THE LAST STAND ( LE DERNIER REMPART )
Di Bonaventura Pictures' Action, Crime, Thriller directed by Kim Jee-Woon starring
"Agent John Bannister",
"Burrell", Zach Gilford "Jerry Bailey", Genesis Rodriguez "Agent Ellen Richards". Written by: Andrew Knauer and Jeffrey Nachmanoff. Produced by:
Lorenzo di Bonaventura
. Executive Producers: Guy Riedel, Miky Lee, Mike Paseornek, John Sacchi. Director of Photography: Ji Yong Kim. Production Designer: Franco Carbone. Costume Designer: Michele Michel. RELEASE DATES: 30 JANUARY 2013 (FRANCE) / 18 JANUARY 2013 (USA)
THE EXPENDABLES Millennium Films, Nu Image Films, Rogue Marble's Action, Adventure, Thriller directed by Sylvester Stallone starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li.
THE EXPENDABLES 2 Millennium Films, Nu Image Films' Action, Adventure directed by Simon West starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li.
SPIN OUT: EDUARDO NORIEGA AS CORTEZ To play The Last Stand’s sinister villain – the international drug lord Cortez – the filmmakers sought the very opposite of your standard image of a sleazy crime kingpin. On the contrary, they wanted Cortez to be whip-smart, sleekly sophisticated, as skilled with technology as a Fortune 500 CEO . . . and simultaneously, one of the coldest human beings ever to wear a custom suit. They found that combo in the hot and rapidly rising Spanish actor Eduardo Noriega. Says di Bonaventura, “Eduardo is a wonderful actor. He can pull off that wonderful dichotomy -- that flair that comes from a life of privilege, along with the menace of a bad guy.” Noriega jokingly calls his character “a bit of a spoiled boy.” He goes on: “I read in the papers once, that a man had bought a school so he could fire a teacher who had scolded his son. I immediately thought this could be a Gabriel Cortez biographical anecdote. My character is someone very powerful who has lots of money and thinks he can buy everything. He's used to getting everything he wants and so he can be really dangerous if he doesn't get it.” To pave his way towards the escape and freedom he expects will be his reward, Cortez employs a brutal lieutenant, Burrell, who is played with menace to spare by veteran villain portrayer Peter Stormare, also seen this year in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Stormare had previously collaborated with di Bonaventura on Constantine, and the producer says, “I still remember what he did playing Satan, which is one of the great moments I’ve had as a producer, as Burrell, he’s an exceedingly confident, cynically funny enemy. When he goes up against Owens and his gang, even though he’s a coldhearted mercenary, you can see that he’s somewhat amused by the fact that these small town officers are standing up to him. I think both he and Chris bring a lot to what might otherwise be second tier bad guys.” Jee-woon adds: “Ever since seeing Fargo, I’ve been a fan of Peter and here he creates a scary, yet fun and endearing villain.” Perhaps Cortez’s greatest ally in his battle is another key character in The Last Stand – not a man but the machine that powers the criminal’s dazzling exit strategy through the Southwestern desert: the Corvette ZR1, the fastest car available for purchase “directly off the line.” The special version seen in The Last Stand is a super souped-up auto show showstopper, with more than 1,000 horsepower and top speeds around 250 miles per hour. “It can outrun anything anyone can throw at it,” di Bonaventura states, “and at one point, we considered, ‘What if they called in a fighter jet to blow it off the road?’— but that takes a Presidential order, and you’re not going to be able to secure an order to shoot a civilian in a car in two hours’ time. So, Cortez’s plan is basic and simple: make a run across the border. Add to that, that Cortez can buy any engineer, any think tank guy, anyone with a plan to make a part of the border thought to be impassable, workable. And that’s what brings him straight through Sommerton.” For Jee-woon the car had to come off as dangerous as Cortez himself. “I drove the car before we started filming,” the director confesses. “Driving it was fun, but riding in the passenger seat was scary. It’s more like riding a beast than a car. The engine revs are like growls. Maybe this is what riding a tiger or a lion feels like. And that’s what I wanted to portray: the car’s beastly nature.” BETWEEN VEGAS AND THE BORDER: THE LOOK OF THE FILM Jee-woon always saw The Last Stand as divided into several visually distinct worlds: “You have flashy Las Vegas, the earthy small town of Sommerton, the chaos of the FBI offices, and