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Exclusive: Renny Harlin Details Hercules 3D’s 6-Minute One-Take Battle

“That’s one of the biggest shots I’ve ever created,” says director Renny Harlin.

Hercules 3D Kellan Lutz

Today we got to talk to Renny Harlin about his latest movie, Devil’s Pass. We’ll bring you the full interview with Harlin next week, in which we discuss not only his current movie but classics like Deep Blue Sea and Cliffhanger. Of course we also asked about his upcoming Hercules 3D and got him to describe a major set piece from the upcoming movie, starring Kellan Lutz as the legendary Greek warrior.

“I have a battle scene that lasts six minutes that is all one shot,” Harlin said. “[It] covers a sea battle and ground battle and hand to hand combat and sword fighting, spears and bows and arrows and flying boulders, all done in one shot that never cuts. I’ll give you that spoiler. That’s one of the biggest shots I’ve ever created.”

When I asked how many takes he did of the six-minute sequence, Harlin included more detail about the elements involved with this Herculean battle. “I did quite a few takes. It was shot for several days and I did probably a dozen takes. It was a big, big deal and if one thing goes wrong, nothing else would work. It was just an incredible combination of teamwork with different departments, a lot of extras, a lot of stunts and horses, very dangerous situations that just had to come together perfectly.”

Naturally, I asked which take is going to end up in the movie. “Second to last,” Harlin laughed. “I liked that take more than the last take. There was just one mistake in it but I was able to fix that digitally so that I don’t have to worry about it.”

We’ll have more on Hercules 3D and Devil’s Pass next week in our complete interview with Renny Harlin. 


Fred Topel is a staff writer at CraveOnline and the man behind Shelf Space Weekly. Follow him on Twitter at @FredTopel.