The filming of Universal Pictures’ Bourne Legacy, the latest installment in the Bourne franchise, continues to amuse Filipinos and even fatten the wallets of some who happen to be in the area of their shooting location.
A week ago, Bourne Legacy production reportedly paid hundreds of extras for P500 each per day in the Malate area and also paid the goods and rented the karitons (wooden carts) of the street vendors in the area for a minimum of P500 to a maximum of P1000.
More recently, ANC reported that the film production, which has a budget of more than $100 million, paid almost two million pesos as rental to an old fishing boat.
What is Bourne Legacy?
Bourne Legacy is the fourth installment in the Bourne series which was originally written by Robert Ludlum. The first three of the series, namely The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum was written by Ludlum and starred in by Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, the CIA operative with amnesia.
The series earned a total gross of $945 million worldwide, making it one of the highest grossing film franchises.
Since the death of Ludlum in 2001, Eric Van Lustbader continued writing the series. The Bourne Legacy was the first Jason Bourne novel written by Lustbader, followed by five more Bourne novels.
The film adaptation of the Bourne Legacy is penned by Tony Gilroy, who co-wrote the first three Bourne films, and who will be directing Bourne Legacy as well. The action-packed spy film stars Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) as Aaron Cross and also Rachel Weisz (The Mummy), Edward Norton (Fight Club), Joan Allen (Face/Off), and Albert Finney (Erin Brockovich).
Bourne Legacy is produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley and the film will be released in US theaters on August 3.
Why Bourne Chose Manila
The Hollywood production outfit works with local producer Lope “Jun” Juban, Jr who runs Philippine Film Studios, Inc (PFSI), a local company which has co-produced Hollywood films which shot in the Philippines in the past 30 years like Year of Living Dangerously, Platoon, and Born on the Fourth of July, among others. But unlike these films which used Manila as a stand-in for Indonesia, Vietnam, or Mexico, Bourne Legacy will promote Manila as it is and for what it is, in all its splendor and with all its imperfections.
Crowley said that Manila was chosen among three candidates which included Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh. Marshall revealed that the established film industry in the Philippines tipped the scales in favor of Manila. The Philippines’ filmmaking talents, especially in film production, offered a great advantage compared to the other cities.
Juban said in numerous interviews that it was the history of filmmaking in the country and the resilient, hospitable, and friendly, attitude of Filipinos that gave Manila an edge.
Hollywood Stars Working in Manila
Bourne Legacy started filming in the Philippines last January 11 and it is scheduled to shoot for a total of 35 days (45 days in some reports) in the country.
Cast members Rachel Weisz and Jeremy Renner had been in the Philippines for two weeks now and had been filming in various locales since then. Edward Norton, meanwhile, just planed in last Sunday via a Thai Airways flight. Norton, who plays the protagonist in the film, will only shoot one scene in the Philippines.
As an added bonus, Daniel Craig, lead star of Bond film Casino Royale and who happens to be Rachel Weisz’ husband, is also in town, but only to visit his wife.
Weisz, not knowing how big a hit “The Mummy” was in the Philippines, was reportedly surprised that she has many fans in the country. Her graciousness and humble ways with local co-stars and some residents in the areas where the Bourne Legacy is being filmed has gained her more Filipino fans.
Renner made news for having a tantrum on the set, which local producer Juban denied.
It seems the actors have acclimatized to the Philippines and have even started attending parties like those of Cristalle Belo (daughter of Vicki Belo) and event organizer Tim Yap. They have also met local celebrities like Phoemela Baranda, Iza Calzado, and KC Concepcion.
Baranda revealed that Renner and Weisz reportedly enjoyed the local viands like adobo, pinaputok na tilapia and gising-gising that were served during dinner. Both also wanted to learn more about the Filipino culture and are visibly impressed by the scenery and the warm smiles of Filipinos, especially kids.
Baranda also said that Renner has been to Boracay and Weisz is eager to see the country’s world-famous resort, too.