Dune Entertainment, Origo Film Group, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's Action, Crime, Thriller directed by John Moore starring Bruce Willis "John McClane", Jai Courtney "Jack McClane", Sebastian Koch "Komarov", Yuliya Snigir "Irina". Screenplay by: David Magee. Producer: Alex Young. Executive Producers: Tom Karnowski, Jason Keller, Bruce Willis. Associate Producers: Kevin Richard Buxbaum, William M. Connor, Michael J. Malone, Pravesh Sahni. Co-Producer: Stephen J. Eads. Consulting Producer: Larry D. Webster. Director of Photography: Jonathan Sela. Editor: Dan Zimmerman. Production Designer: Daniel T. Dorrance. Set Decorators: Jille Azis, Zoltán Horváth. Costume Designer: Bojana Nikitovic. Composer: Marco Beltrami. RELEASE DATES: 20 FEBRUARY 2013 (FRANCE) / 14 FEBRUARY 2013 (USA)
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION “THAT’s in the movie!” director John Moore gleefully shouts after calling cut. Smoke, dust and powder slowly clear the air, as the actors step out of the room and the crew begins the unenviable task of cleaning up the destruction. Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney have just destroyed a safehouse set. After a few weeks of shooting narrative story elements, today the production is bringing the heat – the thrilling action that audiences associate with the franchise. “Now it feels like were making a Die Hard movie,” says Willis. It’s mid-May, and cast and crew have assembled in one of Budapest’s oldest and most interesting structures, the Express Building. Located across the street from Freedom Square Park, the building was constructed in the 1880s, and once served as inspection headquarters and naval officers lodgings for the bustling Danube shipping industry. The building’s exterior is adorned with sculpted ships and nautical emblems. Its small courtyard, circular staircases, wrought-iron balconies and maze of connected rooms and hallways have made it a popular filming location in Budapest. Here, production designer Daniel T. Dorrance and his team have created a CIA spy nest and safehouse, where Jack McClane’s operation is directed by his boss, agent Collins (Cole Hauser). The room is filled with computers, wall maps, surveillance equipment, radio scanners and requisite junk food wrappers. After the debacle at the courthouse, the McClanes and Komarov retreat to this safehouse, where Collins is stunned to find Jack’s father tagging along. It is a tense and potentially violent moment. “Collins is furious that Jack has violated protocol and brought his father into a situation that jeopardizes the security of the mission,” says Hauser. “He doesn’t understand that the mission plan has already been blown to bits.” Agent Collins is confronted with reality when Alik’s men blast into the building and a firefight ensues. Over the course of five days, and 100 setups, the production will blast the set into smithereens. Wire ratchets yank stuntmen through the windows and hurl them 80 feet down to the courtyard floor, just one of countless wire gags designed by stunt coordinator Steve Davison. More than 50 stuntmen—American, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovakian—worked on specific sequences, from free falls and ratchet pulls to the mammoth car chase and helicopter attacks. “We have a couple of the best stuntmen in the world on this show, and the whole team is top notch,” says Davison. “The Die Hard shows are sort of the ultimate in action movies, and every stuntman in the business wants to be in the game.” As both head coach and referee of the new installment of this franchise, director John Moore was committed to taking the series to the next level. His unique visual style and background in action-oriented movies such as Behind Enemy Lines and Max Payne convinced Fox executives and producers he could move the ball downfield. Says Young: “John had an absolute vision of evolving the show, in the way that the Bourne and Bond movies have evolved, and putting his own stamp on it. He brought a new visual style to the franchise and has come up with some amazing action sequences. He also understood very deeply the heart of the father-son story. Enormous pressure and expectations come with this job, and he never shied away from it, not even for a moment.” The work was painstaking but never dull: “It’s not unusual for us to spend 12 hours doing a shot that will be three seconds on screen, but there’s no other way,” Moore explains. “This is analog filmmaking. We are doing as much as possible in camera and only using VFX to enhance or paint in backgrounds.” Funny, exuberant and animated on set, Moore was delighted when a take went well, buoyantly ringing the little bell that sat on his podium. In creating the movie’s visual style, Moore wanted the camera work to be almost entirely handheld, using three cameras and long lenses to capture tight close-ups. The improvised camera movements place the audience inside the action, as if they’re part of the story, instead of detached observers viewing from a distance. Wyck Godfrey, who has produced