Captain America: Winter Soldier — Lumerian Star: Marvel vs. MMA

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With the filmmakers wanting to shoot as much as the physical action practically, one of the more memorable days on the set was filming the fight sequences on the massive ship called the Lumerian Star. These scenes were actually filmed on a real ship, the Sea Launch Commander, which is a satellite vessel docked in Long Beach, Calif. There were a lot of logistical challenges shooting on a real ship with its tight quarters as opposed to the openness of a built set or green screen environment. The fighting sequences had to be perfectly choreographed for the spaces and the filming tight to the action but the setting only reinforced the filmmakers desire for a real-world grounding of the film.

The action-filled Lumerian Star scene is in the beginning of the film and opening with that intensity was important to the directors, as Anthony Russo explains, “We wanted to come out of the gate full force. We wanted to throw people into the film as hard, fast and dynamically as we could.”

Adds Joe Russo, “For us it’s important that the audience be pulled into the movie quickly, signaling an energy and a pacing that hopefully the movie can sustain throughout.”

In the film, Captain America and Black Widow sneak onto the ship in order to rescue hostages. What ensues is a mano-a-mano battle between Captain America and Batroc, a French mercenary played by reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

For the filmmakers, landing the popular MMA fighter was a stroke of luck and good timing. “It was sort of kismet for Georges to be in the film,” explains co-producer Nate Moore. “Batroc is of French descent and Georges St-Pierre is French-Canadian and when we landed on having the character in the film, we wanted somebody who could portray the physicality of the character without having to double him, and what better way to do that than to find a fighter who can actually do most of the moves already. So we reached out to Georges St-Pierre and he was really excited to get his first chance at being in a big action movie.”

Georges St-Pierre recalls the day he found out he was going to be in the film. “I got the call about being in the film just before my last fight and I was so excited to do the movie that it was hard for me to focus on the fight,” says St-Pierre. “My character is a French mercenary who is an expert in the martial arts and is also an Olympic weight lifting champion. He doesn’t have any superpowers, but he’s a very strong and acrobatic guy who gives a little hell to Captain America.”

Georges St. Pierre continues, “I rehearsed every day for weeks with the stunt team and they were really great mentors for me. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to learn so much so fast. It was a lot of fun and it made me feel like a kid again. I’m very excited and I want to put 100% effort into and be as good of a villain as I can be.”

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