Ryan Reynolds is ready for action. In his new film 6 Underground, Reynolds stars as the leader of a covert and mysterious team of operatives who travel the world to take down bad guys. The Netflix film is directed by Michael Bay, which means there are plenty of explosions, incredible stunts, and amazing vehicles in the movie.
Reynolds and Bay filmed scenes around the world for the movie, shooting in various locations across Italy, Hungary and Abu Dhabi. In Italy, they filmed in Florence, Rome, Lake Trasimeno, Siena, Taranto and Puglia, and in Hungary, they filmed in Budapest. One of the biggest sequences of the film took place on the streets of Florence, which saw one of the stunt drivers of the film drive his way through a 15th century building with barely any room for error.
“It was surreal to be able to collaborate with the Pitti Palace to make that scene possible,” Smrz told Men’s Journal in an interview. “It was a very tight space with not much room for error. In some spots there were only inches to spare, and if we damaged anything inside the museum we would have been in really big trouble. I personally didn’t get to see the Pitti Palace until the day we shot there. For me, driving at the Pitti Palace was one of the highlights of 6 Underground.”
With 6 Underground being released by Netflix on Friday, December 13, we put together some behind-the-scenes facts from Netflix and the production team about how they pulled off the stunts, the cars they used, and the training the actors went through.
Here’s a peek behind the action of 6 Underground:
The Main Car: A Neon Green Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
- The primary car used by Reynolds and his team in the film is a neon green Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. The car is fitted with a 2.9 liter Twin-Turbo V6 engine, delivering 505 horsepower and 443 lb ft of torque. It has the muscle to go from 0-60 MPH in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 191 MPH. There were 5 Giulia Quadrifoglios used in the making of the film.
- The bright neon green color of the car is one of director Michael Bay’s favorite colors, and he felt it stood out against the ancient backdrops of Florence and Siena.
- In order to fully unleash the car to perform some of the stunts, the film’s production team asked Alfa Romeo to send an engineer to the set to disable some of the safety features, such as airbags which could have deployed during a stunt sequence. They also disabled other anti-collision systems, from seatbelts to brakes, steering and even stability and traction control. While those safety features were disabled, the production crew outfitted the Alfas with safety harnesses and proper safety gear needed for the performers.
- Apart from the main car, there were also 3 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Diesel models used in the making of the film and those took on the biggest damage during stunt sequences.
How the Team Pulled Off An Incredible Stunt Through a 15th-Century Building
- There’s a chase scene that was filmed in Florence, Italy that saw stunt driver Brett Smrz drive an Alfa Romeo Giulia through the glass-paned double doors of the famed Pitti Palace with no room for error. As the car raced through, there were 6 inches of clearance on each side and hitting the wall would’ve meant damaging a 15th-century building. Brett, however, hit his mark every time. They did, however, remove the real glass doors and replace them with exact replicas made of candy glass.
Here’s a look at the incredible stunt in this trailer:
How the Team Protected Historical Artifacts and Buildings for Stunt Scenes
- Production Designer Jeffrey Beecroft used a 5-Axis 3D printer to create foam versions of multiple statues, replicating the beautiful work of Cellini and Michelangelo, which were then damaged/destroyed during stunt scenes.
- The Siena Preservation Society worked with the film’s production team so that actor Ben Hardy (who plays “Four” in the film) & his Storror stunt doubles (Drew Taylor and Benjamin Cave) could walk, run and jump from building to building. Anticas (roof walkers/workers) are specially trained artisans who can walk on the 15th & 16th century tile roofs, which can easily crack. Tops and ridges were built to protect the original tiles.
You can see some of the stunts mentioned above in this trailer:
The Production Used Over 700 Total Vehicles
- There were over 750 vehicles used as nondescript background and for specific staging of destruction in stunt sequences. At least 75 of those cars were vintage Italian vehicles and there were over 40 scooters involved in the chase scenes, including Vespas, Aprilias and Piaggios. The film’s production went through 60,000 liters of fuel, 336 quarts of motor oil and 288 tires.
The Bad Guy Vehicles: In contrast to the bright green Alfa Romeo Giulia, the film’s “bad guys” all drove black vehicles. They were a variety of makes and models and included:
- 2 Infinity Q30s, 2 BMW M5s, 2 Audi A7s, 2 Mercedes C63 AMG Estates, 1 Audi TT, 1 Maserati Quattro, 4 VW Amaroks, 2 Chevy Suburban V8s, 3 Chevy Tahoes, 1 Subaru WRX, 1 VW R32 and 2 Triumph Speed Triples.
Dave Franco Had to Learn Stick Driving
- Actor Dave Franco plays “Six,” a character who’s a pro behind the wheel, especially on those narrow Italian cobblestone streets. In real life, Franco knows how to drive, but had never handled a stick shift. Before he could start drift driving, he needed to go back to Drivers Ed to learn how to drive a manual transmission. He also trained with Brett Smrz, who’s one of the best drifters in the world.
Expert Drifting Drivers
- When drifting competitively, stunt driver James Deane hits speeds of 80-110 mph, but during the making of the film he had to pace himself at 30-50 mph while driving in heavily populated areas.
Here’s How the Parkour Action Scenes Were Filmed
- 6 Underground features some incredible stunts by Storror, who’ve been performing parkour for over 13 years. There was a scene shot in Florence, Italy, where Storror founders Drew Taylor and Benjamin Cave ran 480 steps down the side of the famed Duomo (which is about 500 feet tall) in Florence, Italy.
- They’re the first people to ever run down the side of the cathedral and did about 20 takes of that scene.
How the Crew Created Custom-Made Gas Masks for Major Action Sequence
- Among the film’s unique props were gas masks that were specifically designed to be a combination of a gas and bulletproof mask. There was also an eye canister which the props team dressed with goop from a local butcher shop. And then there was the magnet wall.
- For the latter, which involved a magnet scene on a boat, the production team built a fake steel wall and mounted four 3200 pound lifter magnets behind it, then filled the space in-between with powerful rare earth magnets. They also consulted professors and scientists about what size magnet they would need to actually have humans stick to a wall.
The Cast Trained With Navy SEALs
- The film’s cast were trained by real Navy SEALS and Army Rangers. Actor Corey Hawkins (pictured above), who plays the sniper “Seven,” had sessions with retired SEAL Remi Adeleke to learn the intricacies of his character’s expertise, from the rifle itself, to stalking with attention to detail, and even the art of simple patience.
The Team Had to Build and Break Down a Casino Scene Quickly
- 6 Underground was filmed against stunning backdrops in Italy, Hungary and Abu Dhabi. They shot a casino scene at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi, but because gambling is illegal in the UAE, the set needed to be taken down immediately after the scene.
6 Underground will start streaming on Netflix on December 13.
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