Category Archives: Jason Bourne Las Vegas

Riviera Casino Closed Two Years Ago, Watch Her Fall Again

The iconic Riviera Hotel and Casino closed its doors on May 4, 2015, after 60 years of ups, downs and WTFs.

Toward the end, public indifference toward the aging casino turned to melancholy, with many bemoaning the end of an era in Las Vegas.

Riviera Las Vegas

Spoiler alert: This is the “before” photo.

While we, too, did a fair share of bemoaning when the casino closed, mostly we dove headlong into the task of obsessively chronicling the casino’s months-long demolition, capturing The Riv as it transformed from a run down relic to a paved-over parking lot.

Riviera demolition

It’s like dermabrasion, but with a vintage Vegas hotel.

On the second anniversary of Riviera’s closing, we figured it was a good time to look back, to reflect upon the history of a casino woven into the fabric of Sin City and to shamelessly try and increase the number of views of our Riviera demolition video.

The Riviera was purchased by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority for $182.5 million. Demolition of the Riviera cost about $44 million. Yes, that’s a really pricey parking lot.

During her heyday, Riviera was featured in movies like the original “Ocean’s 11,” “Casino,” “The Hangover” and many others.

After closing, the Riv played a key part in the bigtime Hollywood yawner, “Jason Bourne,” which, come to think of it, we also wasted our time obsessively chronicling.

Bourne Riviera crash

In the climactic finale to “Jason Bourne,” this SWAT truck drove into the Riviera’s shuttered casino. Unforgettable moment, utterly forgettable movie.

We miss the Riv from time-to-time. Its “Crazy Girls.” Its future kiddie porn-downloading Jan Rouven. Its pinball machines. Its “An Evening at Le Cage,” wherein Frank Marino (now at the Linq casino) made an eye-popping $20,000 a week for impersonating a woman. Its crappy food court. Its “Splash.” Its Liberace.

Goodbye, again, old girl. We’ll never see your like again.

Epic “Jason Bourne” Chase on Las Vegas Strip Was Nearly Derailed by Deranged Asshat

“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.

Jason Bourne

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
International Airport.

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.

Jason Bourne

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.

Jason Bourne

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.

Bourne Las Vegas

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.

“Jason Bourne” Chase Ends With Spectacular Riviera Crash, Official Trailer Debuts

It’s hard to say which was more exciting, Jason Bourne’s car piggy-backing a SWAT van and crashing into the Riviera casino, or the Super Bowl trailer featuring Las Vegas footage and the name of the latest installment of the Bourne franchise (wait for it), “Jason Bourne.”

At the moment, we’re still reeling from the Riviera stunt, so we’ll just go with that. Major spoilers ahead, by the way!

Bourne Riviera crash

Bourne’s Charger and a SWAT van get busy. Hey, it’s Vegas.

After weeks of “Jason Bourne” sightings on the Las Vegas Strip, the big day of the Riviera stunt finally arrived on Feb. 5, 2016.

There were a couple of clues Bourne was coming to The Riv. First, the Riv’s facade was lit up. Also, a special awning appeared overnight leading up to the stunt.

Jason Bourne Riviera stunt

The Riviera name won’t be seen in the film. The Riv’s fictional name will be the Empire Casino.

As this blog has documented, perhaps a tad too obsessively, the Riviera was the climax of a high-speed car chase that began at Aria.

Bourne Riviera stunt

The awning after dark.

During the chase, Bourne’s car takes a ramp at Bally’s and ends up on the roof of a SWAT van with the movie’s villain, played by Vincent Cassel (“Oceans 12”), inside.

Here’s the jump at Bally’s.

Through a bit of movie magic, the sequence cuts to the Riviera, despite the hotels being a mile and a half away from each other.

Fans were treated to a spectacular stunt where Bourne’s car is ripped from the roof of the SWAT van while the SWAT vehicle barrels through the doors of the Riviera. Here’s the best view of the stunt we’ve seen so far, and not just because we captured it.

