David Belle as Leïto
Here are all the official movie stills for the upcoming sci-fi actioner District B13 along with a canned interview with director Pierre Morel.
District B13 Movie Stills
How does one prepare a film like DISTRICT B13?
PM: There were several challenges. The technical challenge was to be able to create spectacular and relatively dangerous things, and come up with the right places to do them and film them. The two leading characters must always be highlighted while in the very heart of the action. Outside the action scenes, there were the comic ones as well. So we worked a lot! It was a script studded with action sequences, a real plot and genuine scenes, not just guys banging each other over the head for an hour and a half. We took a long time to cast the actors, stuntmen and fighters surrounding them. As soon as everything was fully defined, they started to train. For several weeks, I had them all rehearse, one after the other, so that things would take place as well as possible.
Was Cyril Raffaelli the director of the fight scenes?
PM: He was his own choreographer. Cyril suggested various choreographies and highly different fight sequences to us, and we did our utmost to adapt them into the script. They were prepared far ahead of time. They were surrounded by stuntmen, genuine martial arts fighters, specialists in kung-fu, ultimate fighters and top-level boxers. In the small world of fighters, they all more or less know each other. Cyril has a special background: he started in circus school before moving on to martial arts. Only after that did he become first a professional stuntman, then an actor. So he brought to the film a large number of people from many different fields.
In all the action scenes, was there one which was the most impressive or delicate?
PM: The casino scene was a truly great moment: a non-stop series of fights for a full three or four minutes. Result: thirty-give corpses on the ground! It was a highly complicated sequence for it to hold up and not look like some MTV video. It was especially long as, to shoot that scene, we took six full days.
Do you think it's really a new trend for action films when the stuntman turns actor?
PM: It's more than just a trend. The audience needs true heroes, not just actors who pretend. Action films are less and less based on special effects. Sportsmen and stuntmen are gradually becoming real stars. The realistic side pleases more and more audiences out for extreme sensations. Young Europeans are rather fascinated by what can be seen in the Chinese, Thai and Korean schools, where guys play their real roles.
David Belle as Leïto and Dany Verissimo as Lola in District B13
David Belle and Jerome Paquatte as The Yeti in District B13
Tony D’Amario as K2
Does the expression "suburban film" suit you?
PM: I don't know what it means. DISTRICT B13 is first and foremost a pure action film which takes place in a suburb, set a few years into the future. The initial screenplay pitch was a "political fiction" about what the suburbs might be in a few years if we don't change things and make the wrong decisions.
Was there an enormous amount of post-production work on DISTRICT B13?
PM: There were things in the script that don't exist in real life: the walls, barbed wire, surrounding bunkers… everything that we don't see for real. And, as well, a little masking out of everything that concerned safety: a small number of cables, a few mattresses, a handful of nets… In fact, there wasn't much post-production at all.
How would you sum up the shoot of DISTRICT B13?
PM: It was a marathon. We knew it was going to be complex, as there were lots of action scenes. It was a rather long shoot but with such energy we didn't even notice the time pass.
Movie clips coming soon for District B13.
District B13 will have a limited release on June 2nd.
For the trailer and more movie info, go to the District B13 Movie Page.
Stay tuned for updates.