two other films with Moore, says, “Some of the most exhilarating times I’ve had making movies is when John has pulled off something incredibly difficult or that he’s improvised on set. His enthusiasm is infectious.” Moore says, “McClane is in a strange world, with little or no initial control over his environment. He’s unable to anticipate things as he normally might. He’s caught off guard, and we want the camera to mimic that surprise and confusion.” Dorrance and his art and construction departments (which totaled 350 people) created 58 sets for the movie. Of those, there are around 30 midsized sets, and ten significantly large sets. At one point, according to Dorrance, 500,000 square feet of set construction was happening all at once. Three of the biggest sets were built on stages in Budapest’s Raleigh studios, including the previously mentioned courthouse where Jack and Komarov initially escape. After its demolition, that set was reconstructed into the spacious ballroom of the “Hotel Ukrainia.” The cavernous interior set covers most of Raleigh’s Stage 6, and is designed, according to Dorrance, in “garish Rocco style architecture.” The 150’ x 80’ wide ballroom is covered in faux marble, each sheet having been hand-dipped into a bath of various soft colors to achieve the marble effect. Twenty painters, 80 carpenters and ten metal workers spent eight weeks building the, closely coordinating with the SFX and stunt departments. The room was dressed with breakaway chandelier, chairs and piano, while the walls and columns were designed with pre-determined bullet-hit holes, filled with squibs. The McClanes ultimately escape the hail of gunfire by leaping over a bar, which has cutouts for the placement of breakaway glass. The windows are made of tuffen glass, designed to break into small bits, and the glass-paneled ceiling is made of stained sugar glass. This will all come crashing down on the McClanes in an explosive shower - a nod to the first film, when shattered glass made mincemeat of John’s bare feet. This beautiful ballroom, which took months to build and light, was systematically destroyed during more than a week of shooting. During a confrontation with Alik, the McClanes are fired upon by a helicopter hovering just outside the ballroom. The amount of destruction is epic, even for a Die Hard movie. Through fortuitous timing and a remarkable amount of cooperation from the Hungarian government, the production was able to use one of their military’s Mi:24 attack helicopters for the sequence. The Russian-made Mi:24, one of the most reliable in the former Soviet air force, is being mothballed by Hungary’s air force and gradually replaced by NATO aircraft. Production gained access to one of them just weeks before it was slated to be decommissioned, and was allowed to fly it over Budapest air space at specially permitted maximum and minimum altitudes. Risk and fear of heights was uppermost in actress Yulia Snigir’s mind when told she would later be inside the helicopter with the doors opened, taking flight over the skies of Budapest. Her first reaction: no way. “I’m afraid of heights – I have a severe phobia and can’t even look out over a balcony,” Snigir admits. “I was petrified. But I went to my dressing room, got into character, and came out ready to go. You see, my character of Irina is much braver, much stronger than me. As Yulia, I could never have done it. But as Irina, I had no fear. It turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences. I could see the entire gorgeous cityscape of Budapest from several hundred feet in the air.” Along with the Mi:24, the movie features the Russian made Mi:26 “Halo” – the largest helicopter in the world, weighing 25 tons and capable of carrying another 25. (It is said the only thing powerful enough to airlift an Mi:26 is another Mi:26). The craft is 38 meters long, with a 60 meter-wide berth. Its 30,000 horsepower engines turn eight rotors, each 14 meters long. Top speed: 250 knots. John Moore is an aerial enthusiast (with boxed editions of “Air Forces Monthly” magazine to prove it) and says, “This is the first time an Mi:26 has been seen in a Western movie. It’s fantastic to be able to showcase this monster, and do things with it that have never been attempted before.” If the copters were the icing, the cake itself was the aforementioned vehicle chase that consumed nearly two-and-a-half months shooting, and involved hundreds of vehicles. The massive endeavor would stretch over an entire summer of shooting. Twelve separate road pieces were involved, each with a different stunt. In fact, an entire 190-person stunt unit was created to shoot the action elements of the chase, led by 2nd unit director Jonathan Taylor and assistant director Sean Guest. Close-ups and dialogue were shot by the main unit. The stunt unit became a fixture on the streets of Budapest – flipping trucks, smashing cars, and racing large vehicles around narrow corners. Taylor filmed the car chase with multiple cameras on every take – placing lenses in not only the camera vehicles and