Look closely and you’ll see a cable extending from the back of Bourne’s Charger. The awning’s just for show, and the cable actually keeps the Charger from moving forward with the SWAT van. The cable will be removed with CGI in the finished film.

It’s interesting to note that stunts of this kind are typically done by a film’s “second unit,” or sans stars. However, those on the scene say Matt Damon and Vincent Cassel took part in the stunt sequence at Riviera.

It was glorious seeing an iconic hotel being used to such great effect in a Bourne movie.

Bourne Riviera crash

Zooming in, you can see the movie’s set decoration created signage for shows in the Empire Casino. Attention to detail, baby.

This is absurdly fanatical, but if you look up Ron Reiss (the performer depicted in the fake sign above, along with the amusing text, “Bringing Back the Ukulele”), you’ll find a result for Ronald R. Reiss, a set decorator with a metric hell-ton of credits, including “The Matrix,” “Jurassic World” and “Robin Hood: Men in Tights.” Awesome Easter egg, Ron, but nothing escapes this blog. (We totally just scooped IMDb.)

Also on the sign above, you’ll see a reference to Exocon. That’s the name of the fictional tech conference at Aria where Tommy Lee Jones’ character (CIA Director Robert Dewey) is a speaker, and another character (Deep Dream Founder and CEO Aaron Kalloor) played by Riz Ahmed is assassinated by Vincent Cassel’s character and the Strip chase begins.

But wait, there’s more!

While the stunt outside the Riviera was spectacular, for those who adored The Riv, what was inside was fairly spectacular as well. Here’s what we could see from the outside.

Bourne Riviera slots

Riviera lives again!

That wouldn’t be nearly as spectacular were it not for the fact the inside of Riviera was stripped clean when the hotel closed.

Here’s what the interior of the Riviera looked like on May 6, 2015.

Riviera closed

Sorry we didn’t appreciate you enough when you were alive, Riviera.

For the making of “Jason Bourne,” crew dressed the Riviera’s casino to make it look open, including dozens of slot machines and about 20 table games.

Here’s an exclusive look inside the Riviera, thanks to our favorite extra in the history of ever.

Bourne Riviera crash

We do not use the term “movie magic” lightly.

If you didn’t know this was a movie set, you’d swear that photo was taken when the Riviera was still in operation. Vegas nerd gold!

Here’s another incredible shot our superfan mole passed along that shows the SWAT van inside the Riviera just after it crashed through the break-away glass doors.

Bourne Riviera SWAT crash

Lesson: Don’t drink and try to evade justice.

Our extra friend says Bourne (played by Matt Damon, of course) emerges from his car, injured, in hot pursuit of Vincent Cassel (an assassin, carrying a gun and duffel bag). There’s a gun fight.

Extras didn’t get to see how the sequence ends, but it’s a pretty good bet Jason Bourne prevails.

Although filmed just a few weeks earlier, another chase sequence made it into the “Jason Bourne” trailer unveiled during Super Bowl 50.

Here’s the aforementioned trailer.

Havoc, consider yourself wreaked.

Jason Bourne trailer Vegas

We are not cleaning this up.

If you look closely, you can see some faux shrubbery along the front of Paris Las Vegas, where there’s typically just a bare sidewalk.

Jason Bourne trailer

The SWAT truck’s POV just before it plows the road, Jason Bourne in hot pursuit.

Here’s video of the plowing the road sequence taken by a fellow Bourne fan.

We snapped pics of that very same stretch of The Strip on Jan. 21, 2016.

Bourne Las Vegas

Filmmakers either wanted to pretty up this stretch of The Strip or, more likely, camouflage it. This is the same spot where an asshat plowed into pedestrians in December 2015. So, awkward.

Told you we’re obsessed.

Oh, and in the trailer, you can also see the moment when Vincent Cassel’s bad guy offs Riz Ahmed’s character, just after Ahmed’s character says something about having sold his soul and betrayed the public trust. (“Jason Bourne” sounds like it will delve into the world of cyber-security and privacy in a big way.)

