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THE BOURNE SUPREMACY

Setting Bourne's World
Even while filmmakers were embroiled in refining the script and filling the roles, one element was always at the forefront of their pre-production schedules—choosing and preparing for the heavy location work that had become a signature element of the story of Jason Bourne. Thus far, Bourne's sojourn had taken him to Paris, Zurich and Italy—but even while visiting such cinematic settings, filmmakers had always been committed to showing the less "showy” side of some of the world's most famous cities. They tried to steer clear of landmarks and clichés and were determined to bring the same gritty realism to the new locations utilized in The Bourne Supremacy.

"You want to go places and treat them like they're your environment,” explains writer Tony Gilroy, who has spent a lot of time in Europe, "so it's not like we are in India, here's the Taj Mahal. Everything is street level, everything is very familiar.” As producer Frank Marshall points out, there was also an opportunity to pay a small homage to the Cold War settings of Ludlum's books. "We had the opportunity to root the film in a place that was literally at the center of the Cold War. It's the spy city, the center of Europe, and it's now incredibly vital, exciting, different and visual.” Berlin was to be the setting of a large part of Supremacy, serving both as itself and for some of the Moscow locales.

Crowley elaborates, "Berlin was sort of our frontier in the Cold War, it was our outpost, and there was Moscow, where everything was being generated. So they seemed like places that already had built into them values that made them exciting and dangerous and unpredictable.”

Berlin and Moscow provided a different visual palette for the second story. "The first was shot in Paris, which is quite enclosed,” says director Greengrass. "I think there's an interesting journey in this film from the heat and color of India through the kind of monochrome of a Moscow winter. I think this is a lonelier and in some ways much more dangerous mission for Bourne—it's actually an interior journey for the character. He's going through large expanses of Europe while trying to come to terms with his past actions, atone for them. Berlin's a sort of windy city full of open spaces. And then you go east across the plain to Moscow and it seems to make Bourne even more isolated.”

Crowley reinforces the idea of the exterior journey mirroring the interior one and adds, "Taking a cue from Tony, we decided that a progression of the character would be actualized by the progression of the locations—from lush, tropical and warm to more progressively cool, steely, blue, then finally to grays…from saturated color to nearly black-and-white.”

Since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the subsequent reunification of east and west, Berlin has been re-established as a vibrant European center. With its mix of old and new, east and west, it proved to be an ideal location for Bourne Supremacy. The production was centered at the historic Babelsberg Studios where Fritz Lang's Metropolis and Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel were made. The company filmed all over Berlin and surrounding environs, with Berlin's former eastern sector providing a perfect double for Moscow's streets.

Filmmakers exploited the collision of past, present and future on display in the Mitte (literally "middle” or "center”) of former East Berlin, shooting Bourne's daring escape on the Friedrichstrasse Bridge over the river Spree, as well as Nicky's capture in the East Berlin icon of Alexanderplatz. Moving further east into Friedrichshain, the company brought an early snow to Karl Marx Allee. In what was the west, the company shot the Brecker Hotel on Berlin's famed "Kudamm” or Kurfürstendamm, the city's posh shopping district. Just outside of Berlin, Jarda's Munich house of glass was shot in Wannsee and part of the<

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