Michael Bay unleashes The Island

Last night, DreamWorks Pictures turned up the summer heat on The Island, its new movie from director Michael Bay. The movie does not open nationwide until July 22, but the studio gave members of the press and the movie industry an early sneak peek of the first 45 minutes of the film at a special presentation held last night at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. In addition to the opening 45 minutes of the film, attendees also got a preview of a six-minute clip featuring one of director Michael Bay's signature action sequences from The Island.

Producers Walter F. Parkes and Laurie Macdonald (Gladiator, Men in Black) opened the presentation by introducing Michael Bay, who, in turn, introduced the stars in attendance: Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou and Michael Clarke Duncan. Immediately following the screening, the guests proceeded to the main lobby for a cocktail reception, where the stars and filmmakers mingled and revealed some behind-the-scenes anecdotes.

In The Island, Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson star as Lincoln Six-Echo and Jordan Two-Delta, two residents of a seemingly utopian but contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all of the inhabitants of this carefully controlled environment, Lincoln and Jordan hope to be chosen to go to the The Island'reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet. Then Lincoln makes a terrible discovery that everything about his existence is a lie'and that he and everyone there are actually more valuable dead than alive. Together Lincoln and Jordan make a daring escape to the outside world they've never known. Now, with the forces of the institute that once housed them relentlessly hunting them down, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a desperate race for their lives.

Rounding out the main cast of The Island are Oscar' nominee Djimon Hounsou (In America, Gladiator) as the leader of the security team pursuing Lincoln and Jordan; Sean Bean (National Treasure, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy) as the head of the Institute; Steve Buscemi (Ghost World, Armageddon) as a man who befriends Lincoln despite working for the Institute; and Oscar' nominee Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile, Armageddon) as another resident who is elated and envied when he is selected to go to The Island.

Michael Bay directed The Island from a screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci (TV's "Alias") and Caspian Tredwell-Owen (Beyond Borders), based on a story by Tredwell-Owen. Walter F. Parkes (The Ring, Gladiator), Michael Bay, Ian Bryce (Spider-Man, Saving Private Ryan) and Laurie MacDonald (The Ring, Men in Black) are producing. The Island is a co-production of DreamWorks Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, with DreamWorks distributing the film domestically and Warner Bros. handling the international release.