chase trucks themselves, but in the cars that are being hit, the cars passing by, motorcycles, building windows, you name it. Says Sean Guest: “We pushed it to the limit. Then we went a bit further.” Of particular concern were the “hero” vehicles – the ones driven by Jack and Komarov (a Sprinter van) and John McClane (a Unimog and G Wagon). Several versions of each hero vehicle were required, some with specially-designed exterior front driving pods for the stunt drivers, which allowed cameras to shoot the actors in the cabs of the trucks with no obstructions. Alik is “giving chase” in the most hellacious vehicle on the road -- a custom-made MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected), a vehicle designed for warzones that can decimate anything in its path. The filmmakers decided early on to design and build the MRAPs rather than purchasing pre-made versions, in order to design very specific capabilities into the vehicles. The chassis for the main MRAP is from a Russian made ZIL truck, equipped with an eight-liter, 500 horsepower Dodge Ram engine, a specially made camshaft, massive off-road shocks, and racing tires. It sits nine feet tall, eight feet wide, and weighs about 8,000 pounds. Says John Moore: “The statistics are amazing – it goes three times as fast as the military version. It’s a beast!” At one point, McClane tries to catch up to the two lead vehicles by crashing through a guardrail and literally crawling over other cars. Stuntman Larry Rippenkroeger was responsible for achieving this stunt, which production referred to as the “gridlock stepladder.” Willis himself did some of the driving for the gridlock stepladder sequence, including steering the G wagon through enormous concrete pipes and working to bring it under control after a fishtail spin. The gridlock stepladder sequence was filmed on a section of the “Hungaroring,” the Formula 1 racetrack. Production received a long-term rental on a large grass parking area on the infield – which provided a secure, safe environment for some of the biggest vehicle stunts that were too time-consuming and risky to perform on surface streets. A 350-foot asphalt tarmac was put in, as well as a bridge overpass with adjoining walls. This, in turn, was bordered by the largest green-screen ever assembled -- 750 feet long and 45 feet high. You can see it from space,” jokes Dan Dorrance. The gargantuan greenscreen enabled the VFX department to add plate shots of Moscow skylines and traffic. While Budapest did a stellar job impersonating the city, producers say, there are some features of the Russian capital that cannot be faked. What Budapest lacked in Moscow’s sheer size and dimensions, it made up for in its beauty and fascinating architecture. The production filmed in 32 practical locations, utilizing several of the city’s most prominent landmarks and public squares including the picturesque, Parisian inspired Andrassy Avenue, the Elizabeth Bridge and the popular tourist stop, Heros Square (“Hosok Ter”), adorned with large statues of Hungary’s iconic historical figures. Heros Square serves as an entrance to an enormous park, and is cornered by two of the country’s renowned museums. One of them, the Museum of Fine Arts, doubles as the exterior of the courtroom where Komarov and Jack McClane are brought in to face charges. It is a chaotic, volatile scene, as hundreds of protestors have come to spew venom at Komarov for his alleged crimes against the state. Actual Budapest police and military personnel are used in the scene as extras, along with dozens of police vehicles, tanks, flags and protest signs. Production was granted unprecedented access to Budapest’s Franz Liszt Airport (doubling for New York La Guardia) for a scene featuring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, reprising her role as John’s daughter, Lucy McClane. “In some ways it feels like it was just yesterday when we shot Live Free or Die Hard and in other ways it feels like a lifetime ago,” Winstead says. “There was mention of Lucy’s brother in the earlier film, and now I’m excited to meet him in the form of Jai! I also like the way the dialogue is a bit cryptic between John and Lucy, because that’s how a lot of families are. They tend to dance around things that are emotionally difficult or painful.” While nearly all the films locations were in Budapest, the production had to travel nearly an hour outside town to find the biggest and most intriguing set of all: Chernobyl. A former Soviet military base in the village of Kiskunlachaza, abandoned after the collapse of the USSR, provided the appropriately chilling landscape. The creepy, deteriorating facility was dressed by Dorrance’s art team with Soviet statues and murals painted on the sides of rotting concrete buildings. Rented military tanks, jeeps and trucks are scattered throughout the grounds. In addition to adding a large façade to one building, the art department poured a large concrete deck to serve as a landing pad for the Mi: 26 helicopter, which plays a key role in the end sequence. Cast and crew alike were