Tag Archives: Barbara Broccoli

Actors and Stunt Performers in Batman Begins

 

Superhero movies are spun from the same fabric as the good old fashioned action-adventure films like Indiana Jones and James Bond, just with more costumes and EFX in the end to support the fantastic stunts. Arguably, they stock more types of stunts in these movies than any other type of film with High Falls, Fight Choreography, Car Chases, Big Jumps, Explosions and…I could go on and on and on.batman 23

What I love about this film is that the stunt team and the filmmakers wanted to go to a more grounded and realistic platform from which to work from. Much of Batman’s gear and apparel, including his cape and suit, is based on actual military technology and the stunts reflect this. The cast was used in the stunts and fight scenes as much as possible as well to keep things as real as possible. It’s funny, although Christian Bale performed many of his own stunts for the film, he wasn’t allowed anywhere near the Batmobile. Christian Bale had to perform 16 separate fights in the course of the film.

Up to this point in the movie industry, it was common practice to use a second unit for the action scenes. Director Christopher Nolan decided that there would be no second unit, and so for the whole of the one hundred and twenty nine shooting days Nolan oversaw every shot of the film personally. Christopher Nolan would generally shoot the fight scenes with the actors first. He would then shoot the same fight sequences with the stuntmen for coverage. Sometimes, it got quite scary, for example, when Christian Bale and Liam Neeson were fighting on the frozen lake they could hear the ice cracking beneath their feet. The next day, the lake was completely melted.batman

The Batmobile, 9 feet wide and 16 feet long, has a top speed of 106 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6 seconds. The engine is a 5.7 liter V8 Chevy. It runs on unleaded gas and can do about 7 miles per gallon. It has four 44-inch tires at the rear, made by Interco Tire Corp, while the front is covered in jagged plates of armor. It was designed and built by Chris Corbould and Andrew Smith at Shepperton Studios in England. This Batmobile was built from the ground up and is estimated to be worth half a million pounds.batman-begins-the-tumbler (1)

It’s interesting to note that “Batman Begins” inspired James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccolli to reboot the James Bond franchise and reinventing the character of British secret agent James Bond and making him much darker and more realistic. You can thank this film for the Daniel Craig era of James Bond. Batman Begins was directed by Christopher Nolan for Warner Bros.

Things to look up (go to IMDB ):

  • Christopher Nolan
  • Liam Neeson
  • Christian Bale
  • Barbara Broccolli
  • Michael G. Wilson
  • Chris Corbould
  • Andrew Smith

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Daniel Craig and the Stunt Team of Skyfall

Daniel Craig is settling in as Bond and is being allowed to do a lot more of his own stunts. For example, Daniel performed the stunt of leaping and sliding down the escalator rail and the signature roof-top fight on the top of a moving train traveling at 50 kph (31 mph) during the film’s opening sequence. Producer Barbara Broccoli has said: “Daniel contributes a great deal to designing the action and the fights in particular and he’s the one who really pulls it off, because he wants to do as much of it as he possibly can. We were in Turkey for the train sequence and I had my heart in my mouth the whole time; he and Ola were fighting on the roof of a moving train and the moves that they were doing were just heart stopping. Daniel’s the reason why the action works as well as it does because he sells it, he’s up there and I think audiences know that.”Skyfall 2
The film was influenced by Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) by director Christopher Nolan according to the film’s director Sam Mendes. A number of the early reviews of ‘Skyfall’ likened the mood of the film to that of The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Interestingly, a recurring line of dialogue in The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was “Permission To Die” – this is also the title of a 1989 James Bond comic book released. A shot in ‘Skyfall’ of Bond (‘Daniel Craig’) standing on-top of a building looking-out over London with a flag of England evoke Batman perched on roof-tops looking-out over Gotham City. Mendes has said: “In terms of what [Nolan] achieved, specifically “The Dark Knight”, the second movie, what it achieved, which is something exceptional. It was a game changer for everybody…What Nolan proved was that you can make a huge movie that is thrilling and entertaining and has a lot to say about the world we live in, even if, in the case with The Dark Knight, it’s not even set in our world… That did help give me the confidence to take this movie in directions that, without The Dark Knight, might not have been possible.” Nolan has often stated that the classic James Bond films have been an influence on his “Dark Knight” trilogy. As such, one can say that Bond has inspired Batman and that Batman has inspired Bond.skyfall21505

Ironically enough, I also picked The Dark Knight (2008) for Best Movie Stunt over the last James Bond film Quantum of Solace. Stunt-man and Bond stunt-double Andy Lister performed the opening sequence’s fall from the bridge into the river. Riggers were set up a crane on a train carriage to hold a safety line. Andy then reacted to the gun shot by limply diving backwards off the 300 foot (92 m) drop. This jump stunt is a typical Bondian ‘Skyfall’ jump stunt synonymous with the series. Skyfall jumps having appeared regularly since The Spy Who Loved Me(1977), with others in Moonraker (1979), For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983),A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987), Licence to Kill (1989), GoldenEye(1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Quantum of Solace (2008).skyfall_2366153a

Stuntman Gary Powell and other members of his family have worked on every EON Productions official series Bond movie since Dr. No (1962). Father and uncle Nosher Powell and Dinny Powell worked on all the early 60s and 70s Bonds with Sean Connery and George Lazenby; brother Greg Powell worked on the 70s and 80s Bonds with Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton whilst Gary has worked on all the 90s and 00s Bonds with Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as well as ‘Skyfall’, the first Bond movie of the 2010s.
skyfall-casino-scene

A total of twenty Honda CRF250R motorcycles were used for the opening motorcycle chase. The sequence is notable for being performed on narrow rooftop tracks and without any helmets or heavy-duty protective gear. The ‘Police’ and ‘Street Merchant’ bikes seen were ridden by stunt riders and due to the high speed of the chase, the stunt crew teams filming it also rode the bikes carrying the cameras. For the film, the Honda motorbikes were modified especially for the stunt sequence by the special effects team of Chris Corbould.

Skyfall was directed by Sam Mendes for Eon Productions.

Check out our new Book, 100 Years of the Best Movie Stunts!Screen Shot 2015-09-19 at 8.23.28 PM

Things to look up (go to IMDB page ):

  • Sam Mendes
  • Chris Corbould
  • Daniel Craig
  • Andy Lister
  • Gary Powell
  • Nosher Powell
  • Dinny Powell
  • Greg Powell
  • Eon Productions