World War II fantasy horror movie “Warhunt,” starring Mickey Rourke, has wrapped after it continued shooting during the Covid-19 crisis.
The crew on the project, which shot in Riga, capital of Latvia, were allowed to continue working by abiding by government guidelines. These included having to don facemasks and gloves, having their temperature taken twice a day, social distancing, and disinfecting equipment.
Rourke says: “I came to Riga to work and this thing (Covid-19) was so out of control, but everyone was so great.”
Yu-Fai Suen, one of the producers, says Rourke’s dates had to be adjusted. “We had to rearrange the schedule for Mickey Rourke as the country was closing its borders, and luckily he agreed to fly early to beat the closure, and we rescheduled his shoot days to accommodate this change.”
Speaking about the adjustments on set, Suen says: “There were additional procedures on set, but it quickly became the norm and everyone got on with it.” He gives an example of one such change in practice. “For makeup, each actor had a dedicated kit so makeup artists used only the same brushes, makeup etc. on the same actor. All makeup artists, of course, wore facemasks when applying makeup.”
Italian director Mauro Borrelli says of the experience: “It was surreal at the beginning, but the cast and crew quickly adjusted to the masks and other precautions, so we ended up even more focused and efficient.”
Suen says he has been granted permission by the Latvian government to shoot further film and television productions under the same guidelines.
“Warhunt,” also starring Robert Knepper (“Prison Break”) and Jackson Rathbone (“Twilight”), follows an elite squad of American soldiers on a secret mission during World War II. Trapped behind enemy lines in Germany’s Black Forest, the men are confronted by a coven of witches.
Borrelli, who has worked in the art department of many Hollywood movies, including two “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi,” describes “Warhunt” as a “wild ride with powerful images; but also a great metaphor about war and its evil, told with powerful iconic characters.”
Suen, who runs London’s Berkeley Media Group, is a highly experienced film professional, with several senior roles under his belt, including managing director at Pinewood Pictures, CEO at media fund Aramid Capital Partners, chief operating officer at Elton John’s Rocket Pictures, and senior vice president at Momentum Pictures.
Suen joined forces on the movie with Julie Zaytseva of Forma Pro Films, one of the leading film production companies in the Baltic region, and Adel Nur of Atomik Content.