Hancock is a 2008 American superhero comedy-drama film directed by Peter Berg and starring Will Smith, Charlize Theron, Jason Bateman and Eddie Marsan. It tells the story of a vigilante superhero, John Hancock (Smith) from Los Angeles whose reckless actions routinely cost the city millions of dollars. Eventually one person he saves, Ray Embrey (Bateman), makes it his mission to change Hancock's public image for the better.The story was originally written by Vincent Ngo in 1996. It languished in "development hell" for years and had various directors attached, including Tony Scott, Michael Mann, Jonathan Mostow, and Gabriele Muccino before going into production in 2007. Hancock was filmed in Los Angeles with a production budget of $150 million.In the United States, the film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America after changes were made at the organization's request in order to avoid an Rrating, which it had received twice before. The film was presented and widely released on July 2, 2008 in the United States and the United Kingdom by Columbia Pictures.