Children of Men–Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso is a uniquely talented director. His passion is undeniable and his vision inspiring. His involvement reinvigorated all of us.
Producer Marc Abraham

In the sci-fi-thriller Children of Men, Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron creates a startling vision set two decades into the near future, which sends a wake-up call to the world today

It's 2027 and the hope for the future has become a dwindling resource since it's been 19 years since the last baby was born. With each passing year of inexplicable, global childlessness, humanity edges closer to giving up all claims to a future.

While most people choose to embrace the inevitable and descend into separatism, lawlessness and nihilism, others fight on for a unified planet and the rights of the diminishing populations.

To bring the world of “Children of Men” to the screen, Cuaron assembled a distinguished group of behind-the scenes talent, including director of cinematography Emanuel Lubetzki (“The New World,” Sleepy Hollow”); production designer Jim Clay (“Match Point”) and Geoffrey Kirkland (“Mississippi Burning”). Noted British composer John Tavener provides original music, including “Fragments of a Prayer.”

For Cuaron, no story is beyond his cinematic telling: a biting social commentary, a nourish crime drama, a beloved children's classic, a modernist retelling of Dickens, an insightful road comedy, a blockbuster magical tale.

All of his filmic efforts bear the unmistakable imprint of an artist utilizing every tool within the medium to realize the story on the screen. Each film, in some way, tells the world a little bit about who “Alfonso Cuaron” is.

So it is not surprise that Cuaron's latest effort, an adaptation of the esteemed British mystery writer P.D. James' downbeat novel “The Children of Men”also carries something of the Mexican-born auteur: Hope.

A Hopeful Person

Cuaron admits: “When I make a film, it is from my standpointso the fact that O am a hopeful person taints this film. Humanity has an amazing talent for destruction. But also, we can show solidarity and an ability to come through problems together. In the end, 'Children of Men' is not so much about humanity being destructiveit's more about ideologies coming between people's judgment and their actions that is at work in this story.”

James' Book

The publication of James' book first came to the attention of producer Hilary Shor, who was taken with the stylistic departure for the author (known for her crime writing, the book is decidedly sic-fi) and optioned the material for the screen none years ago, having just set up the production company, Hit and Run Productions.

Says Shor: “Propitiously, it was the first magical piece of material that I optioned. It's obviously been a long time coming, but it's been nine marvelous years bringing this project to fruition.”

Haunting Premise

Cuaron has been given an early draft of a screenplay, but had barely turned past the first few pages. Later, while on vacation, in a place that was the antithesis of the movie's inclement setting, his thoughts returned to the project. He recalls: “I initially didn't connect with the script, but there was a premise there that haunted me for the next couple of weeks. I remember being in Santa Barbara on the beach and suddenly seeing the whole film right there, in front of my eyes.”

Opportunity to Talk about the Present

Never interested in the techno-fests that usually fall under the header of “sci-fi” or “futurism,” Cuaron was compelled to create a vision wholly grounded in the promises and problems facing the citizens of today. He explains: “I found this premise was an amazing opportunity to talk about the present day, using the excuse that it's set in the 'near future.' I didn't want to do a film about the futureI wanted to do a film about the present, and the circumstances today that are crafting our future. This is not science-fictionit's a chase movie, set in 2027.”

Writing Partner Sexton

Cuaron approached his writing partner, Timothy J. Sexton, and related the story of the film he had envisioned on the beach. Together, they intensified the novelist's view of a bleak and dystopic world of the near future into one in which people are given a reason to believe againtaking James' concept of global infertility and streamlining the book into a filmable screenplay.