MANILA, JANUARY 20, 2012 (STAR) By Mike Frialde (PHOTO - Bourne Legacy cast and crew prepare before shooting starts on a building in Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila. — Photo By Junjun Villavicencio]

MANILA, Philippines - Manila provided great visuals for the upcoming action thriller Bourne Legacy, its producers said.

In a Makati interview with reporters recently, the film’s producers Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley have nothing but praises for the city where about 20 percent of the movie was filmed.

Marshall said several locations in Manila have fitted the scenes in the storyline written by Tony Gilroy.

“We have always tried to find exotic locations which the people have not seen before. We have been to Tangiers and Goa in India. Manila has great visuals and interesting locations. It worked well. In what Tony (Gilroy) was thinking as a writer, that he would be able to create a story around,” said Marshall.

Marshall said the movie, starring Jeremy Renner (Hurt Locker) and Rachel Weisz (Enemy At The Gates), is almost 90 percent complete.

According to Crowley, the film crew is only waiting for the arrival in the country of actors Louis Chang Chien and Edward Norton.

Crowley brushed aside rumors that Norton is already in Metro Manila. Norton will shoot just one scene.

“He (Norton) has not been here. People see him everywhere. But he is not here. It is his twin,” said Crowley with a grin.

“We are on schedule, we have everything that we need. It is going well,” he added.

According to Crowley, the film’s production crew only has 35 days to finish the movie which will be shown in US theaters on Aug. 3.

“We are shooting 20 to 25 percent of the movie here and there is a difference between the first unit and the second unit. We have 17 days of the first unit and then 18 days of the second unit so we will be here for a total of 35 days. The second unit is more of the action. The main actors are not in the second unit,” he said.

Crowley said that as in the other past Bourne movies, the upcoming film intends to show the “real parts of the city.”

“We have done all of the Bourne movies, beginning in Paris. And every time we do one of these movies, we always have the same writer, Tony Gilroy and he is also the director of this movie. Tony is always looking for a city that is exotic. What people don’t know much about and what people are interested in knowing more about. Initially, we started out with three candidates — Jakarta, Manila and Ho Chi Minh City. The director and I visited all three cities to see how it felt, what locations would be like and the people. We visited the cities, talked to the people there and made our choice,” he said.

According to Crowley, scenes in Manila were shot “as is.”

“We shot it as it is. We just added some room for rent signs. We also fixed some roofs because of a chase on the roofs but we have not changed anything. It is Manila for Manila. When we go to a city, we like to show people the real parts of the city. So like in Paris, we don’t show the Eiffel Tower. We are at the airports and in different neighborhoods,” he said.

Meanwhile, Marshall said an established movie-making industry in the Philippines is also one factor they considered in filming some scenes of the movie here.

“One of the reasons why we decided to go to Manila was that Jun (Juban, the film’s local producer) has been here for several years and there is an actual film structure in Manila. So there are people who know how to make movies here. And in the other cities, there really were not. In there, we had to start from scratch while in here, we could take advantage of the knowledge and experience of the people here. We will be way ahead by the time we started. It was a practical choice and we were also impressed by what we saw here,” said Marshall.

Marshall also denied rumors that Matt Damon who plays agent Jason Bourne in the series will make a cameo appearance in the Bourne Legacy.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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