Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are locked in battle atop a snowy cold mountain. Somehow Storm Shadow has gotten the upper hand and he’s got Snake Eyes pinned to the ground. Try as he might, Snake Eyes can’t escape. While they’ve battled many times, they’re always equally matched, and it’s hard for either to get the upper hand. But not this time. On this day, it looks like Strom Shadow is finally going to win. But as he applies even more force with seething anger in his eyes, all of a sudden, Jinx appears from behind and she’s got some sort of breathing device that she puts on his nose and mouth, and a second later, Storm Shadow falls unconscious. I then hear director Jon M. Chu call cut.
But let me back up a second.
When G.I. Joe: Retaliation was filming in New Orleans, I got to visit the set with a few other online reporters. While there we got to watch a ton of filming, see some footage, and speak with Chu, Byung-Hun Lee (Storm Shadow), Ray Park (Snake Eyes), Elodie Yung (Jinx), Dwayne Johnson (Roadblock), DJ Cotrona (Flint), and Ray Stevenson (Firefly), and producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura. Hit the jump for more.
In late October, somewhere in central London, I got to visit the set of director Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan franchise reboot, aptly named “Jack Ryan” along with a few other online reporters. The film relaunches the famous Tom Clancy character that has previously been portrayed onscreen by Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger), and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears). This film finds Chris Pine’s ex-Marine Jack Ryan working as a Moscow-based financial analyst who uncovers a plot by his employer to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy. Branagh also plays the film’s villain, Keira Knightley is on board as the female lead, and Kevin Costner plays a CIA liaison.
While on set, I got to participate in some great interviews with the cast and filmmakers (the one with Costner was one of the best on set interviews I’ve ever done), and I learned a ton about the movie. Hit the jump for more.
Earlier this year I got to visit the set The Incredible Burt Wonderstone with a few other online reporters while the production was filming at the Wadsworth Theater here in Los Angeles. Directed by Don Scardino (whose directed almost forty episodes of 30 Rock) and written by Horrible Bosses screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the film stars Steve Carell as a magician whose relationship with his partner (Steve Buscemi) becomes strained after the arrival of a hipper illusionist (Jim Carrey). Burt Wonderstone also stars Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jay Mohr, Michael Bully Herbig and a lot of real life magicians, many of whom were the inspirations for the film.
While on set we got to watch a great scene featuring Carell and Buscemi wearing some outrageous costumes, conduct interviews with a lot of the cast, and we learned a lot about the film. As a fan of the cast and the filmmakers, it was a really fun day on set that I can’t wait to share with you closer to release, which is March 15. Until then, check out the first images from the film and the full synopsis after the jump. Look for the trailer in the coming days.
In early August of last year, I got to visit the set of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh. I’ve waited a long time to write those words. At the time of the visit, the embargo/NDA was so severe that Warner Bros. wouldn’t allow us to tweet or post on Facebook that we were even flying into the city! But with Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film hitting theaters July 20th, the studio has been amping up their promotional campaign, and they’re finally allowing the sites that were on set to say we were there. In addition, they’ve provided us with four awesome billboards/posters that feature Bane, Catwoman, and Batman. Hit the jump to check them out and to learn more about my set visit.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Riverdale High School in Jefferson, Louisiana. At the time, Sony happened to be shooting a movie there, a remake of the 1980s television staple 21 Jump Street. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as two twentysomething cops who look young enough to join “Jump Street,” a unit that goes undercover at a local high school. The cast, directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), also features Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Brie Larsen, and Rob Riggle.
While on set, several other online colleagues and I spoke to Hill, Tatum, Larsen, Franco, producer Neal Moritz, and Lord and Miller. The full interviews will come at a later date, but today the studio is allowing me to run a preview piece. Hit the jump for a glimpse into the set visit, plus the first official image from the movie.
I’m standing in the Great Hall at Hogwarts. I see Snape positioned where Dumbledore used to stand at the top of the steps. As the new Headmaster, Snape is addressing a room full of students. He’s telling them that anyone who knows the whereabouts of Harry Potter – whether it be student or faculty – needs to come forward with any information or the punishment will be severe. Snape continues with the news that the school has the best magic protection and Harry Potter will not be able to enter the grounds. The former potions teacher walks among the students, looking at them, his gaze intense and his dialogue slow and methodical. He’s clearly hoping someone will tell him something. As he finishes saying his last line he looks up because he hears the voice of Harry Potter saying, “I don’t think the protection was good enough.” All the students turn, looking shocked. Harry Potter has returned to Hogwarts.
If this opening sounds familiar, that’s because right before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 got released, I posted a huge set report about what it was like to visit Leavesden Studios outside London and watch Harry Potter get filmed. However, while my set report was quite detailed, I actually held a few things back. The reason was when I was on set, they were actually filming scenes from Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and Warner Bros. asked us not to write about it. As you can tell from my opening, I didn’t exactly follow the rules. Hit the jump for more.
Imagine getting to walk around Dumbledore’s office, the Ministry of Magic, the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and many of the famous sets in the Harry Potter universe. Also, picture getting to interview almost the entire cast and the filmmakers behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Leavesden Studios just outside London. Well, you won’t have to visualize for very long, because on October 5th at 9am PST, the embargo will lift and I’ll be able to write about my set visit earlier this year in London! If you follow me on Twitter and remember my London tweets from March…that’s why I was there!
As you might imagine, getting to see the world of Harry Potter come alive was an experience I’ll never forget and I think you’ll enjoy reading about my adventure in a few weeks. Until then…