Another day of filming of Arrow. Another day of stunts. It’s non-stop action for this kick-ass show. Today started with the Oliver Queen stunt double climbing up a wall in a downtown alley, soon to be replaced by Oliver Queen himself, Stephen Amell.
Published July 9th, 2012 on Vancouver is Awesome
How’s this for Comic-Con craziness? Comic-Con tweeted Twilight fans today asking them not to start lining up outside the San Diego Convention Center three days before the convention starts on Thursday like they did last year. The anual geekfest doesn’t want them to erect another Camp Twilight tent city either. Any Twihard or TwiMom who tries to line up earlier than tomorrow or brings more than a chair and a sleeping bag with them, risks not being among the six thousand-plus lucky enough to get into the final vampires & werewolves panel at lunchtime on Thursday. If asked to leave, they’ll miss seeing exclusive footage from the mainly Vancouver-shot The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 and celebrity trio Kristin Stewart, Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner in person. Organizers have scheduled the final Twilight movie as the first official panel in marquee Hall H so that Twilight teens and their Moms can’t ruin Comic-Con like they have in the past.
[Update: A Twilight fan who’d been camping outside the San Diego Convention Center since Sunday was struck and killed by an SUV on Tuesday morning while rushing to cross the street to get back to the lineup which Comic-Con organizers were moving. Fellow fans are trying to organize a moment of silence in her honour during the Breaking Dawn 2 panel.]
Once the Twihards have gone home, Comic-Con is free to fly its geek flag until Sunday night, epitomized by what could be 2012’s hottest panel — the 10th Anniversary reunion of the cast (and creator) of space western Firefly, featuring Canada’s own browncoat Nathan “Captain Tightpants” Fillion. Is cult TV once again dominating big budget movies at Comic-Con with Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory panels all in high demand too?
Maybe, maybe not. Iron Man 3 is a hot ticket, as are the Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures and Sony Pictures panels in Hall H. Who doesn’t want to see footage from The Hobbit, which just wrapped filming in New Zealand? Or get a first look at two other mainly Vancouver-shot movies: the upcoming Superman reboot Man of Steel starring Henry Cavill (seen below filming a shirtless green screen rescue scene in North Vancouver) as part of the Warner Bros. panel on Saturday afternoon and mysterious space station movie Elysium starring Matt Damon (link to first official photo) and Jody Foster as part of the Sony panel on Friday afternoon. Vancouver director Neill Blomkamp will be on hand with his stars to answer questions about the followup to his Oscar-nominated first feature District 9. It turns out Elysium is the name of a vast space station constructed by a company called Armadyne where the very rich live in the year 2159 (want-ads for Armadyne popped up at last year’s Comic-Con, the start of a viral campaign for the movie). The rest of us –- the 99% if you will — live on the over-populated, ruined planet Earth below. A bald, buff Damon is Max, who goes up against Foster as hard-line government official Minister Delacourt [corrected], who will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the grandious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium in space (the mansion set below on Kent Hangar field could be on the space station).
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Arrow, based on DC Comics The Green Arrow, is one hot TV pilot. And by all accounts, Stephen Amell is one hot Arrow in this more Jason Bourne-like and less Smallville-ish production. Like The Dark Knight’s re-imagined Batman, Arrow’s vigilante superhero fights crime with martial arts and technology plus the special skill of archery. “Working theory: The most expedient way to shoot a show where I’m an expert at archery is to become an expert an archery,” Amell tweeted in late February. And he must have hit the gym too. “You should see what’s under that hood……you’ve never seen ripped until you’ve seen this guy,” tweeted Arrow fight coordinator James Bamford.
None of my photographs do justice to how much Stephen Amell resembles a Jason Bourne-type action star. This is the closest I came with Amell in character as his secret identity Oliver Queen, crouched in Gastown before filming a take with Katie Cassidy as his former love Dinah “Laurel” Lance.
Pre-production set up on the same lot near a Burnaby Skytrain station that served as a Smallville permanent set for years. Filming on the Arrow pilot started on March 10th inside the Terminal City Ironworks complex in east Vancouver. The next morning, I missed an exterior scene of Oliver Queen jumping over the gate at the TCI entrance on Victoria Drive, but did spot the Oliver green arrow production sign on a walkby.
The next day, March 12th, Arrow set up at the foot of Gore Avenue in the Downtown Eastside during a wild west coast windstorm. Background performers dressed as homeless street peoople huddled around a fake fire and tried to keep their costumes intact in the wind. Stephen Amell and Colin Donnell, as his best friend and trustafarian Tommy Merlyn, were more sheltered, filming scenes inside Merlyn’s ride, a Mercedes 2012 SLS AMG ,with two wings and cockpit, as the ad says. Tents almost went airborne and Amell and Donnell looked like they were finally feeling the cold while waiting for their ride back to circus.
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