Top Notch Members Join
As they'd anticipated when they first read Pogue's script, The Skulls attracted some of Hollywood's top young talent, particularly the central role of Luke McNamara.

"The hero in The Skulls is Capraesque," says Cohen. "He's not your basic jock football quarterback." And to play Luke, Cohen and Moritz decided on one of Hollywood's most promising young actors, Joshua Jackson (Dawson's Creek), who had been featured in supporting roles in two previous Moritz films: Urban Legend and Cruel Intentions.

"Josh was perfect for the lead in The Skulls," states Cohen. "In the great tradition of Spencer Tracy and Tom Hanks, he possesses that appealing 'every man' quality-a great deal of sincerity and heart."

Jackson says he felt an immediate affinity for the character of Luke and the film's exciting and morally complex thriller elements. "The Skulls has all the layers of a first rate morality tale, but without sacrificing the thriller aspect," he says. "So you can go and watch it for pure entertainment or go deeper and access the film's themes."

The textured tale of Luke's ambition allowed Jackson to go deep within himself and delve into issues he himself is facing in life.

"The story is about having the personal strength to stand alone. That's essentially the question that gets asked of my character. If you know that something is wrong, can you stand up and do what's right, even at a personal cost to you? At 21, I think this is one of the most serious questions that I, and my friends, are grappling with."

The role of Caleb Mandrake, Luke's soulmate in The Skulls, who comes from a long line of Skull members, seemed to fit another fast rising star to a tee...Paul Walker (Varsity Blues and She's All That).

"In so many ways, Paul is Caleb," says Cohen. "When you see him on screen, regardless of what he is doing, your eyes are drawn to him," says Cohen. "He has the kind of looks and charisma that make Caleb such a fascinating, ambiguous character."

< Previous section Continues >

©2000 Universal Studios

The Story Cast & Filmakers Behind the Scenes Media Soundtrack The Story Cast & Filmakers Behind the Scenes Media Soundtrack