Vincent Cassel Bourne

Vincent Cassel’s character presumably shoots his target from the rafters, but the Ironwood Ballroom at Aria doesn’t have a rafter area, so this part of the assassination sequence was probably shot on a soundstage in L.A.

Filming of “Jason Bourne” is wrapping up in Vegas, so we hope to finally get some much-needed rest.

Bourne Riviera Empire Casino

The Riv’s scheduled for implosion in early 2017. “Jason Bourne” is an epic way for the Riviera to be immortalized, even as the Empire Casino.

We’ll probably do a comprehensive wrap-up at some point, so if you’re a Bourne fan, stay tuned.

“Jason Bourne” wrapped production in Las Vegas on Feb. 8, 2016 (actually in the wee hours of Feb. 9) with a re-shoot of the Bally’s jump sequence. Insert sad face here.

“Jason Bourne” opens July 29, 2016. We should have a viewing party or something. Preferably in our pants.

Bourne 5 Car Chase Stunt Uses Bally’s Las Vegas Ramp as Launch Pad

Filming of the latest installment of the Jason Bourne movie franchise, titled “Jason Bourne,” is about to wrap in Las Vegas, but not before a few more awesome stunts.

The bulk of filming in Las Vegas has been a high-speed chase down Las Vegas Boulevard. The chase will appear in the action-heavy final third of the untitled film.

Bourne 5 car jump

Security was extraordinarily tight at the Bourne 5 shoot, so we’re unable to share the photo you’re currently viewing.

On Feb. 3, 2016, and the wee hours of Feb. 4 (we stayed up until 5:00 a.m. so you didn’t have to), the film’s second unit filmed a car jump stunt on the ramp at Bally’s Las Vegas.

The crew did a test at Bally’s weeks ago, and we’d heard the scene had been nixed by director Paul Greengrass, but apparently it’s back in. The more Vegas the better!

Matt Damon Bourne 5

Matt Damon’s chase car, looking a bit rough because the car’s taken some previous hits during the pursuit, gets prepped for the jump. The Bourne 5 star did some of his own driving during a sequence at Aria.

Here’s exclusive video of the stunt at Bally’s Las Vegas, as Jason Bourne, in a black Dodge Charger, pursued by police cars, attempts to stop a SWAT van (the one he’s been chasing on The Strip).

While Bourne misses the SWAT vehicle in this take, an earlier take had the Charger hitting the SWAT car, so expect that version in the film.

Bourne Betrayal jump stunt

The shoot at Bally’s involved more than 100 crew members, dozens of chilly extras (temps dropped to freezing) and about 50 cars and drivers.

Principal photography has ended in Las Vegas, so don’t expect to see Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Alicia Vikander, Julia Stiles, Vincent Cassel, Riz Ahmed or the other stars of the movie on-set this week.

Bourne car jump stunt

Most of the cars in the sequence had human drivers, but one car was too close to the action, so the task fell to this legless mannequin hoping to get his SAG card.

The grand finale of the weeks of shooting in Las Vegas is expected to be a doozy.

Check out all our “Jason Bourne” coverage, including more photos, video and spoilers even Variety, Hollywood Reporter and TMZ don’t know about.

Under Cover of Darkness, Bourne 5 Car Chase Revs Up the Las Vegas Strip

Jason Bourne may have tried to stay incognito during his first few weeks in Las Vegas, but he’s out in the open now.

The new Bourne movie, cleverly titled “Jason Bourne,” starring Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones has begun filming one of its trademark car chases on The Strip.

Bourne 5

Witness 17,350 pounds of Jason Bourne nemesis. The chase is on!

We’ve been sharing Bourne scoops since the production arrived, and now we’ve had our first legit Jason Bourne encounter.

Filming of Bourne 5 is taking place in the driveway of Aria Las Vegas (Jan. 18-19, 2016). Thanks to one of our earlier reports, picked up by local news stations, lots of fans braved chilly weather to see Bourne in action.

