Bourne Legacy: Stunts
The Bourne Legacy Opens August 10, 2012
The narrative architect behind the “Bourne” film series, Tony Gilroy, takes the helm in the next chapter of the hugely popular espionage franchise that has earned almost $1 billion at the global box office: “The Bourne Legacy.” Building on the foundation of the “Bourne” universe created by Robert Ludlum, Gilroy expands the saga with an original story that reveals a larger conspiracy.
As the filmmakers of the “Bourne” franchise pondered the next chapter in the series, they faced a conundrum: At the end of “The Bourne Ultimatum,” the protagonist had been involved in a shootout in London’s Waterloo Station and then an even more high-profile car chase gunfight through the streets of New York City. Jason Bourne had gone public in a big way. He was poised to expose the U.S. government for its litany of crimes when he vanished.
Over the course of three films, audiences followed Bourne’s journey to survive and discover his identity. They watched his CIA handlers mount an increasingly desperate worldwide manhunt. They learned about the Treadstone program and Bourne’s special skills and abilities, and at the trilogy’s conclusion, they may have even felt the story was complete.
Now, “The Bourne Legacy” pulls back the curtain to expose a darker layer of intrigue, a deeper mythology, and a new hero who must battle to stay alive when his program suddenly becomes a liability. To collaborate on the screenplay, Tony Gilroy called upon his brother, fellow screenwriter Dan Gilroy, for their first professional teaming in many years. The two writers expanded upon the research that Tony Gilroy had done for the treatment, while also developing the intense drama of the story. In keeping with Gilroy’s previous screenplays for the “Bourne” series, this script diverges dramatically from the plotlines of Ludlum’s Cold War-era novels but retains the author’s themes of conspiracy and government programs run amok.
Starring Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Stacy Keach, Oscar Isaac, Joan Allen, Albert Finney, David Strathairn, Oscar Isaac, Louis Ozawa Changchien, and Scott Glenn, and directed by Tony Gilroy, “The Bourne Legacy” brings viewers the aftermath of what’s come before.
No “Bourne” film would be complete without its fair share of action. The architect behind the stunt work on “The Bourne Legacy” is 2nd unit director Dan Bradley, who returns after making his mark as the creator of the dazzling action sequences in “The Bourne Supremacy” and “The Bourne Ultimatum.” After the first unit wrapped its work in Palawan in the beginning of February 2012, Bradley’s unit filmed for another month in Manila, with primary stars Renner and Weisz joining them there.
Bradley traveled to Manila months before shooting began in order to tailor the action sequences to the locations. His biggest task was to choreograph a motorcycle chase that takes place on the crowded streets of Manila, much of it filmed with Renner in the rider’s seat. Luckily for the production, Renner is an avid motorcyclist.
Prior to filming in Manila, Bradley’s team spent several weeks rehearsing the motorcycle stunts, while special equipment was brought in, including Bradley’s own “Go Mobile,” a custom-made vehicle upon which several cameras may be mounted. Bradley also recruited several expert motorcyclists, including professional stunt driver Jean-Pierre Goy, arguably one of the best in the world, to double on the most dangerous stunts. All were pleased to have an actual Batman on board for the production, as Goy was the only one able to drive the two-wheeled street machine called the Bat-Pod for scenes in “The Dark Knight.” Indeed, he returned to his key role for this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises.”
Bradley’s team also retrofitted several jeepneys, a minibus that is the most common form of transportation in the Philippines. Each painted in a bright, unique style to entice passengers to hop aboard, jeepneys are ubiquitous throughout the country, numbering around 100,000 in Manila alone. The long and narrow vehicle is a cheap and easy form of transportation, ideally shaped for navigating narrow roads that full-size buses cannot. Open windows provide its only form of air conditioning, and its passenger seating consists of two padded benches facing each other in the back, each seating six to 10 people. When the seats are full, additional passengers ride outside, hanging onto the back as best they can.
Jeepneys are featured in a key chase sequence with Renner, Weisz and Changchien that was filmed on one of Manila’s major roadways, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, the main route to the presidential palace. Approximately 90 cars and more than 300 extras were used for the sequence, which shot on a mile and a half stretch of Magsaysay Blvd. through three major intersections over several weekends. Helping manage the shoot were local authorities including the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Manila Traffic Bureau and the Presidential Security Group.
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