Post Magazine


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 47

ussie director Patrick Hughes' 2017 movie The Hitman's Bodyguard starred Ryan Reynolds as bodyguard Michael Bryce and Samuel L. Jackson as hitman Darius Kincaid in a gleefully over-the-top action film that grossed close to $200 million. Now the world's most lethal odd couple is back in the sequel, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard, on another life-threatening mission. Still unlicensed and under scrutiny, Bryce is forced back into action by Darius's even more volatile wife, the infamous international con artist Sonia Kincaid (Salma Hayek). As Bryce is driven over the edge by his two most dangerous clients, the trio get in over their heads in a global plot and soon find that they are all that stand between Europe and a vengeful and powerful madman (Antonio Banderas). Joining in the gonzo action and dead- ly mayhem are Morgan Freeman and Frank Grillo. The result? An ultra-violent road trip that involves some of Europe's most photogenic locations — along with pesky problems for Bryce, including detonating briefcases, Italian mobsters, Russian gangsters, car chases, bar brawls, explosions, shootouts, a little light torture and overall pandemonium. Here, in an exclusive interview with Post, I spoke with Hughes — whose credits include The Expendables 3 and Red Hill, and commercials for such top brands as Xbox, BMW, Honda, Mercedes, Vodafone and Toyota — about the chal- lenges of making and posting the film. Successful sequels to big hits are notoriously tricky to pull off. What sort of film did you set out to make? "The original script for the first one was basically a straight action film, and when I came on board, I told Ryan it should really be a comedy, as it was so ludicrous — even just the title, so we re-engineered the script. And the way it should start is, even if you're the best, coolest body- guard in the world, it doesn't help when your #1 client has his head blown off in front of you in the first minute. Now you're 'not' the world's best bodyguard, and that gave the whole film its comedy legs that we just ran with. And so for this, we upped the action and level of crazy, with Salma's character more front and center as a crazy mother figure, and Jackson plays this disgruntled father figure, and that's essentially the family." On these kinds of films you have to integrate post and all the VFX from Day 1, so I assume you did a ton of storyboarding and previs? "Absolutely, especially for all the action stuff. I have a previs artist who travels with me, as it's a process where I really have to work out all the mechanics of it, and it starts with toy boats and cars on a huge map on a table, so you can plan out all the interactions and who's hitting who and the dynamics of a chase. Then we move all that into previs and start with an overview, and it's boring to watch, but there's so many crew involved and so many moving parts, and we were shooting over four countries, so I need to have that grade-scale over- view of it all. It's not about the shot. It's about what is actually happening in this scene. It's a laborious, long process, but now we have a QuickTime, which keeps everyone updated and which gives me a geographical awareness of it, and that all department heads are on the same page. Then we break it down as a shot list: What are the key images we need? Where do the VFX shots go? And often that comes down to storyboarding." Talk about the look you and your DP Terry Stacey went for. "We talked a lot about how, when we re-introduce Bryce, he's in therapy in London in a bland office, and then there's a big transition with his sabbatical, where's he off to Italy and Capri, and all the vivid colors there and the gorgeous locations, and all that informed the ward- robe and the palette. We shot on the Alexa Mini with anamorphic lenses." How tough was the shoot? "It was grueling, a marathon and ex- tremely exhausting — mentally, physical- ly, emotionally. We filmed in the UK, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia, and at Millennium's Nu Boyana studios in Sofia, Bulgaria, so you're constantly moving this army around and dealing with tons of logistics and schedules." Tell us about post. Do you like post? "I love it and I always look forward to post so much, especially when you hit the last two weeks of the shoot. I always need a break after the shoot, but I can't wait to start post. And there were a lot of the same post guys from the first film, so that was great, as you already have relationships." THE HITMAN'S WIFE'S BODYGUARD'S PATRICK HUGHES BY IAIN BLAIR SEAMLESSLY BLENDING COMEDY, ACTION, VFX & MULTIPLE LOCATIONS A DIRECTOR'S CHAIR 16 POST JULY/AUG 2021 Reynolds and Hughes talk during production.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Post Magazine - July/Aug2021