awed by the Chernobyl set when they arrived in the evening of June 23 for the first of eight non-consecutive night shoots. “It’s incredible – I’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Sebastian Koch. “The set feels so desolate and creepy that you can’t help but imagine you are back in that time and place.” The Mi:26 is intended to serve as a getaway vehicle for Alik and his thugs, but the McClanes have something else in mind. Flying and landing the gargantuan copter required a crew of six, and the sound and fury it creates cannot fully be appreciated until you are standing a hundred yards away. The “Halo” was procured on loan from the Republic of Belarus. Transporting the fuselage across the Belarus/Ukraine/Hungarian borders, with the enormous amount of requisite permits and red tape, was an adventure in itself. Summation: Six months of planning, a week of slow, circuitous, wide-load travel on highways with police escorts, covering 1,300 kilometers, and some very close calls with low bridges. Avoiding the activity surrounding the Mi:26, the McClanes make their way to the bank building, and disappear up a ladder to the next level. When Bruce and Jai next appeared on the bank rooftop, they were instantly transported, through moviemaking magic, to an entirely different set 50 miles away at Raleigh Studios. Indeed, the Chernobyl sequence involved three large scale elements designed to look seamlessly connected: the military base at Kiskunlachaza, the rooftop exterior set at Raleigh, and the interior bank set, constructed on Stage 4. The latter was converted from what was once the courtroom set, but with added architectural and design elements. The bank interior is the largest and most interesting of the film’s interior sets, measuring 300 feet long and 60 feet high. Covering two full soundstages, it encompassed an exterior façade, a cavernous lobby, a large circular steel door, a safe deposit room and a hidden door and secret vault lined with metallic shelves and cases. The rusted, heavy metal interior of the vault lends a creepy science fiction look to the sequence. “A lot of Soviet architecture connotes popular sci fi imagery, with its simple, streamlined design, functional aesthetic and large scale,” says Dorrance. “This space should appear untouched in 30 years, with a foreboding reminder of contamination.” Dorrance and set decorator Jille Azis adorned the main lobby, which is 80 feet by 80 feet, with old typewriters, metal file cabinets, classic swivel desk chairs and 70s lamps. Azis sourced the Soviet pieces from the UK, Austria and Hungary, particularly scouring Budapest flea markets, which are still a good place for communist era memorabilia. They even found 1980s metal safe deposit boxes from as far away as Oklahoma, where a gentleman was gutting an old bank and selling them on eBay. Says producer Wyck Godfrey: “Dan and John have had a wonderful collaboration on all these sets, capturing the emotional vibe of the scene through production design. The bank interior, for example, expresses a sense of unknowable dread—what might we find in here? -- instilling the entire sequence with the atmosphere of a horror film. The rooftop set, built just outside this stage, looks like it could cave in any moment.” The bank rooftop was the principal location for the final week of shooting, all of it night work, where the entire story comes to a head in a firestorm of helicopter attacks, explosions, gunfire and trademark McClane heroism. As post-production wrapped on the massive project, the filmmakers took time to reflect on the personal and lasting impact of the original Die Hard. Producers Alex Young and Wyck Godfrey both have vivid memories of watching the film, transfixed, in a dark theater, awed by what they saw. “I was with two friends in Johnson City, Tennessee, and we had never seen anything like it,” Godfrey recalls. “We immediately got back in line and saw it again.” Young had a similar experience. He was just out of high school and happened to be working the summer of 1988 in Tulsa. “They advertised the movie as being in 70mm, which was rare. I managed to get my beat-up old car to the mall, and I sat there mesmerized, absolutely blown away.” Like Godfrey, Young immediately returned to the line to see it again. “It’s one of the greatest American movies ever made. I watch it anytime it’s on. It’s seminal to me. I wanted to be John McClane, and I still do.” Concludes John Moore: “Bruce set the standard 25 years ago with Die Hard, jumping off buildings, smashing through glass and doing it all for real. We wanted to continue that obligation to shoot realistically and for the action to be epic and fun.” © 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Property of Fox. Permission is hereby granted to newspapers and periodicals to reproduce this text in articles publicizing the distribution of the Motion Picture. All other use is strictly prohibited, including sale, duplication, or other transfers of this material. This press kit, in whole or in part, must not be leased, sold, or given away.
