2017 marked the release of THE FOREIGNER for STX starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Bronsan and directed by Martin Campbell. (Casino Royal).
The Foreigner tells the story of humble London restaurant owner Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love, his teenage daughter, is killed in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism. As he searches for the culprits responsible, he seeks the assistance of Irish Deputy Minister, Liam Hennessy (Brosnan), an Irish/UK government official whose own troubled IRA past comes back to entangle and bear down on him.
Marconi adapted the screenplay from the book The Chinaman by Stephen Leather. The book, originally set in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, during a period known as the Troubles, had to be updated to present day and infused with the latest in Police methods and technology.
A native of Highland Park, Ill., Marconi was passionate about film making from an early age. After winning several high-school filmmaking competitions, Marconi was awarded an Alumni Merit Scholarship to attend the University of Southern California's Film School. Upon graduation, his first job was as Francis Ford Coppola's assistant on The Outsiders. Following that, Coppola promoted Marconi to Production Supervisor 2nd Unit on Rumble Fish.
Working closely with Coppola, Marconi "cut his directing teeth" watching Coppola direct both The Outsiders and Rumblefish. 'Working for Coppola as his assistant was an incredible experience, I considered it a sort of grad school, a place where I got to see and experience first-hand the various techniques Francis would employ to illicit the performances he required from the actors. It gave me solid grounding as far as the craft was concerned."
After a year-long series of production jobs ranging from Art Department to Prop Master, Marconi landed his first feature writing assignment off an original pitch entitled; Mud Sweat and Gears. (Warner Bros.) Bob Schaffel producing, Thomas Carter to direct.
Marconi followed that by writing two more back-to-back action pictures for Warner Bros; The Blonde Hurricane, a romantic comedy set in Paris during the 30's, and One Hot Afternoon, a present day version of a classic Western. Though the writing assignments were lucrative, the directing was tugging at him.
In 1993, Marconi wrote and directed his first feature, The Harvest, (Columbia TriStar) produced by Jason Clark, Stuart Little. "Taking as its basis one of the most unnerving of all urban horror stories, the black-market organ trade, Marconi's The Harvest plays like a paranoiac's fever-dream and cleverly exploits the fears, both real and xenophobic, of the stranger in a strange land. "
A visually detailed film, the stylish noir stars Miguel Ferrer (Twin Peaks, Traffic) and Leilani Sarelle (Basic Instinct). From his Coppola days, Marconi employed Alex Tavoularis, One from the Heart and Apocalypse Now to act as his visual consultant. The sinuous imagery was provided by Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo). 3-time Academy award winner for his work on Gravity, Birdman and The Revenant, The Harvest was Lubezki's first foray into the US film market. The film premiered in the ‘Official Selection' of the San Sebastian Film Festival and went on to win numerous awards in International Film festivals. Distributed internationally by GoldCrest International, The New York Post described it as "a tense, tough thriller that keeps you on your toes and guessing."
The success of The Harvest brought Marconi to the attention of several directors and producers, one of whom was Michael Mann who commissioned Marconi to write Red Badge, (Warner Bros.) a true-life DEA thriller set in Thailand, and Simpson Bruckheimer who commissioned Marconi to write his original screenplay Enemy of the State (Disney) starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman. A high-tech thriller dealing with privacy issues, Enemy of the State grossed over 250 million worldwide. On the heels of Enemy of the State, Bruckheimer next commissioned Marconi to redevelop his TV series; “Soldier of Fortune.”
Soon after Enemy of the State, Marconi was approached by Oliver Stone and Tom Cruise. Stone, who had been hired by Cruise/Wagner to direct the Mission Impossible sequel, had expressed an earlier interest in directing Enemy of the State for Disney. When Bruckheimer instead, opted for helmer Tony Scott, who he had a previous relationship with, Stone hired Marconi to pen the first draft of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 2 (Paramount) for him.
Marconi continued to build a strong reputation as one of Hollywood's top action/adventure writers, creating tent-pole action films for the major studios; Die Hard 4.0 aka Live Free or Die Hard (Twentieth Century Fox,) based on Marconi's original script WW3.com, Perfect Suspect for Chris Rock (Twentieth Century Fox,) a high-tech., science fiction epic; No Man's Land. (Dreamworks) The Darkside of the Moon, (based on the Martin Sutter novel) for Oliver Hirschbiegel to direct (Downfall), The Vanished for Martin Campbell to direct and The Titanic Code for Arthur Sarkissian, Bruno Wu and Peak Time Entertainment.
2013 marked Marconi’s second foray behind the lens as a writer/director with his feature film; Intersection aka Collision, a gritty, twisting thriller set in desert of present day Morocco.
On their Morocco honeymoon, Scott (Frank Grillo) and Taylor Dolan (Jamie Alexander) set off on a day trip through the Sahara. When something goes terribly wrong, the couple find themselves stranded in the middle of the remote desert, with no way home. Soon, lies and betrayals are revealed, and they discover that nothing happens by chance. Marconi describes the film as "a character-driven ensemble piece consisting of bad people doing bad things." The film was produced and distributed by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp/Lionsgate.
As a writer, Marconi has also co-authored with Flint Dille three serialized novels: Agent 13, The Midnight Avenger, Agent 13 and the Serpentine Assassins and Agent 13 and the Acolytes of Darkness, all from Random House Publishing. An action-adventure series set in the 30's, the stories deal with a secret society manipulating the events leading up to the second World War, and the one man, Agent Thirteen, who tries to foil their plans. The books are currently under option and being developed at Universal Pictures with Charlize Theron to produce and star.
Marconi has a penchant for creating original material "with a political bite" as he puts it. It's those observations and insights which have led to numerous speaking engagements, books and articles for various publications. Marconi was a featured guest speaker for IADC, International Attorney's Defense Council, in Pebble Beach, DEF-CON, the premier hackers' convention in Las Vegas and the Department of Defense Cyber-Crime Conference in Palm Harbor Florida where he lectured on his film Enemy of the State and how it relates to privacy concerns and cyber-warfare in a post 9-11 world. He has also taught various writing seminars, including the Deauville Film Festival where he teamed up with the late Sydney Pollack.
Holding dual citizenship for the US and EU, Marconi divides his life and work between Los Angeles and Europe.