Set Visit: Everything you need to know about CHiPs! Action! Stunts! Nudity!

A few years back, writer/director/actor Dax Shepard offered up a pretty cool action comedy called HIT AND RUN. The one thing that always struck me about the independent film is how surprisingly awesome the action and the car chases happened to be. So when I first heard that he was taking on a reinterpretation of the classic Seventies series CHIPS, frankly I was very curious about what he could do with it. Thankfully, Mr. Shepard has assembled one hell of a solid team to tell the story of two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers. The cast includes Shepard, Michael Peña, Justin Chatwin, Kristen Bell and Vincent D’Onofrio. It also looks to take the original concept and give it a perfect R-rated treatment.

2017 action adam brody chips comedy dax shepard justin chatwin kristen bell michael pena vincent d'onofrio

December 2015, we had the chance to head on down to Palmdale, California and get a look at the new film. This included talking to some of the talent involved. Now normally on a set visit, you sit back and watch a scene, and then talk with the actors. This time was just a little different. While there was a scene going on, most of our time was spent battling the cold - yes it can get really freezing cold in Palmdale - or covering our ears for a sequence which involved gunshots. The scene that we watched a couple times appeared to be part of a larger action sequence, one where both Shepard and Peña were getting out of a police vehicle, one that apparently took flight for a moment. Judging from what Dax discussed, and all the destroyed cars that were spread around the set, its likely we will see a lot of vehicular destruction going on here.

2017 action adam brody chips comedy dax shepard drama justin chatwin kristen bell michael pena vincent d'onofrio

During our time on set, the weather left a ton to be desired. At times, the crew was bundled up so heavily that you couldn’t recognize them if you knew them. And then there was the lovely Kristen Bell who was a bit underdressed compared to everybody else, but she was ready and willing to do whatever the role took. The group of journalists that I was with had all been gathered together to spend some time in a small cabin on the set. It was one way for all of us to keep warm, and on a side note, since we were on the set of movie based on a classic series, another series came up in discussion. While we we were talking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of the guys on the crew came in dressed up with a hat, scarf and heavy coat. When he realized what we were talking about, he made the reveal that made my night! The mysterious crew member was Nicholas Brendon’s twin brother Kelly Donovan. And he was pretty rad.

But let’s get back to CHIPs. Some of you may remember the show, but it’s likely that most of you don’t. So what can we expect? Instead of the breezy Seventies comedic drama, we are going to get a film that is big on action, plus a ton of comedy as well. This will not be your parents TV show. According to IMDb, the ratings board gave it an R-rating for “crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.” So yeah, Erik Estrada and Larry Wilcox never had to deal with any of that. One thing is the same, Shepard and Peña kept the character names, so we will be seeing the wild adventures of Officer Jon Baker and Officer Frank ‘Ponch’ Poncherello. Will you be ready when CHIPs speeds into theatres on March 24, 2017?

2017 action adam brody chips comedy dax shepard drama justin chatwin kristen bell michael pena vincent d'onofrio

So what can audiences expect from this trip down nostalgia lane?

- Dax Shepard wanted to make a bad ass version of CHIPS like Bad Boys, Lethal Weapon or Beverly Hills Cop.

 - He added that this one is action first and comedy second. It takes itself more seriously than say 21 JUMP STREET. The villains should be feared.

- Almost everyday, they blew something up. including a humongous building they built "just to blow it the f*ck up." 

- He wanted Michael to play Ponch. He ended up in the role partially because of his work in END OF WATCH.

- Dax went from a 1 million dollar feature with HIT AND RUN to this, which has a budget of 25 million.

- Since Dax is a car guy, expect a ton of cars to either blow up or race around. It’s heavy on bikes, and there is a 6-speed Chevy SS, Hummers and more.

- Be prepared for a ton of practical motorcycle stunts. There will be very little CG when it comes to the action and car and bike stunts.

- When it came to making it R as opposed to PG-13, Dax added, “I felt like I could make a home run R movie, for 25, but that I couldn’t make a home run  PG-13 movie for 25, because there will be moments where, in action sequences where normally the building would fall down behind them, but instead we have jokes, like you know, and I want real hard jokes there, and I want those to be, the jokes to be as dangerous as the action is. For me that brings it into an R rated world.”

- The film is very violent, and it also has a healthy dose of nudity.

- “California is a huge star of the movie and the motorcycles are still the star of the movie, and  Jon and Poncho are still buddies.” Both are things that Dax loved about the series.

- When it came to doing a sequel, he added, “I would love to make 10 CHiPses sure, if I did nothing but CHiPses for the rest of my life. I don’t think that’s how you say it though, CHiPses.”

- The filmmakers wouldn’t confirm or deny any specific cameos but there likely will be.

- Kristen Bell plays what she calls, “a delicious, sassy piece of arm candy…”

- Dax was able to do several of the stunts thanks to his car experience and knowledge.

- Second Unit Director Steve DeCastro opened up about how big this flick gets when it comes to the stunt work. “They’re massive. They are, you know, tons of beach scenes, parking structures, walkways that have, you know, huge staircases that we’re riding up, riding across, riding down. 35 people, you know, two bikes ripping through, people getting knocked over all through it. It’s just, it’s a lot of big stuff going on.”

- Producer Andrew Panay has been working on this film for about a decade. Before it came to Dax, it was intended to be a PG-13 rated comedy.

- This modern take on CHIPs was always intended to take place in modern day. It was never going to be set in the Seventies or the Eighties like the series.

For interviews with Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Vincent D'Onofrio and Michael Pena, check out part two of our set visit here!

Source: JoBlo.com

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