The 'Bourne Legacy' premiere: a celebration of starts and Pinoy pride
MANILA, Philippines - Public officials and character actors graced the red carpet of the "Bourne Legacy" premiere at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila on Sunday, August 5.
Producers Patrick Crowley and Filipino Jun Juban joined the Filipino support cast for the first official screening of the film in Manila. It will open in theaters on Wednesday, August 8.
Among the public officials spotted were Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino; Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr.; Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo; and Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim.
Also spotted were Philex Mining's Mike Toledo and Miguel Zubiri with wife, Audrey.
The Filipino support cast who came to share the moment with fellow Filipinos were John Arcilla (who played security guard "Joseph") and Lou Veloso (who played a fisherman from Navotas). Model Valerie Bariou-Bondoc (wife of actor Onemig Bondoc) who was Rachel Weisz's body double in the movie, also came.
The red carpet event lasted for an hour, from 5pm to 6pm, after which guests were asked to find their seats inside the theater. A short program began promptly at 6:30pm, wherein Filipino producer Juban shared how, one day in 2010, he received an email from "a gentleman who introduced himself as the producer of all the Bourne movies." And the rest is history.
American producer Crowley also shared a few thoughts on the film, on how the Manila chase scene is regarded as one of the "best chases ever," and how they had to train Filipino drivers "to drive in a straight line and not flinch" for that same scene (now that we have watched the movie, we can say that it is the most heart-stopping scene in the film).
"Now the Philippines will join Moscow, Paris, Prague, London, Madrid, Tangiers and Berlin as the new thrill-ride of the billion-dollar Bourne roller coaster," said Crowley.
Solar Entertainment's Wilson Tieng shared about how he hopes Manila and the Philippines will be top of mind again to Hollywood and international producers when it comes to shooting destinations for their films. "You may be too young to remember this, but there was a time when Hollywood greats would come to Manila to shoot. Chuck Norris, Laurence Fishburne, Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen… They've all shot movies in the Philippines," he said to us on the red carpet.
"We hope that The Bourne Legacy is the start of that happening again."
The cast — together with director Tony Gilroy — gave a video message all the way from Hollywood:
"Hello, Manila! We’re really sorry we can’t be there in person for the premiere… We had an amazing time shooting in your beautiful city. And we really wanna thank you for welcoming and embracing our whole production team and cast. We’re very excited to show you the fruits of our labor, and we hope that you enjoy the film that you helped us make. Thank you!"
The audience could not help but applaud the moment Rachel Weisz's character, government scientist Marta Shearing, mentions the word "Manila."
That moment was testament to the fact that, no matter how long or how much we've known about the scenes shot in Manila (and how familiar we are to them, like San Andres in Manila city and the Navotas fish port), we still feel proud and "high" about our country being chosen as one of the selected locations in the 4th film of the Bourne franchise (the last 40 minutes of the film were shot in the Philippines).
Jeremy Renner plays Aaron Cross, the character that takes over from where Matt Damon's Jason Bourne left off in the 3rd movie, The Bourne Ultimatum.
The Bourne Legacy is definitely action-packed, and the introduction of Renner and Edward Norton's (who plays mastermind Eric Byer) characters will do the franchise good, should the team behind it decide to continue with a 5th (or even a 6th) movie.
Although there was no real climax and only a hint of budding romance between Renner and Weisz's characters, if one looks at it as a transition film from Damon to Renner as well as the start of something new, then the movie is definitely worth watching.
Spoiler alert: The beauty of our very own El Nido, Palawan was definitely given great exposure.
If only for that (and, again, the amazing action sequences, most of which Renner did himself), you'd forgive the ending that definitely leaves you wanting more. - Rappler.com