According to Netflix, almost one-hundred million people have watched Red Notice since its debut. Those numbers are staggering!
So how did this globe-trotting hit starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds shoot during the pandemic? Well, they didn't so much trot around the globe as they did trot to Atlanta and build a lot of sets.
The movie began as a pitch from writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber and the Rock. Netflix won the bidding war, and then production got underway. But COVID struck the world, and they moved back to the states, with maybe half the movie shot, maybe even less.
President of production at Seven Bucks (the Rock's company) Hiram Garcia told The Wrap, “We were going to be in Rome. We were going to be in Sardinia, we planned to go to all these exotic places as we started to open up the world in this story... We were about two weeks away from going to Italy when all the stuff hit in Italy.”
After weighing the options, the production came back stateside. They decided to build sets in Atlanta and spent all the time between shooting deciding how to make things look realistic and how to make the movie still feel epic.
“We built parts of Rome on a backlot in Atlanta. You name it. We did all kinds of ‘movie magic’ like that to make it work, and it’s a great testament to our crew, our production team, and our production designers in terms of just being able to pivot and create these iconic sets all on stages and all on a backlot to still bring the fans to these locales.”
Garcia talks about how they didn't want to lose the excitement and epicness of the original vision. But they also knew they had to keep working through the pandemic.
“Our goal with this film was to make Netflix’s most ambitious film, and then due to the pandemic, there was a COVID cost that came with completing the movie in the safest way possible. We were the first big movie back that shot during the height of the pandemic so the logistics of doing that were extremely complex. As you can imagine there was a significant COVID cost that came with shooting during a pandemic. You need to be able to step up, and if you’re going to complete a movie of this scale, do it properly and make sure you’re keeping everyone safe, then those costs are mandatory.”
In the end, it seems like their vision was realized, as much as it could be.
Garcia concluded with, “We felt very confident in our ability to still create a globetrotting adventure, even though our actors never left. We shot on a very big stage, used a lot of [backlots], but we were in one location. We shot that whole movie in Atlanta, but you certainly feel the globetrotting elements we wanted everyone to feel. It truly was an example of movie magic.”
No word on whether or not we'll get Red Notice 2 any time soon, but you can imagine the second film will spend its time around the globe and not on backlots.
Did you watch the movie? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments.