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Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy lead an all-star cast in Tower Heist, an action-comedy about a staff of blue-collar workers who seek revenge on the Wall Street swindler who stiffed them. After the crew at the luxury Central Park condominium The Tower discover the penthouse billionaire has stolen their retirement, they plot the ultimate revenge: a heist to reclaim what he took from them.
Queens native Josh Kovaks (Stiller) has managed one of the most luxurious and well-secured residences in New York City for more than a decade. Under his watchful eye, nothing goes undetected. In the swankiest unit atop Josh’s building, Wall Street titan Arthur Shaw (Alan Alda) is under house arrest after being caught stealing $2 billion from his investors. The hardest hit among those he defrauded? The Tower staffers whose pensions he was entrusted to manage.
With only days until Shaw gets away with the perfect crime, Josh’s crew turns to petty crook Slide (Murphy) to plan the nearly impossible: steal the $20 million they are sure is hidden in the heavily guarded condo where Shaw is being held by an FBI team led by Special Agent Claire Denham (Tea Leoni, Fun With Dick and Jane).
The burglary takes place in the midst of one of New York City’s most iconic events: the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Integrating the decades-old tradition into the story line was a daunting task that had the cast and crew re-creating the parade one week after the original. But to ensure that they fully captured the one-of-a-kind magic that only the real parade could provide, dozens of crew members gave up their Thanksgiving weekend to film portions of the actual parade on Columbus Circle.
Native New Yorkers Stiller, Alda, Leoni, Broderick and Sidibe had their own memories of attending the parade, while other members of the crew vividly recall watching the parade on television. However, the production’s ambitious re-creation was awe-inspiring for the team.
“When I was a kid, my family would go to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it was hard to get close,” says Leoni. “To be able to have front-row seats, so to speak, for even a portion of the parade, where I could take a look at all the balloons, was amazing. It was much cooler than it was when I was a kid.”
Ratner agrees with his film’s hard-nosed agent: “I knew that the building that is the center of Tower Heist is a main character in the film, and I wanted all the action around this centerpiece. The shots of the Thanksgiving Day Parade that we captured were just incredible.
Though amateurs, these rookie thieves — including high-strung concierge Charlie (Casey Affleck, Ocean’s Eleven trilogy), broke ex-Wall Streeter Mr. Fitzhugh (Matthew Broderick, The Producers), rookie bellhop Dev’Reaux (Michael Peña, Battle: Los Angeles) and feisty maid Odessa (Gabourey Sidibe, Precious) — know the building better than anyone. It turns out they’ve been casing the place for years…they just didn’t know it.
Director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour series, X-Men: The Last Stand, Red Dragon) joins Academy Award®-winning producer Brian Grazer (8 Mile, A Beautiful Mind, American Gangster) to lead a talented behind-the-scenes crew for Tower Heist. Grazer is joined in production duties on the action-comedy by Eddie Murphy and Kim Roth (Inside Man, Insomnia).
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