The Replacement Killers - Production - Filming

Filming

Production for the film project began on February 10, 1997 in downtown Los Angeles. The first shoot was at the historic Mayan Theater, refurbished into the trendy nightclub for the film's stylish opening scene with hundreds of extras, as the character Lee guns down Romero (Carlos Leon) at close range. The eight-story, nearly condemned Giant Penny building in the middle of Los Angeles served as locations for a police station interior, a hotel room, and Meg Coburn's office. A chaotic gunfight was filmed amid the spray, brushes, and hoses of Joe's Car Wash in Los Angeles as well. The art department transformed one area into a Chinatown-like streetscape of damp, narrow alleys, and blinking red neon lights, site of a night filming where Yun-Fat shot off 546 rounds with two guns, one in each hand, while the repetitive action left his hands blistered and shaking. More gunplay was at a video arcade replicated at the original Lawry's California Center (now the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens operated by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy), just north of downtown Los Angeles. Lee's tranquil Buddhist temple was fashioned under this same roof too.

Director Fuqua stressed to his team that the aim was to design a "Taxi Driver for the 1990s,". In addition to physical training, Mira Sorvino, who had never handled a gun prior to this film, took weapons training to prepare for her role. Sorvino majored in Asian studies at Harvard, speaks Mandarin, and lived for eight months (1988-89) in Beijing, where she studied Chinese, taught English, and saw Chinese films, including Hong Kong action films. She felt The Replacement Killers brought her a step closer to her goal of making a film in Mandarin and working with a Chinese director. Sorvino had blown out her voice doing reshoots of Mimic where she was screaming prior to starting filming; Fuqua had liked the effect and asked her to keep it, which required Sorvino to yell prior to each day's shoots to burn out her voice.

Read more about this topic:  The Replacement Killers, Production

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