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About The Production
Essential to crafting a believable character who has an aversion to guns and relies more on hand-to-hand combat, the filmmakers and The Rock agreed that they needed someone who understood the visual aspects of a fight as much as the physical and could translate that into evocative and original fight sequences. Andy Cheng, a fight choreographer who worked with The Rock on The Scorpion King, fit the bill on all counts. 

Director Berg observes, "Andy Cheng did a wonderful job of taking what was a Hong Kong-influenced style of fighting and reinventing it. He took the acrobatics of the style and customized it to the Brazilian jungle setting. What comes across is a believable combat style for these guerilla-style rebels. So now, in some ways, it's like he invented a new style of fighting.” 

The Rock explains, "Andy Cheng has a modern approach to designing fights that incorporates everything—strength, speed and agility—that people can relate to. He always wants to make things different which, in turn, makes Andy very unique.” 

Adds Misher, "Andy has the eye on how to put action on the screen, without equal. He's the guy who knows how to do something that people haven't seen before and puts a fresh spin even if you think you have.” 

Cheng, who also serves as a second unit director (with additional second unit direction from E.J. Foerster) worked closely with Peter Berg to inject creative (and sometime humorous) elements into the picture's plentiful action. Both The Rock and Scott were very focused as they prepared for their physically demanding roles. The resulting transformations are evident in both of their leaner physiques, particularly for The Rock, who shed close to 40 pounds for the role. 

The Rock wasn't the only one the filmmakers were looking at to deliver some of the film's eye-popping action. To their delight, they found in Scott an actor ready, willing and able to delve into the more physical aspects of the role. Scott had recently completed shooting Bulletproof Monk, a film that required five months of aerial wirework training and conditioning, so he too was geared up for what Cheng was envisioning. 

"I love being physical,” explains Scott of the film's action. "I like the action that I get to do. It's not like I'm The Terminator or Rambo. Travis is the guy who's not going to give up. He's not a great fighter but he's always bouncing back. It works really well with what Rock is doing.” 

Extensive stunt rehearsals beginning in pre-production prepared The Rock and Scott for what the filmmakers had in store for them. Over the course of filming they both were strung upside-down from a 50-foot tree for a scene that filmed over several days; Scott dove from an exploding bus; and The Rock, strapped into aerial wires, was hurled more than 30 feet through the air. 

The final climactic fight sequence, which takes place in and ravages the town of El Dorado, was particularly arduous for the actors. An elaborately choreographed sequence replete with fights, explosions, and hundreds of squibs detonating around the actors had them running, jumping and diving for cover—all quite safely, of course. 

The jungle locale figured prominently into the script and although set in the Brazilian Amazon, the filmmakers thought the lush, vibrant beauty of Hawaii's own rainforests—complete with towering Banyan trees, spectacular waterfalls and other breathtaking locales—offered a multitude of options for the film's exotic setting. 

Brazil was briefly considered for some of the film's secondary locales, but a scouting trip to research design ideas for production designer Tom Duffield reinforced the decision to film entirely in the U.S. when Berg, Misher, Duffield, executive producer Ric Kidney and their escorts had an unexpected and frightening encounter with armed bandits outside the city of Ma


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