Exclusive video: Behind the scenes of the Furious 7 shoot in Abu Dhabi
An behind-the-scenes video, exclusively available to view on The National’s website, has revealed more about Abu Dhabi’s starring role in Furious 7.
As the hype builds ahead of the UAE release of the latest film in the blockbuster franchise on April 2 – a day before it opens in the US – we are delighted to give you a sneak peek at how the petrolheads’ paradise was made.
While the Abu Dhabi shoot took just six days in April last year, it’s clear from the footage that the emirate casts a long shadow over the finished film.
The video, released on March 24 by local production partners the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and twofour54, features interviews with stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, along with director James Wan and other key crew members.
“We’re definitely one of the first Hollywood films to showcase Abu Dhabi for Abu Dhabi,” says director Wan. “They couldn’t be more excited to have us here.”
The two-minute clip shows the team shooting at local landmarks including Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers, and scouting for locations in the desert.
Sameer Al Jaberi, a production and locations coordinator at Abu Dhabi Film Commission, says: “Everyone in Abu Dhabi my age will know Fast & Furious, because we’re into cars. We love it – they’re coming to the right place.”
Ludacris added: “When I heard we were coming to Abu Dhabi, I said, ‘Yep, that falls right in line with where we need to be’.”
One key stunt – which sees Vin Diesel driving off the 45th floor of the tallest of the five Etihad Towers, and crashing spectacularly through the windows to land safely in a neighbouring tower – has already caused a huge social-media buzz online.
“Crazy right?” says Diesel, surveying the architectural marvels his character will shortly be soaring between. “Nobody has ever seen this before.”
Hopes that the movie would stage its world premiere at Emirates Palace were reportedly dashed because Diesel’s partner Paloma Jiménez was pregnant with their third child, and gave birth on March 17.
Instead the film premièred at arts festival South by Southwest in Austin Texas on April 16, and has been well received at a series of preview screenings in Los Angeles and other US cities.
The film will open in the UAE on April 2.
Updated: March 24, 2015 04:00 AM