LINCOLN Daniel Day Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg's drama "Lincoln" from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.
LIFE OF PI Director Ang Lee on the set of LIFE OF PI.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE Old school meets new school when Billy Crystal and Bette Midler take care of grandkids (from left) Joshua Rush, Bailee Madison, and Kyle Harrison Breitkopf.
BROKEN CITY Mark Wahlberg stars as private investigator Billy Taggart, who risks everything – possibly even his freedom – as he tries to uncover big city corruption.
Hugh Jackman is Logan in THE WOLVERINE. The story is set in a distant and unfamiliar land, where Logan must finally embrace who he is, and always will be.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation's Action, Crime, Thriller directed by John Moore starring Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney.
A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD Bruce Willis plays John McClane in A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD.
TAKEN 2 Liam Neeson returns to the role of an ex-CIA operative with “a set of very special skills,” in TAKEN 2.
WON'T BACK DOWN Viola Davis, left, and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in WON´T BACK DOWN.
CHASING MAVERICKS Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler, left) and his protegee Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) take a break from their rigorous training to conquer the legendary surf break known as Mavericks.
FEATURETTE #1 "Jai Courtney" (VOSTFR)
TM & © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
FILM CLIP #1 "Car Chase Pt 2" (VO)
FILM CLIP #2 "Ballroom Fight" (VO)
FILM CLIP #3 "Pirate Gun" (VO)
TM & © 2012 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
© 2013 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS: Composer MARCO BELTRAMI scored director Kathryn Bigelow’s acclaimed The Hurt Locker, which won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director, as well as garnering Beltrami an Academy Award nomination for Best Score. He also received an Academy Award nomination for his score to Jim Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma. Beltrami most recently composed the score for James Watkins’ The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and the Sundance Audience Award winner The Sessions, starring Helen Hunt, John Hawkes and William H. Macy. His music will also be heard in the 2013 releases in the thriller Snowpiercer; and Marc Forster’s sci fi actioner World War Z, starring Brad Pitt. His many other feature credits include The Thing; Soul Surfer; Wes Craven’s Scream 4 and My Soul to Take; Jonah Hex; Alex Proya’s Knowing and I Robot; Len Wiseman’s Live Free or Die Hard; The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, for director Tommy Lee Jones; Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark; and Jonathan Mostow’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. A protégé of acclaimed composer Jerry Goldsmith, Beltrami got his big break scoring Wes Craven's Scream. Beltrami threw away conventional horror music clichés, calling upon the influences of his idol, Ennio Morricone, and likening the film to a western.
L.A. MURAL EVENT #1 Bruce Willis (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #2 Jai Courtney (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #3 Mural Unveiling (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #5 Timelapse (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #6 Timelapse B-Roll (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #7 Timelapse Van Hecht-Nielsen (Muralist) (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #8 Timelapse Fernando Cepeda (Painter) (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #9 Timelapse Alberto Rico (Painter) (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #10 “Come Out to the Coast” (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #11 “Modern Day Hero” Part #1 (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #12 “Modern Day Hero” Part #2 (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #13 “Sidekicks" (VO)
L.A. MURAL EVENT #14 “Yippee" (VO)
TV SPOT "Valentine's Day" (VO)
INTERVIEWS #1 Bruce Willis (VO)
INTERVIEWS #2 Jai Courtney (VO)
FILM CLIP #4 "Chernobyl" (VO)
FEATURETTE #2 "21st Century" (VOSTFR)
FEATURETTE #3 "Les Cascades" (VOSTFR)
FEATURETTE #4 "Bienvenue à la fête Camarade!" (VOSTFR)
FEATURETTE #5 "Tel père, tel fils" (VOSTFR)
FILM CLIP #5 "Hotel Helicopter" (VO)
FILM CLIP #1 "Car Chase Pt 2" (VOSTFR)
FILM CLIP #2 "Ballroom Fight" (VOSTFR)
FILM CLIP #3 "Pirate Gun" (VOSTFR)
FILM CLIP #4 "Chernobyl" (VOSTFR)
NEW YORK #1 Bruce Willis (VO)
NEW YORK #2 Jai Courtney (VO)
NEW YORK #3 Red Carpet B-Roll (VO)
NEW YORK #4 Event B-Roll (VO)