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Theatre & Dance faculty and alumni team with Oscar nominee Eric Roberts in action thriller

Film directed by Bauer alumnus stars School of Theatre & Dance Director Jim Johnson as U.S. President

Cougar connections run deep in the feature film Rogue Strike starring Oscar nominee Eric Roberts about a sunken submarine carrying a dangerous secret weapon.

School of Theatre & Dance Director Jim Johnson, alumnus David Born and former theater student Josh Morrison co-star in the film written, directed and starring Kerry Beyer, a graduate of the C.T. Bauer College of Business.

The action thriller was filmed in Houston and premiered here on Dec. 16 at the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park theatre.

Described as Die Hard meets The Hunt for Red October, the movie focuses on a sunken Russian submarine armed with a weapon of mass destruction. Beyer stars as a seasick filmmaker, whose girlfriend is taken hostage by terrorists. He is forced to retrieve the weapon but faces opposition by a maniacal sub commander, Captain Novakov (Roberts). Johnson plays the President of the United States.

“It was a great experience,” Johnson said about the production. “I hadn’t played a president before, so it was a fun opportunity. Plus, I can say this was the first role I had with the line, ‘Bring us to Def Con 3.”

Approximately 40 percent of “Rogue Strike” was filmed in front of a green screen. For some of the stage-trained actors, this was a new experience. Former UH student Morrison directs and acts on Houston’s theater scene. He shared all of his sub scenes with Roberts in front of a green screen.

“This was a first for me, so it took some getting used to,” said Morrison, who directed the production of Panto Rapunzel and Zombies at Stages, a local theater company. “My scenes with Eric were pretty confined, so you kind of forgot about the screen and just focused on the other actor. It was a great experience.”

Rouge Strike is the latest film released by Beyer’s company Kerosene Films. Other Kerosene productions written, directed and starring Beyer include Spirit Camp and Killing Mr. Right.

- By Mike Emery

Official trailer for Rogue Strike