then Cortez’s dynamic super-car,” he says. “I wanted to create a different look, with different colors, textures and camera angles, for each one of them.” In searching for the perfect Sommerton – the town that transforms into the venue for an epic showdown -- production designer Franco Carbone (The Expendables) hoped to find a locale that aspired to be the quintessential American village. It had to be the kind of tight-knit community with a main street, a diner, some stores, the Sheriff’s office . . . and a neighboring corn field just past the end of town, where Jee-woon had envisioned the start of the final battle amidst the maze-like rows of jagged corn. Carbone found the foundation of the look that Jee-woon was after in Belen, Arizona, some 30 miles outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and built the film’s Sommerton there. “Our challenge was really to make this town feel alive,” says Carbone, “a place full of back story and a history. We figured it as one of those gold rush towns that came up at the turn of the last century, which it really was, as a stop on the railway out to the West. There were some great turn of the century buildings on one side of the street, and I mirrored those on the other side.” According to executive/line producer Guy Riedel, “It really was only half a town, with a few existing buildings broken up by vacant lots. We built storefronts, put in a tire store and a church, and pulled the boards of a condemned building -- a former grocery store -- to create Irv’s Diner.” For Carbone, the diner had to represent the homey appeal that might draw a guy like Owens to choose to live in a place as seemingly quiet as Sommerton – and then to fight tooth and nail for it. “Irv’s Diner gives the town a sense of richness,” says Carbone. “It became a shorthand of why we care out these people in Sommerton and why Owens is driven to protect them.” Throughout the filming, Jee-woon worked closely with his director of photography, Ji-Yong Kim, with whom he also worked on A Bittersweet Life. “He speaks English, he makes directors feel very comfortable and he has a really ingenious sense of camera set-ups and angles,” says the director. While the film’s stunts ranged from a spectacular zip-line getaway in Vegas to a human explosion, some of the most heart-pounding work revolved around Cortez’s prized Corvette ZR1. Thanks to di Bonaventura’s healthy working relationship with GM -- due to prior collaborations on all of the Transformer films -- the car manufacturer provided the production with six of the coveted Corvettes. Di Bonaventura notes: “GM had to really believe in the movie and believe that the filmmakers could understand their car like they understand their car. They wanted to see their Corvette go fast and look cool, and so did we.” A large department was created solely to maintain the cars and ensure that they were ready to go when needed. One ZR1 and one ZL1 were kept pristine for the scenes where the metal co-stars were doing what they do best—being driven or sitting parked. Others were rigged specially for their specific stunt use: beefed up suspensions to support extra weight; pipes welded underneath to hook to camera rigs; an engine removed to lighten for placing on a different rig; and gas tanks removed for safe soundstage shooting. Riedel explains, “Each car had its own purpose. And keeping track of all that was a challenge, because sometimes, the same car was needed by different units, in different parts of the city. It was a big undertaking.” To execute driving blind through a corn field, an alternative driving system known as “pod cars” were constructed on the roofs of the vehicles. A stunt driver maneuvered the car from the top -- where he could see over the corn -- while the actor on-camera looked like he was in charge of the speeding automobile. The filmmakers were adamant about maintaining a level of reality to all the chase and stunt sequences. Rather than rely on a large amount of CG, Jee-woon and his team attempted to “old school” it as much as possible, utilizing careful stunt work and physical effects, especially since the story is about the triumph of grit, guts and ordinary bravery over sophisticated bad guys. Working with both cast and cars was highly experienced stunt coordinator and second unit director Darrin Prescott, with Wade Allen functioning as second unit stunt coordinator. Prescott not only had to work with cars at breathtaking speeds, but with a series of battles, foot chases and bone-crushing hand-to-hand combat sequences, many involving Schwarzenegger. Prescott had worked with