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Watch the New ‘Need for Speed’ Trailer and We Go Behind-the-Scenes With Star Aaron Paul

The new ‘Need For Speed’ trailer is here and provides an extended look at the upcoming adaptation of the classic video game. You can watch the trailer above and then go behind-the-scenes with us and star Aaron Paul, who took us into the film’s editing room to give us a closer look at how they pulled off some of the scenes biggest stunts (spoiler alert: no CGI).

Though ‘Need for Speed‘ is based on a video game, director Scott Waugh wanted to remove pixels from the equation. When we previewed scenes from the film in an edit bay visit, he said of his approach, “we had to do this practical, because I know what’s real. I really want to bring that back to cinema. As an audience member I feel that if you break the rules of physics, or stunt work, you break the rules of the character’s jeopardy.”

That’s a different take than most big summer movies, but it should be no surprise that Waugh would want to go for practical; his father was a stuntman and he spent time in the trenches doing stuntwork before moving on to direct ‘Act of Valor’ whose surprise success landed him in charge of this big budget studio film. In watching the footage, we saw a stunt where a car flips off a bridge, and you can tell immediately that it was all done practically. And where often CG destruction achieves a numbing effect (cities and worlds can be destroyed with great ease now that CGI has taken over), that feeling of watching something for real provokes a visceral response and that’s one of the biggest selling point of the movie.

Waugh said of his approach that “audiences love popcorn films, they like the ride, and they’ll accept CGI, but I’ve tested it, and they register the difference, they appreciate that it’s a practical, real car movie, versus actors on green screen with the shake sticks, being vibrated while the stunt guys go out and do it. Even in the dialogue scenes — there’s a lot of dialogue that happens between Aaron and Imogen (Poots) in the car, and I thought we should do it practically. I know when an actor’s driving a car, you can tell by the wheel finesse. You put the tires on the ground, and they have to steer it? It changes everything. It was a constant test but it makes the movie.”

To help sell Paul’s star status, and for the benefit of the movie, Waugh wanted to put Paul behind the wheel as much as possible. “One of my conversations with Aaron after he said he’d do it, I told him ‘I need to teach you how to drive, you need to go to stunt school, are you cool with that?’ He was like ‘Yeah!’ His first day working on this movie we took him out to Willow Springs and he was drifting cars, doing 360’s and 180’s and it was really funny because our instructor came up to me and said ‘if this acting sh—don’t work for him, he could work in stunts.’ I said ‘I think he’s going to do all right with the acting thing.’ But he was good behind the wheel which meant I could put the camera places you normally couldn’t with an actor.”

Paul loved doing the stunts and said of the film “(Scott) wanted to make sure that when people are watching this film they’re not being fooled, they’re not being lied to. People can watch it and say ‘oh my god, that sh—is actually happening.’ And they did it all practical, they wanted it to feel like you’re in the car driving, and that’s what you feel like when you play the game. Scott had a distinct vision, he said ‘I want to do a throwback to the classic sixties, seventies car culture. And I want you to watch every Steve McQueen movie out there.’ And I was like, ‘yes, let’s do it.’”

Paul’s pre-production involved stunt driving, playing video games and watching Steve McQueen films, which sounds incredible. “It’s a joke. Going all over the country, going to places I’ve never been to, driving these crazy cars. Like, really? Okay, I’ll do it. It’s ridiculous, it’s an embarrassment of riches.”

We’ll have more from our talk with Aaron Paul as we get closer to the release of ‘Need for Speed,’ but as you can see with this new trailer, if you like practical stuntwork, and the thrill that comes from seeing cars drive and crash for real, ‘Need for Speed’ is going to be a must-see when it hits theaters March 14.

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