Fans lined the pedestrian bridges overlooking the scene.

Bourne 5

Some of the best views of the Bourne 5 filming are on The Strip’s pedestrian bridges. Please keep your hand on your wallet. Just saying.

Seeing the action being shot, pieces of the Bourne 5 puzzle are falling into place.

Earlier scenes took place inside Aria at a made-up tech convention, Exocon 2016. At the conference, speakers include CIA Director Robert Dewey (played by Tommy Lee Jones) and the founder of a company called Deep Dream, Aaron Kalloor (played by Riz Ahmed).

Accounts inside the shoot say someone is assassinated at the conference, and since it’s not Matt Damon’s character, and it’s probably not Tommy Lee Jones’ character, we’re betting it’s Riz Ahmed’s.

As happens in Bourne movies, a chase ensues.

Matt Damon Bourne 5

That’s Matt Damon in the passenger seat. Surreal.

Police and rescue units respond to the emergency, and Bourne takes off after a SWAT vehicle. That’s the scene we saw being filmed on Jan. 18, 2016, and it was awesome. And repetitive. But awesome.

The crew did many, many takes with the SWAT truck and Bourne’s Dodge Charger zipping down the Aria driveway.

Dozens of cars lined the entrance, all manned by extras. For at least six hours. Sitting in their cars. Movie making is so glamorous!

Bourne 5

Hope you have some good tunes because you’re going to be here awhile.

At one point, there was a potentially dangerous mishap between the Charger and the SWAT vehicle. The SWAT vehicle stopped short and changed lanes, and the Charger narrowly missed slamming into the back of the SWAT van. Here’s video of the tense moment, uneventful take first.

There were no injuries, other than to the bumper of the Charger, and the shoot continued into the wee hours.

All the chase scenes are being filmed at night, including upcoming sequences in the center of the Strip and at Riviera.

Here’s a list of the best places to watch the Bourne 5 chase on the Las Vegas Strip.

The chase sequence is expected to end dramatically at the Riviera. The exterior of the building has been lit for several days in preparation for the sequence’s climax.

The gutted casino’s interior will be dressed with slot machines and table games, and we hear at least one vehicle will crash into the casino. Which sounds so cool, our limited vocabulary isn’t adequate to describe how excited we are.

So, back at Aria, another sequence was being readied, a collision between a limo and another SWAT van. (It was an exact duplicate, so only one will appear onscreen.)

The production had three limos ready to go for three takes of the collision.

Bourne 5

A movie stunt is sometimes called a “gag.” “Gag” is also a term for what happens when you see the price of gummi bears at a movie theater.

The expectation was that Matt Damon wouldn’t be around for the filming of these action sequences, as those are typically done by a film’s “second unit.” But at 2:30 a.m., the “Jason Bourne” star jumped into the Charger and did a test run down the ramp with his stunt driver.

Matt Damon Bourne 5

Matt Flipping Damon. Probably not his actual middle name.

Shortly thereafter, Damon did the drive on his own. Not the most dangerous stunt, but it was pretty thrilling seeing Jason Bourne peeling out in pursuit of the bad guys.

While there are long stretches of not-a-whole-lot on movie sets, it was a blast being in such close proximity to what is likely to be a huge hit, especially for Bourne fans (this blog is that, in case that wasn’t obvious).

We’ve got more Bourne 5 scoop than most humans can handle, including spoilers and pics inside Aria and a security breach from an earlier location, the Greyhound depot downtown.

Enjoy more photos from the set of “Jason Bourne” in Las Vegas, and if you capture pics or video of the Bourne 5 production in Las Vegas, send them our way!

Bourne 5 in Las Vegas

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The Best Places to Watch the Bourne 5 Car Chase on the Las Vegas Strip

There’s been lots of excitement about “Jason Bourne” filming in Las Vegas, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The film’s climax is rumored to be an action sequence that starts at Aria, where scenes were filmed last week, and ends at the shuttered Riviera.

