Mercury Rising

Mercury Rising is a 1998 American action thriller film starring Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin. Directed by Harold Becker, the movie is based on Ryne Douglas Pearson's 1996 novel originally published as Simple Simon, which was the working title of the film. Willis plays Art Jeffries, an undercover FBI agent who protects a nine-year-old autistic boy, Simon Lynch (played by Miko Hughes), who is targeted by government assassins after he cracks a top secret government code.


A nine-year-old boy with autism, Simon Lynch, is given a sophisticated puzzle book by his teacher. Simon quickly solves a particular puzzle and phones a number encoded in the solution. This call reaches two National Security Agency cryptographers, Dean Crandell and Leo Pedranski, who created the new cypher Simon has cracked. Pedranski and Crandell report the situation to their boss, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kudrow, who severely rebukes the pair for their unauthorized actions, describing Simon and his abilities as a national security threat. Two assassins, Peter Burrell and Shayes, are sent by Kudrow to terminate the boy and his parents, Martin and Jenny. Posing as a police detective, Burrell murders both Simon's mother and father, but is unable to find Simon.