“Jason Bourne” is finally here!
The newest chapter in the Jason Bourne saga (opening July 29, 2016) includes an eye-popping chase sequence on the Las Vegas Strip, but what very few know is it almost didn’t happen.
Why? To put it generously, asshattery.
Another signature Paul Greengrass-directed action sequence made even more glorious because it’s set against the most gorgeous city on Earth. We might be a little biased on that one,
but you get our drift.
The chase begins [SPOILER ALERT] at a faux technology conference at Aria, called Exocon. Bad guy Vincent Cassel assassinates an ubernerd played by Riz Ahmed, and flees in a SWAT vehicle.
Bourne gives chase in a black Dodge Charger and all hell breaks loose.
Matt Damon (in the passenger seat) took the wheel from his stunt driver for portions of the big chase, including this sequence at Aria.
But here’s the thing. Preparations for shutting down The Strip for “Jason Bourne” was in the works for months. Locations and permits were locked down, with a good deal of
cooperation from several Las Vegas resorts and Clark County, where The Strip resides.
“Jason Bourne” was scheduled to begin filming in Las Vegas on Jan. 6, 2015, at McCarran
As the shoot grew near, though, something unthinkable happened.
On Dec. 20, 2015, an unstable, 24-year-old woman named Lakeisha Holloway drove into the sidewalk outside Planet Hollywood and Paris Las Vegas and rammed three dozen pedestrians, killing one of them.
The incident was shocking, tragic and pointless. And it happened just two weeks before production of “Jason Bourne” was to start in Las Vegas.
Fact: Jason Bourne has no patience for asshattery.
The fallout for the families of those killed and injured is difficult to even comprehend. As those involved and members of the community tried to grasp what had happened (there is
no good reason, the driver appears to have been having a tough time and wanted others to feel her pain), the filmmakers involved with “Jason Bourne” were grappling with another
See, the chase on The Strip wasn’t just close to where the accident happened, it was precisely where the accident happened.
In the video above, Jason Bourne drives up Las Vegas Boulevard against traffic (north), shadowing the SWAT vehicle as it moves in the right lane. When Bourne’s car crosses the
median, it crosses at exactly the point where Lakeisha Holloway began her rampage, on the sidewalk in front of Planet Hollywood.
Her crime continued down the front of Paris Las Vegas, with its easily accessible sidewalk (no visible safety measures have been added since the accident, so stay vigilant), and Jason Bourne’s car takes the same route.
At one point, Bourne’s car even runs up onto the sidewalk. See more in the B-roll.
Eerie coincidence, to say the least.
The producers of “Jason Bourne” were obviously rattled by the news about Holloway, and understandably concerned about having a chase sequence in a car, on a sidewalk, with people
running and screaming, on The Strip. Especially on that stretch of road.
Some wondered if the sequence should be scrapped, out of respect for the victims. Alternative locations were floated. The filmmakers waited and watched, with many millions of dollars in production costs in the balance.
Filming in Las Vegas began as scheduled, first at the airport, then at a bus station in downtown Las Vegas.
For scenes at the bus depot, Greyhound signs were covered with signs reading Blue Line. Movie magic.
As the days passed, the production team decided it would proceed as planned with the chase on The Strip.
Filmmakers built an extension to the sidewalk in front of Paris Las Vegas, complete with faux grass and shrubbery, probably an attempt to alter the appearance of the area where the tragedy took place.
Shrubbery serves as camouflage outside Paris.
The rest is cinematic history, as they say.
See more of our exclusive skinny about the “Jason Bourne” production in Las Vegas.
While we certainly understand the trepidation of the production team of “Jason Bourne,” had this imbalanced woman deprived us of our Jason Bourne chase on The Strip, there is “no
measure to how fast and how hard” we’d have railed about the fact that if you give into terror tactics, the asshats have won.
In this case, audiences around the world won.
So, see the movie. Show the world that evil-doers intent on wreaking havoc don’t run the show. Their reprehensible acts aren’t powerful or courageous, they’re cowardly and weak and
doomed to fail.
In other words, all the things Jason Bourne isn’t. Take that, asshats.