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A Simple Plan is a 1998 American neo-noir crime thriller film adapted by Scott B. Smith from his 1993 novel of the same name. Directed by Sam Raimi, the film stars Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda. Set in rural Minnesota, the story follows Hank Mitchell (Paxton) and his brother Jacob (Thornton), who, along with Jacob's friend Lou (Brent Briscoe), discover a crashed plane containing $4.4 million in cash. The three men go to great lengths to keep the money a secret but begin to doubt each other's trust, resulting in lies, deceit and murder. Development of the film began in 1993 before the novel was published. Mike Nichols purchased the film rights, and the project was picked up by an independent film studio, Savoy Pictures. After Nichols stepped down, the film adaptation became mired in development hell; during the troubled pre-production, Ben Stiller and John Dahl turned down opportunities to direct the film. After Savoy closed in November 1995, the project was sold to Paramount Pictures. John Boorman was hired to direct, but scheduling conflicts led to his replacement by Raimi. Principal photography began in January 1998 and concluded in March after 55 days; filming took place in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The score was produced and composed by Danny Elfman. A Simple Plan premiered at the 1998 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was met with critical acclaim. The film's appearance at the festival preceded a limited release in the United States on December 11, 1998, followed by a general release in North America on January 22, 1999. It underperformed at the North American box office, grossing $16.3 million on a $17 million production budget. Reviewers praised various aspects of the film's production, including the storytelling, performances and Raimi's direction. A Simple Plan earned multiple awards and nominations, among them two Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Thornton) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Smith).

director:

Sam Raimi
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