Mercury Rising Cast and Character Guide: (1998 film)

Mercury Rising Cast: Mercury Rising is a 1998 American action thriller film directed by Harold Becker and based on the novel “Simple Simon” by Ryne Douglas Pearson. The film stars Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin, and Miko Hughes in key roles. With a gripping plot centered around cryptography and government conspiracies, “Mercury Rising” explores themes of sacrifice, redemption, and the lengths to which individuals will go to protect those they love.

Mercury Rising Cast
Mercury Rising Cast
Release dateApril 3, 1998 (United States)
Duration1H 51M
CountryUnited States
Budget$60 million
Box office$93.1 million
DirectorHarold Becker
Screenplay byLawrence Konner
Mark Rosenthal
Based onSimple Simon by Ryne Douglas Pearson
ProducersBrian Grazer
Karen Kehela
Star castBruce Willis
Alec Baldwin
Chi McBride
Kim Dickens
CinematographyMichael Seresin
EditerPeter Honess
MusicJohn Barry
Production companyImagine Entertainment
DistributorUniversal Pictures
Cast of Mercury Rising

Mercury Rising Cast

The film boasts a talented ensemble cast:

  • Bruce Willis as Arthur “Art” Jeffries: Willis plays the protagonist, an FBI Special agent who becomes emotionally involved in protecting a young autistic boy, Simon, when he deciphers a top-secret government code.
  • Alec Baldwin as Lt. Col. Nicholas “Nick” Kudrow: Baldwin portrays the film’s main antagonist, a high-ranking military officer responsible for the encryption code, Mercury.
  • Miko Hughes as Simon Lynch: Hughes delivers a remarkable performance as a 9-year-old autistic savant who inadvertently cracks the Mercury code.
  • Chi McBride as Thomas “Tommy” Jordan: McBride plays Art’s loyal partner in the FBI who helps him navigate the complex situation.
  • Kim Dickens as Stacey Siebring: Dickens portrays Simon’s mother, who desperately seeks to protect her son from those who wish to harm him.
  • Robert Stanton as Dean Crandell: Stanton takes on the role of Art’s skeptical supervisor within the FBI.
  • Carrie Preston as Emily Lang
  • Bodhi Pine Elfman as Leo Pedranski
  • Peter Stormare as NSA Agent Shayes
  • L. L. Ginter as NSA Agent Peter Burrell
  • Kevin Conway as FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Joe Lomax
  • Kelley Hazen as Jenny Lynch
  • John Carroll Lynch as Martin Lynch
  • John Doman as FBI Supervisor Hartley
  • Richard Riehle as Edgar Halstrom
  • Camryn Manheim as Dr. London
  • Chad Lindberg as James
  • Jack Conley as Detective Jack Nichols


The film’s plot revolves around the discovery of a highly classified government code called Mercury. When a top-secret government organization, the National Security Agency (NSA), develops this unbreakable code, they believe it’s a major breakthrough in national security. However, their optimism is short-lived when a 9-year-old autistic boy, Simon Lynch, inadvertently cracks the code.

Simon’s abilities are discovered when he solves a puzzle in a children’s magazine, published by a government contractor. This puzzle turns out to be a test of cryptographic skill, and when Simon successfully solves it, the NSA is alerted to his unique talents. Recognizing the danger posed by this young savant, the NSA decides to eliminate him to protect the Mercury code’s secrecy.

Agent Art Jeffries, an FBI counter-terrorism specialist, becomes involved in the situation when he is assigned to investigate the mysterious deaths of two NSA agents connected to Simon. Upon learning about the boy’s situation and realizing the government’s intent to harm him, Jeffries decides to protect Simon at all costs.

As Jeffries and Simon go on the run, they become targets of a relentless pursuit led by Lt. Col. Nicholas Kudrow, a high-ranking military officer who is determined to eliminate Simon before the code is compromised. The film escalates into a high-stakes cat-and-mouse chase, filled with action-packed sequences and tense moments.

Throughout their journey, Jeffries forms a deep bond with Simon, becoming a father figure to the young boy. Simon’s autism adds complexity to their relationship, and it becomes evident that Simon’s unique perspective on the world holds the key to deciphering the Mercury code.

The climax of the film unfolds as Jeffries, with the help of his partner Tommy Jordan, confronts Kudrow and his team to protect Simon. In a gripping showdown, the fate of both Simon and the Mercury code hangs in the balance.


“Mercury Rising” was directed by Harold Becker and released in 1998. The film’s production involved several notable aspects:

Casting: The film’s casting choices were crucial to its success. Bruce Willis brought his trademark action-hero charisma to the role of Art Jeffries, while Miko Hughes delivered a remarkably convincing performance as Simon Lynch, capturing the challenges and complexities of an autistic child.

Locations: The film was primarily shot in and around Chicago, which provided a gritty urban backdrop for the action sequences and added to the film’s atmosphere.

Score: The film’s music was composed by John Barry, known for his work on James Bond films. The score added tension and emotion to the story, enhancing the viewing experience.

Screenplay: The screenplay was adapted from Ryne Douglas Pearson’s novel “Simple Simon.” The script effectively balanced action with emotional depth, creating a compelling narrative.

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“Mercury Rising” received mixed reviews from critics upon its release but found success with audiences. Here are some key points about its reception:

  1. Critical Reception: Critics praised the film’s performances, especially those of Bruce Willis and Miko Hughes. The suspenseful plot and action sequences were also commended. However, some critics found fault with the film’s portrayal of autism and the plausibility of certain plot elements.
  2. Box Office: The film performed reasonably well at the box office, grossing over $93 million worldwide, which was a solid result for its time.
  3. Audience Appeal: “Mercury Rising” found a dedicated fanbase, particularly among those who appreciated its blend of action and emotional depth. The relationship between Art Jeffries and Simon Lynch resonated with many viewers.


“Mercury Rising” is a captivating action thriller that combines suspenseful storytelling with heartfelt character development. Bruce Willis and Miko Hughes deliver standout performances that elevate the film’s emotional impact. The plot, centered around the decryption of a top-secret government code, explores themes of sacrifice and redemption while keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.

Though the film received mixed reviews from critics, its ability to connect with audiences and its memorable characters have contributed to its enduring appeal. “Mercury Rising Cast” remains a compelling example of the action thriller genre and a testament to the lengths individuals will go to protect the ones they love.

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