Director Peter Berg's 'Mile 22' was filmed on a surprisingly short 42-day shoot between November 2017 and February 2018, filming the majority of its interiors in Atlanta, Georgia during the first five weeks, before moving to Bogota, Colombia for the remainder of the shoot, where the exterior action scenes were staged in the middle of the bustling city on practical locations.
To lay the groundwork for filming an action film of this scale, which would involve multiple street closures, car chases, gunfire, and explosions, the filmmakers began speaking with officials of the Colombian government and the City of Bogota back in June of 2017. One of the most important special permits the filmmakers had to get was to allow aerial filming in what were normally the city’s no-fly zones. With the entire mission monitored by drones operated by the Over watch team, that meant cameras in the air on nearly every filming day in order to get the required “surveillance” footage.
Even the Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and Bogota Mayor Enrique Penalosa rolled out the red carpet for the filmmakers, including cooperation from the national police, the transit authority, and the military. “It was remarkable how President Santos and his government really opened up their city to us,” Peter Berg said. “We were basically given keys to the city. We were allowed to go into their equivalent of Times Square and shut it down for 10 days and do some pretty hectic stuff. The fact that we were able to use the real city and interact with the real city in a pretty kinetic way really helped give us the look we were going for.”
The President and his family even got personally involved in the film; the President’s son, Esteban Santos, who recently graduated from the University of Virginia, appears in the film as a U.S. Embassy military guard. Then, during a visit to set, President Santos found himself in the middle of the action, as Peter Berg handed him a Panavision camera that he operated during a scene featuring Mark Wahlberg.
The film is slated to release on August 24....