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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s video of the plowing the road sequence taken by a fellow Bourne fan.
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.)
Filming of “Jason Bourne” is wrapping up in Vegas, so we hope to finally get some much-needed rest.
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.