW JACK follows Kevorkian as he builds his infamous Mercitron and starts a media frenzy with his epic legal battles defending a patient’s right to die. The film’s additional cast includes: Oscar(R) winner Susan Sarandon (Emmy(R) nominated for HBO’s “Bernard and Doris”), Emmy(R) winner John Goodman (“The Big Lebowski”), Danny Huston (HBO’s “John Adams”), Brenda Vaccaro (“Once Is Not Enough”). YOU DON’T KNOW JACK is scheduled to debut on HBO in spring 2010.
An HBO Films Presentation of a Levinson/Fontana Production in Association with Bee Holder Productions and Cine Mosaic Productions; written by Adam Mazer; executive producers, Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana, Lydia Dean Pilcher, Steve Lee Jones, and Glenn Rigberg; producer Scott Ferguson.
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK begins as 61-year-old former pathologist Dr. Jack Kevorkian (Al Pacino) launches his crusade to provide what he considers to be a humane and dignified option for the terminally ill assisted suicide. Aided by his loyal friend Neal Nicol (John Goodman) and his older sister Margo Janus (Brenda Vaccaro), Kevorkian begins offering his “death counseling” services to a grateful and burgeoning clientele. He earns the support of Hemlock Society activist Janet Good (Susan Sarandon) and the wrath the county prosecutor’s office.
Talented and flamboyant attorney Geoffrey Fieger (Danny Huston) agrees to represent Kevorkian in court at no charge, and Jack is repeatedly exonerated, despite the impassioned efforts of his detractors. As the media catapults him to the forefront of national news coverage, Kevorkian continues his work, assisting more than one hundred patients who end their lives. Provocative, obstinate, and complex, Jack ultimately risks it all in his fervor to change the prevailing laws and challenge society’s attitude towards the right to die.
Principal photography was completed in New York, with additional filming in and around Detroit. HBO Films vice president Jenni Sherwood and HBO Films director Tara Grace are the executives in charge of the production.