Coming to theaters this September, from director Pierre Morel of “Taken,” “From Paris with Love and The Gunman,” is the action thriller entitled “Peppermint.” The film follows Riley North (Jennifer Garner) who wakes up from a coma to find that her husband and daughter have been killed by a driveby gang shooting. When the culprits evade government punishment for the crime, North transforms into her own rogue assassin to enact revenge on those who murdered her family. “Peppermint” filmed at the carousel and Ferris wheel at The Pike Outlets in Long Beach.
“Shooting in Long Beach was a fantastic experience,” said Kandice Billingsley, location manager for “Peppermint.” “The Ferris wheel and carousel at The Pike look magical on film. The location was so amazing that our director decided to change the script.”
In the film, North’s daughter is tragically murdered after the family goes out for ice cream one night. Billingsley says that the production was challenged to find a place that had all the elements needed to tell Riley’s revenge story and her motivation for hanging three dead bodies from a Ferris wheel for a scene in the film.
“We searched high and low for bridges near an ice cream store, which was the original idea,” Billingsley said. “The Ferris wheel location in Long Beach was suggested during a troubleshooting meeting when the Cyclone Racer walking bridge did not work. [Director] Pierre’s eyes lit up, and we all agreed that it worked perfectly for the story. We worked diligently to make it happen.”
Billingsley said that it was a huge task to film the location and that there were many concerns to consider, such as addressing public awareness of the filming and to ensure that everyone was on board for hanging dummies from the Ferris wheel.
“Being sensitive to public concerns and proceeding with the utmost respect and professionalism was our priority,” she said. “The Long Beach Film Office and the City of Long Beach were very helpful, and we could not have accomplished it without them...I was pleasantly surprised at how film-friendly everyone was, and we did our best to make a plan that worked for everyone involved in the community.”
According to Billingsley, despite the dark nature of the film, the cast and crew on “Peppermint” had a blast going on both rides during the shoot.
“When the audience sits down to enjoy the movie with their popcorn, they will never have a clue that the cast and crew were having as much fun as humanly possible. It is an exciting story told by the perfect director. Watching the film kept me on the edge of my seat and Pierre Morel will absolutely take everyone on an exciting adventure with ‘Peppermint.’”