By GUY D’ASTOLFO
“The Power of Few,” a film written, directed and produced by Boardman native Leone Marucci, will get its world premiere Feb. 15 at Tinseltown in Boardman and the AMC Lennox theater in Columbus.
It will expand in ensuing weeks, first to Baton Rouge and New Orleans, La., where it was filmed; Los Angeles, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Cities are continuously being added to the list, said Marucci.
The sci-fi action drama, which centers around an unusual smuggling operation, has an impressive cast that includes Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Moon Bloodgood, Anthony Anderson and Q’orianka Kilcher.
It marks the big-screen debut of Marucci, a Boardman High School and Ohio State University graduate. Boardman native Fred D’Amico is also a producer, and Youngstown native Paul Nero is a co-producer.
A trailer for “The Power of Few” released earlier this month has sparked interest in the film.
“I’ve looked at a handful of the comments [posted online], and they’ve been very fun to read,” said Marucci.
Walken is known for playing mentally unbalanced characters, and has just such a role in “The Power of Few.” Many who have seen the trailer have taken notice.
“It’s a tough task to present Christopher Walken as being any crazier than we’ve all already seen him in his past films, but I think we’ve been successful,” said Marucci. “I don’t think people saw this one coming.”
The modestly budgeted indie film has been in development for more than a decade. As its premiere date draws near, Marucci’s excitement is palpable.
“The cast and crew all spent so much creative energy in making this film,” he said. “We’re all caught in that unique space between relief and excitement as we get closer to the release.”
For Marucci, it was important to make Youngstown a launch pad for the film. It’s where his love of film was nurtured.
“From my childhood days of being captivated by the glow of ‘Star Wars,’ to sneaking into R-rated movies at the mall — and getting caught — my passion for movies and filmmaking was born in Youngstown,” he said.
The filmmaking bug first bit Marucci at age 12, when his parents and swim team coaches encouraged him and his friends to use their practice sessions to create a movie called “The Twisted Lanemarker.” Marucci fondly refers to it as “a 20-minute special-effects masterpiece.”
After graduating college in 1996, Marucci moved to Los Angeles and has been working in the film industry ever since. He started his own production company, Steelyard Pictures, in 2000, and has had success making commercials.
“All these years later, it’s very special to me to be able to have navigated the world of show business and return to open this film in the place where the dream began,” said Marucci. “I’m thrilled to bring it home to my friends and family, and everyone else interested in what can come from a local kid who was encouraged by everyone around him to dream big.”