Riviera Las Vegas

The Bourne shoot has brought the Riviera’s famed neon back to life, even if only temporarily.

From what we hear, a large scale car chase will happen this week in the center of The Strip, and you’ll need to know the best places to watch. We’ve got this.

The filming is likely to take place late at night, so it’ll be important to get a good vantage point. It’ll also be cold, so bundle up. Movie making involves a lot of waiting around for something to happen. The same goes for watching movies get made.

Buzz around the climactic “Jason Bourne” car chase leads us to believe it will happen center Strip, between Aria and Flamingo Blvd. That means guests of Bellagio, across the street, should have a bird’s eye view of the action. Those in the hotel will be quite far away, however, so a spot on the sidewalk outside Bellagio should provide a good view of the fun.

Two of the best spots for viewing the Bourne 5 chase should be pedestrian bridges. Our first choice would be the overpass between Cosmopolitan and Harmon Corner.

Las Vegas pedestrian bridge

There is much weirdness on The Strip’s bridges, so the Bourne shoot won’t be the only entertainment going on.

Another good spot will be the bridge between Bally’s and Bellagio.

Vegas pedestrian bridge

This is the pedestrian bridge that makes it easy for people to leave the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s. It goes without saying this is a very popular pedestrian bridge.

Both these bridges provide a sweet view down, or up, Las Vegas Boulevard.

Other prime viewing points are the restaurants at Planet Hollywood and Paris Las Vegas. They include Mon Ami Gabi and Hexx at Paris and Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood. The Eiffel Tower Restaurant should also provide a great view of the stunts.

Cabo Wabo Cantina

Front and center. And space heaters don’t hurt, either.

The only problem with viewing the chase from a restaurant is they often close before filming is likely to begin (late). Mon Ami Gabi at Paris closes at 11:00 p.m. during the week. Cabo Wabo closes at midnight (but you shouldn’t go there, anyway, because of the joint’s CNF charge). Eiffel Tower Restaurant closes at 10:30 p.m.

Hexx, however, is open 24 hours a day.

Hexx Las Vegas

Bonus: Here’s an update on progress at the Beer Park at Paris! Opens soon.

Arguably the best view of the Bourne 5 car chase will be from the Cosmopolitan. Guests on their balconies should be able to feel the revving engines and take in any pyrotechnics.

The very best spot at Cosmopolitan, though, would have to be on the pool deck. This view is stunning anytime, but when Jason Bourne is evading bad guys, it will be truly epic.

The new Bourne film hasn’t been given a name yet, but if we had to make a bet, we’d take “The Bourne Betrayal.” The movie comes out July 29, 2016.

Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Nab a spot up here and you’re golden.

If you’d like to get caught up on all the Bourne news, you’re in the right place. We security breached the Bourne set downtown, served up some character and plot spoilers and spilled about other Bourne goodness.

Here’s a peek at James Bourne in action during a sequence in the Aria casino.

Expect a flurry of pics and video of the “Jason Bourne” movie car chase this week, because word has it there will be many, many extras involved. The production is sure to ask extras not to take or share photos, but enthusiastic fans won’t be able to help themselves.

Road closures are expected, and police presence will be strong, so expect to be herded if you’re near where the production is taking place. You’re allowed to be on public sidewalks unless they’re inside the production footprint, but the police will want to avoid crowds gathering. Remind the cops you have rights. They love that.

It’s unknown if Bourne 5 stars Matt Damon or Tommy Lee Jones will be on hand for the Strip chase, but it seems unlikely. Such large-scale stunts are done by stunt teams, assistant directors and doubles (referred to as the film’s “Second Unit”), as opposed to the stars and director (the “First Unit”).

The Riviera portion of the chase scene could happen next week. We hope to have more details soon.

Thanks to our moles, and keep the tips coming! Every time you share a “Jason Bourne” tidbit, an angel gets its wings.