In “Anatomy of a Scene,” we ask directors to reveal the secrets that go into making key scenes in their movies. See new episodes in the series on Fridays. You can also watch our collection of more than 150 videos on YouTube and subscribe to our YouTube channel.
A crashed plane is the setting for a centerpiece action sequence in the thriller “Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse,” which tells the origin story of the novelist’s popular character John Clark.
In the film (streaming on Amazon), the character is initially known as John Kelly and played by Michael B. Jordan. A Navy SEAL whose wife was killed by Russian assassins, Kelly is on a mission to track down the killer.
While that mission is moving forward, a plane carrying Kelly and his team is shot down by the Russian Air Force and crashes into the sea. The plane breaks in half and the section carrying supplies that Kelly needs for his mission sinks deeper into the water. Narrating this scene, the director Stefano Sollima explains the many moving parts that had to come together to pull this off this elaborate set piece, following Kelly all the while through the ordeal.
The filmmaker and his crew used an actual plane that could be cut into pieces and filled with water. Part of the set was built inside a rotating mechanism that would turn to keep the action unmoored.
And for the part of the scene where the plane is fully submerged, Jordan trained for months to be able to hold his breath for longer intervals and carry off the underwater action.
Read the “Without Remorse” review.
Sign up for the Movies Update newsletter and get a roundup of reviews, news, Critics’ Picks and more.