ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - September 19, 2016) - In celebration of the service and sacrifice of today's troops and military families, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures treated service members with an advance USO Screening of "The Magnificent Seven" at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst this weekend. Hosted on the U.S. Air Force's 69th birthday (i.e. Sept. 18th), the USO event also included a visit with director Antoine Fuqua as well as actors Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett. Complete with a tour of the flight line, a series of USO meet & greets, an intimate Q&A with military families in the base theater as well as free movie apparel and souvenirs, the USO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures pulled out all the stops to make the experience memorable for all attendees. "The Magnificent Seven" hits theaters nationwide this Fri., Sept. 23. ***Link to USO photo and video below.***
- Upon their arrival in the Garden State, Fuqua, Pratt and Bennett were greeted by 305th Air Mobility Wing Commander Col. Darren Cole and 305th Operations Support Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Jannell MacAulay.
- The trio then met one-on-one with troops working in airfield management, weather command and maintenance operations. Following the informative visit, they made their way to the base theater, where they participated in a USO meet & greet with troops and their families (to include local Gold Star Families).
- Minutes before treating troops and their families with an advance screening of "The Magnificent Seven," Fuqua, Pratt and Bennett partook in a USO Q&A, where they graciously answered questions about their work on previous films and memorable moments behind the making "The Magnificent Seven." The group visited and spent time with hundreds of service members and military families as part of their USO visit.
- Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in "The Magnificent Seven." With the town of Rose Creek under distress, the desperate townspeople, led by characters Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws -- Sam Chisolm "The Bounty Hunter" (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday "The Gambler" (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux "The Sharpshooter" (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne "The Tracker" (Vincent D'Onofrio), Billy Rocks "The Assassin" (Byung-hun Lee), Vasquez "The Outlaw" (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Red Harvest "The Warrior" (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare for the inevitable showdown, the group finds themselves fighting for more than just money.
- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is home to more than 42,000 Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians and family members, and spreads across some 42,000 acres. The base supports more than 41 mission commanders and is a premiere joint warfighting installation and air mobility center. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is also home to the USO of Pennsylvania and South New Jersey (also known as Liberty USO), which provides a comforting place for troops and their families to relax and connect.
- Best known for his 2001 Academy Award-winning film "Training Day," Fuqua is one of the most sought-after filmmakers of his generation. Executive producer of the 2016 television remake of "Roots," his film credits include "Southpaw," "The Equalizer," "Olympus Has Fallen," "Brooklyn's Finest," "Shooter," "Tears of the Sun" and "Training Day," among many others.
- Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2015, Pratt rose to fame following his role on NBC's "Parks and Recreation." Since then, he has gone on to star in a long line of hit movies, including "The Five-Year Engagement," "Zero Dark Thirty," "The Lego Movie," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Jurassic World," among many others.
- Born in Fort Myers, Florida, Bennett made her feature film debut as 'Cora Corman' in the 2007 romantic comedy "Music and Lyrics" starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. She went on to star in "The Haunting of Molly Hartley," "Molly and Me," and "The Equalizer," among others.
- The USO strives to help connect our nation's service members to family, home and country, with events like the USO screening of "The Magnificent Seven" at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. The USO's Campaign to Connect invites supporters around the world to join Fuqua, Pratt, Bennett, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures in supporting America's troops and their families by visiting USO.org/connects and helping the USO reach 1 million messages of support to military families stationed around the world.
Attributed to Antoine Fuqua:
"It's a blessing to be here (Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst) with them (the men and women who serve this country). I love them so much and I wish them all the best. We wouldn't be standing here without you. We wouldn't be able to do all the things we do without you. You represent our freedom. You represent the very best of us..."
"Mr. Washington, Mr. D'Onofrio, Ethan Hawke, Spencer, Manuel, Peter Sarsgaard -- just all the people in our film. They all support our military. They aren't here today but believe me, they support our military in every way... We are standing here because of scheduling but they are here in spirit with their love and support."
Attributed to Chris Pratt:
"If I wasn't an actor, I'd be a waiter; so I'd have to tell you at Chili's how much I love the military. But instead I get to be an actor; so I get a platform. And I am going to use that platform to tell not only just the men and women in service... who give us this bubble of safety inside of which we get to live our dreams... but also the people who aren't in the service. They need to hear it from me. They need to hear it from us that listen... we know who the good guys are..., we are appreciative of what you do and the turmoil you face... the sacrifices you make. Just know we feel it... We love you. We pray for you and we keep you in our hearts..."
"I have lots of friends and family who have served. I love my country. I also love the men and women who protect it, it is the way I grew up. This is my first USO tour and hopefully not my last."
Attributed to Haley Bennett:
"My dad and my grandfather -- they are both veterans; so to be here and share this day with you... it's like I wish my family could be here to see this. I just appreciate you guys so much and what you do for us... so thank you so much from the bottom of my heart."
USO Tour Photos: http://bit.ly/2cjz8dt
USO Tour B-roll: http://bit.ly/2cBMEHj
"The Magnificent Seven" Press Kit: Register at www.SonyPicturesPublicity.com
About the USO
The USO strengthens America's military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort, and support. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.
In addition to individual donors and corporate sponsors, the USO is supported by President's Circle Partners: AT&T, the BNSF Railway Foundation, Clark Construction Group, LLC, The Coca-Cola Company, FedEx, Jeep, Johnson & Johnson, Kroger, NFL, Southern New Hampshire University and Four-Star Partners: Advisors Excel, BIC, ConAgra Foods, GEICO, Harris Teeter, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Starbucks, TKS, USAA and the Wawa Foundation. We are also supported through the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381). To join us in this important mission, and to learn more about the USO, please visit uso.org.
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