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In "Getaway," two strangers, bound to each other by chance in a tricked-out Shelby
Super Snake, are caught in a frantic, life-or-death ride that is going to make or break them.
They cannot get out of the car. If they do, someone else will die.
Pedal to metal, they must drive wildly through the city, intermittently fed instructions by
an unseen mastermind who knows their every move. As they carry out his bidding, the
destruction mounts. But although every authority in the city is in hot pursuit, they must not get
caught...no matter what. And the clock is ticking.
Director/producer Courtney Solomon states, "I thought it was a really great concept:
trapped in a confined space on a wild chase for the duration, not knowing the identity of the
person pulling the strings...literally driving for their lives."
Executive producer Joel Silver, a longtime veteran of action features, says he responded
to the central theme of the script, written by Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker. "The
idea of these two strangers who end up together in a car, one trying to save a life, the other just
trying to survive, was interesting to me. And Courtney had a fresh take on how to film it."
To catch all the breakneck action from both inside and outside the Shelby Super Snake
Solomon used a variety of cameras, numbering anywhere from 18 to 42, in any given scene.
The director reveals that in addition to the amped-up camera quotient, for him, the crux
of telling the story was to eschew the comfort and safety of a soundstage and literally take the
action to the streets, with actual engines racing, gears shifting, rubber burning and glass
shattering, but virtually no green screen or CGI. "Being able to put the audience right in the
middle of the events, inside that amazing car, was enticing, but shooting real, high-stakes action
made it even cooler for me," Solomon states.
The cool factor was revved up even more for both the director and his stars by the
choice of the Shelby GT500 Super Snake -- a fast, powerful Mustang built to order and highly
coveted by gearheads.
Ethan Hawke stars as Brent Magna, the driver behind the wheel of the Shelby Super
Snake whose wife has been abducted by the faceless man who put him there. "My favorite car
is the '68 Shelby fastback Mustang, so I was immediately hooked," Hawke attests. "Going off to
Europe, racing cars around, banging up motorcycles and Mustangs and BMWs, old school, like
those great '70s movies I loved growing up... Some 13-year-old boy that lives in me has always
wanted to do a movie like this," he smiles. "The film thrills me because it has a visceral feel to it.
You can tell some metal was really scraped against some asphalt. There's some real adrenaline
Selena Gomez stars as the complete stranger known only as "the Kid," who ends up in
the passenger seat of the Super Snake. She loved the idea of doing her first big action movie,
noting, "I'd never really done a movie like this before; so I thought it would be challenging and
fun for me, especially since all the car stunts were real instead of effects. And they were
awesome -- the whole experience was."
Jon Voight has a pivotal role in the story as an anonymous man with an agenda who is
as treacherous as he is intriguing. Having previously worked in the theatre with Hawke, he was
eager to collaborate with him again and saw the story and characters presented in "Getaway" as
a great opportunity to do so. Voight relates, "I thought the whole chase idea was well-
accomplished and had an interesting design. It was a ride in more ways than one because the
dangerous maze of events which transpire, with so many great twists and turns, kept me
constantly guessing, 'What is this guy really up to?'"
Writers Sean Finegan and Gregg Maxwell Parker are admitted car aficionados who
"thought of all the things we ever wanted to do in a moving vehicle but couldn't because they
are very, very illegal," Finegan laughs, adding, "we'd have done the driving ourselves if they'd let
"At first, the car is a prison," says Parker, "but it becomes their only way out of the mess
they're in. By the end, you want Brent behind the wheel because that's where he's at his best."
He continues, "For us, the story was always about putting people into a situation that forces
them to show who they truly are. When they have no choice but to work together, you get to
see what they're really made of."
Stuntman and choreographer Charlie Picerni, Sr., a veteran of many action
blockbusters, previously worked with Silver on several films, including "Die Hard" and "Lethal
Weapon." He recalls, "When I first read the script it was loaded with action and I knew this
would probably be the biggest movie in terms of car stunts I've done and I've done a lot of them.
Every night there was a different car chase. Courtney had a mantra: This movie has to be fast
driving and hard hitting!"
The stunts became a family affair with Picerni's sons: Steve, the stunt driver double for
Brent; and Chuck, also a stunt driver.
Solomon conveys, "I had an amazing stunt crew. Anybody who gets in the car and says,
'Okay, I'm going to go 70 miles an hour, hit another car, flip up a ramp into the air, go 60 feet
upside down and come crashing down on a real concrete highway,' and then walks out of the
car more charged than they were when they started the whole thing has a certain
mentality...and my utter respect."
He continues, "At the end of the day, we all relate to things that we can understand in
our own lives. And if any of our loved ones were in harm's way and there was anything within
our power that we could do, then that's what we would do. In 'Getaway' we wanted to achieve
that realism by actually doing it."
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