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Matt Lee Whitlock is "Out of Time."Out of Time

By Glenn Bossik
September 12, 2003

David Collard's screenplay for the upcoming MGM film (, "Out of Time," combines character and plot to create a suspenseful thriller.

In the film, Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Denzel Washington) takes $285,000 from the evidence room of his police station and gives it to his lover, Ann Merai Harrison (Sanaa Lathan). She allegedly needs the money for expensive, experimental cancer drugs.

But all does not go well for Matt. A "double homicide" is committed in the town of Banyan Key, Florida--the place where he is chief of police. The evidence from the murders points to him as a suspect, and he must solve the murders before his fellow police officers realize he is a suspect. He must succeed before he is out of time.

The screenplay for "Out of Time" ( ) provided the cast and crew of the film with believable characters and a suspense-oriented plot whose outcome hinges on the true nature of these characters.

Screenwriter David Collard describes Matt Lee Whitlock as "a good guy who does the wrong thing for the right reasons."

Director Carl Franklin, creator of films such as "High Crimes" and "One False Move," says: "I was intrigued by the characters [in "Out of Time"] and the element of the ticking clock."

Actor Denzel Washington chose to play the role of Matt in this film because he was intrigued by the screenplay.

"…first and foremost with me it always comes down to the script. I found it very interesting, and I liked the character of Matt," says Washington.

David Collard's screenplay for "Out of Time" is the first feature film screenplay from him to be produced.

He chose the mystery-thriller genre for the script as a way to express his love for the genre.

He sums up his methodology of combining character with plot by saying: "[In 'Out of Time'], I was going for a movie where you lean forward in your seat, where you're really interested in what's going to happen because you really feel for the guy [Matt]."

Director: Carl Franklin
Screenwriter: David Collard
Producers: Neal H. Moritz and Jesse B'Franklin
Executive Producers: Kevin Reidy, Damien Saccani, Jon Berg, and Alex Gartner
Director of Photography: Theo Van De Sande
Production Designer: Paul Peters
Editor: Carole Kravetz Aykanian
Costume Designer: Sharen Davis
Composer: Graeme Revell

Denzel Washington: Matt Lee Whitlock
Eva Mendes: Alex Diaz Whitlock
Sanaa Lathan: Ann Merai Harrison
Dean Cain: Chris Harrison
John Billingsly: Chae


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