Quarantine 2: Terminal wrapped production last week in the blazing Atlanta summer heat. Up until now, the production has been extremely secretive, careful to keep the plot points under wraps while director John Pogue focused on getting his highly anticipated sequel in the can. The first Quarantine was almost an exact remake of the Spanish film REC, but the sequel will share little with REC 2.
“There turn out to be significant threads from the first movie that play out in the second movie, in terms of the mythology and answering a lot of unanswered questions,” Pogue tells BD shortly after wrap. “We also take those [questions like] `Who created the virus? Why?’ We are taking those in an entirely different direction. We used the first as kind of the jumping off point. It’s completely different from REC 2. We were given the edict to do something entirely original, but based on the concept of the first one.”
Picking up directly after the first film (the same night, in fact), TERMINAL follows a group of passengers en route to LAX to Nashville. They must make an emergency landing at a large metro airport when one passenger falls ill with a rabies-like virus that should be all-too-familiar for fans of the first film. Mercedes Masohn steps into the lead role as a rookie flight attendant named Jenny, who must step into a leadership role to help her passengers, but soon learns she’s in the same boat as the rest when the CDC quarantines the group inside the terminal. Josh Cooke co-stars as Henry, who teams up with Jenny to devise a plan for survival.
“We’ve certainly been working our asses off inside,” Pogue tells BD. “I like a base camp approach to get as many pennies up on the screen as possible. What I was looking for in our location was a place that would replicate a very large airport inline bagging facility. We pretty much shot the whole movie in this defunct towel and washcloth distribution facility in Griffin, GA.”
We asked Pogue to elaborate on TERMINAL’s set-up in his own words. “The movie actually takes place at the same time as the first movie,” says Pogue. “It’s a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Nashville, kind of in seventies disaster movie style. We start to meet a group of people that will be on this flight. It’s a relatively small plane, so there are two flight attendants and it carries about 70 people. We meet people and I think we have a pretty good idea of who our heroes are. So they get on the plane at LAX and the virus starts to manifest itself in the air in what I hope is a very sort of fun and disgusting and violent and horrible way. And that requires that the plane go down immediately. From there on, the plane is quarantined and the passengers end up in the other facility that I described to you.”
“It’s pretty much the polar opposite of REC 2,” adds Rob Hall, who returns from the first film as the makeup designer. “It’s way more of a direct sequel to QUARANTINE. There’s a lot of references and I think possibly even some footage from the first one.”
Working in a town nicknamed Hotlanta provided some additional challenges for Hall’s particular line of work. “It’s hard enough to keep false rubber pieces glued to people as it is,” says a slightly exasperated Hall. “And then you have the added caveat of having their body temperature 20 degrees higher and having the humidity and having them roll around in a giant abandoned cow factory which is doubling as our sound stage where it’s super hot.”
Having Hall return was a big coup for Pogue, who also looked to the makeup expert for advice on the film itself. “It was a no-brainer to try to get Rob back for the second one,” says Pogue. “He had really good ideas. This has a smaller budget by far than the first movie, so I think that provided challenges for everyone. Rob agreed to come on board and brought something terrific to the movie that built on what he did on the first movie and then took the story in some new directions I think will be very interesting to people.”
When Hall first joined and took a look at the script, his first order of business was to up the ante on the bloodshed a bit. “I like how collaborative John was,” says Hall. He said, `I really defer to you. You did the first movie, help me.’ He was completely fine with that. As a result of that we were able to really work with him and come up with some awesome scenes.”
“I thought the gore values and the realism of the first one were required for the second one,” says Pogue. “In REC and in QUARANTINE, they didn’t overdo it and it was done in a very sort of realistic shocking was as opposed to a torture porn way.”
“There’s obviously a lot of bloodshed and sickness and devouring and stuff like that, but we have two or three really good gore moments,” Hall tells BD.
Pogue adds, “We were judicious in what we chose, but I think we have some moments people won’t forget.”
We’ll have more from the Quarantine 2: Terminal set to come.
Terminal is set for release in 2011.