U.S. Release Date: 9/4/15
For director Camille Delamarre, The Transporter Refueled, his new actioner, is more than a reboot of the hit franchise, which starred Jason Statham as the title character – it’s a whole new story.
“I had edited Transporter 3 and directed action scenes from the ‘Transporter’ television series, so I was already familiar with that world,” says Delamarre. “It’s always been a fun franchise to be involved with because there’s so much action in a colorful setting, but the new script had even more of a James Bond style than the previous ones.”
Franchise producer/writer Luc Besson – who wanted to pump young blood into the Transporter world – Bill Collage and Adam Cooper, hammered out the script.
“Refueled is more filled out than earlier Transporter movies,” continues Delamarre, who shot his film along the French Riviera. “We have several layers, several characters, lots of subplots and revelations that get slowly revealed throughout the film.”
Ed Skrein takes over from Statham as Frank Martin – a freelance driver who won’t think twice about delivering anythingg at any price. However, clients must abide by three hard and fast rules – no names, no questions and no renegotiations.
“When he was in the army, Frank had to follow instructions,” Skrein explains. “Now he makes his own rules. In the military, he was dirty most of the time, so now he wants to stay immaculate. That’s why he sports this sleek, clean look – black shoes, black socks, a beautiful black Dior suit, a white shirt, and a black tie. Frank does not need to stress his masculinity. His attitude is reflected in the suit, the car and in his silhouette.”
Loan Chabanol is Anna – the hot femme fatal who scams Frank into believing he’s the getaway driver in a quick bank robbery. In fact, Anna is actually using him to bring down Russian human trafficker (Yuri Kolokolnikov), the mobster who dumped her into the world of prostitution 15 years earlier.
“Anna’s mysterious, smart, manipulative and charming when she needs to be,” reveals Chabanol. “She was born in the Soviet Union and was forced to become a prostitute at the age of 12. Now she’s looking for revenge because everything has been taken away from her and she wants to get it back.”
Jumping back to Skrein’s character, Delamarre says Frank is not exactly invincible.
“We developed Frank’s character to be less of a caricature,” says Delamarre. “Instead of the bodybuilding hero who never loses or takes a bad hit, Frank’s character suffers. He hurts. And he also does his fair share of attacking.”
Guns are out when it comes to Frank’s fighting style. Instead, he fights bad guys with an iPhone, a shopping bag, two rocks, table legs a table top.
“I disarm people and throw their guns on the floor, so it’s dangerous, but Frank’s a man of substance who’s trying to maintain his humanity in this criminal underworld. I like the fact that my character’s job is to transport and deliver, not to murder. Like a lot of people, Frank’s morally conflicted, but he always wants to fight the good fight.”
Preparing for the fight sequences was not exactly a picnic for the actor. He underwent a self-imposed training regimen of eight hours each day for five days each week. Working with fight choreographer Alain Figlarz, he cooked up a mix of fighting styles.
“It was a mix of Krav Maga, Kali, Filipino stick fighting, English boxing and close combat. Alain Figlarz is a genius and he created the perfect environment for me to grow physically and mentally.”
For the motor moments, Skrein drove the Audi S8 2012 Skrein – a car which practically served as his companion during production.
“It’s a very beautiful car and a joy to drive,” says Skrein. “The only problem was that the Audi has such an intelligent computer in the engine that it won’t skid or do anything other than be completely safe. The stunt drivers had to take bits out of the Audi in order to make things happen the way they wanted.”
Filming the car scenes was no small feat. During the second day of shooting, Skrein had to race around a corner, skid, jump out of the vehicle and deliver his lines.
“I was driving a brand-new car that had a couple of very expensive cameras rigged up on either side. So I was very cautious for the first take. Then Camille came over and said, ‘Go for it this time.’ So I did and it felt great. I slammed on the brake and there was dust flying up everywhere. It was brilliant! So I got back in the car feeling like a million dollars and thought, ‘Let’s do that again’ and sped up even bit more. Except this time, I smashed one of the cameras.”
Director: Camille Delamarre
Stars: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, Loan Chabanol, Gabriella Wright, Tatiana Pajkovic. Wenxia Yu, Noémie Lenoir and Yuri Kolokolnikov.
Screenwriters: Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Luc Besson
Producers: Luc Besson and Mark Gao
Image Info: Credit: Bruno Calvo © 2014 EUROPACORP TF1 FILMS PRODUCTION
Quote and Info Source: Press Notes
This Special ENTAction Feature Was Posted On: 9/3/15