Schwarzenegger years prior, and he found him as ready to go to the limits as ever. He comments of his return: “It’s like he’s never left the business. He stepped right back into it. He was great—he was Arnold, the same guy that I worked with 15 years ago.” The veteran coordinator was also impressed by Noriega’s dedication to learning the ins and outs of the action genre, throwing himself head-long into intense fight and driving training. “Eduardo came to us and said he wanted to train and be in as much of the fighting and driving as he could be—and that was great for us,” says Prescott. “Basically, he was a blank canvas—it’s such a pleasure to work with someone like that.” When the driving risks proved too high, the production employed stunt driver Jeremy Fry to double for Noriega, and it was Fryes who maneuvered the 3,200-pound machine through automotive moves that can literally only happen in the movies. It seems that such magic was conjured on a regular basis for Jee-woon. Prescott recounts, “The director would ask us, ‘Can you 180 a bus in a street that’s just three car-lengths wide?’ And we’d say, ‘Hey, it’s Hollywood, we can do anything! It’s just whether we can afford it or not.’ So effects built casters underneath the bus, so Jeremy could drive the bus down this narrow street, with real businesses on both sides. He’d drive in and hit the button, and the back of the bus would come up, the wheels would come off the ground—just maybe an inch or so—and it would ride on these caster wheels like it was on ice, sliding 180 perfectly into this tiny street. Talk about cool.” No matter what the stunt, car maneuver or battle at hand, to everyone involved, the most exciting thing on the set was the presence of Schwarzenegger – who inspired all. Executive producer Guy Riedel comments, “He was incredibly professional, friendly to everybody, and he always looked like he was having fun, just doing what he was doing. I think audiences will love seeing him return to action. This character is a great fit, and it’s great to have him back.” Sums up Schwarzenegger: “What’s great about The Last Stand is that it is a real underdog story, but it is also a story that happens all around the world. When I was Governor, one of my favorite things to do was to give the Medal of Valor to law enforcement for the extraordinary things they did, going beyond the call of duty. I would read their stories out loud and often, they sounded impossible. People would say ‘no human being could do that.’ But people do amazing things and that’s the situation in The Last Stand. You have a little town with one Sheriff and a few deputies and yet when the most dangerous drug lord descends on his town, the chase is on.” © 2013 Lions Gate Films Inc. All Rights Reserved.
THE POSSESSION Ghost House Pictures, North Box Productions' Horror, Suspense directed by Ole Bornedal starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Madison Davenport.
© Copyright 2012 - Lions Gate Entertainment - NYSE/TSX: LGF.
THE LAST STAND Di Bonaventura Pictures' Action, Crime, Thriller directed by Kim Jee-Woon starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Eduardo Noriega.
© Copyright 2012 - Lions Gate Entertainment - NYSE/TSX: LGF.
Ray Owens (Arnold Schwarzenegger, left) and Lewis Dinkum (Johnny Knoxville, right) in THE LAST STAND.
THE POSSESSION Natasha Calis stars as ‘Em’ in THE POSSESSION.
DREDD 3D Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) in DREDD 3D.
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D Dan Yeager stars as 'Leatherface' in TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.
THE BIG WEDDING Bebe (Susan Sarandon, left), Father Moinighan (Robin Williams, center) and Don (Robert De Niro, right) in THE BIG WEDDING.
Felix (Nick Tucci) and Zee (Wendy Glenn) in YOU’RE NEXT.
SONGS: “Blue Moon Revisited (Song for Elvis)” Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Performed by Cowboy Junkies Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Canada and The RCA Records Label By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing “I’ll Pretend” Written and Performed by Glen Morris Courtesy of Fervor Records Vintage Masters “Angel From Heaven” Written and Performed by Paul Craig Courtesy of Stankhouse Records By arrangement with Ghost Town, Inc. "I Ain't Superstitious" Written by Willie Dixon Performed by Santana featuring Jonny Lang Courtesy of Arista Records By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
"Big Perfect Team"
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Johnny Knoxville
Forest Whitaker & Rodrigo Santoro
Red carpet Soundbites and B-Roll