Kung Fu Yoga or Star Trek Beyond? Star Trek Beyond or Kung Fu Yoga? Those are the questions we ask ourselves every time we see a film crew zipping around Dubai this month.
We have updates on both fronts, it seems.
Residents of the Central Park Towers in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) were informed by building personnel that filming of Star Trek Beyond would take place on October 10 and 11 in the area.
One resident, who snapped a photo of the set from her window, told tabloid! that they have been building in the area for about a week now.
“Saturday, if you come in the morning — around 8 o’clock in the morning — there will be a helicopter scene,” she said. “And then they will have some ground scenes.”
The photos provide an overview of the set. A large, semicircular structure is visible. It appears rusty and metallic, and seems like a chunk of a spaceship. The structure is surrounded by a semi-vacant lot from one side and greenery on the other.
A massive green screen is also visible, similar to one spotted in Vancouver, where the Star Trek Beyond team had been filming before their arrival in the UAE. TMZ posted photos from Pitt River Quarries outside of Vancouver, speculating that a tiered, ginger-coloured structure could be a “torn-up Enterprise” and hint at a spaceship crash.
Meanwhile, multiple sources have told tabloid! that the helicopters flying around Downtown Dubai and JLT residences for the past few days have been for the Jackie Chan’s flick, Kung Fu Yoga.
A JLT resident told tabloid! that at 9am on Thursday, a helicopter was seen flying alongside the Almas Tower, which is the tallest in the neighbourhood. At 68-storeys high, the building was once the tallest in all of Dubai, until it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa in 2010. The door to the helicopter scaling the building appeared open.
Go Aerials, a division of the local production company Al Katraz that’s working on Kung Fu Yoga, specialises in aerial filming that works “with only the best helicopter film pilots and helicopter companies to ensure that every shoot is safe but delivers exactly what the client is after”.
A parallel crew was setting up shop at the lake beneath the Almas building. Ambulances, police officers and fire trucks were seen standing idly nearby by 11am.
Jamal Al Sharif, chairman of the Dubai Film & TV Commission and managing director of Dubai Studio City, earlier told tabloid! that Kung Fu Yoga will feature Dubai in a major way.
“It’s a big film with big scenes of Dubai. They’re shooting in major streets, highways, bridges of Dubai. [Chan’s] playing a big role in the film, he’s doing all his stunts; I’ve been to some of his sets. Dubai Police has been a support, RTA a big support, Dubai ambulance, civil defence, task force has been a big support,” he said.
He added that there would be car chases and that “high-end Dubai police cars are involved.”
Chan was also seen in a traditional UAE kandura at the Al Marmoum Racing Track earlier this month.