Atomic Blonde: Director David Leitch talks us through that iconic stairwell fight scene (exclusive)

David Leitch’s ‘Atomic Blonde’ had many memorable moments, but the one that earns the film its place in movie history is the ultra-violent stairwell fight scene.

Charlize Theron’s secret agent Lorraine Broughton finds herself in a tight spot while trying to get Eddie Marsan’s Stasi defector (codenamed Spyglass) into West Berlin. She must battle her way up and down a cramped stairwell, fighting countless hoodlums in tight corners, and the whole sequence is filmed to look like one unbroken 10-minute take. 

Think Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ meets ‘The Raid’, and you’re about halfway there to the level of insanity. It was actually filmed in “modular pieces” stitched together in the edit explains director David Leitch, but it was still so ambitious the studio tried to get him to scale it back.

Charlize Theron proves her action credentials once again with this incredible stairwell fight scene (Universal)

“This was around the time where one of our producers from the studio was like ‘erm, do you want to try and reduce this? Or cut it? It’s a little violent!'” Leitch explains in our exclusive clip from the upcoming home entertainment release.

“I was like ‘NOOOO!’, go big or go home!”

And go big he certainly did.

Synopsis: Directed by David Leitch, Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Broughton must navigate her way through a deadly game of spies to recover a priceless dossier while fighting ferocious killers along the way in this breakneck action-thriller also starring James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman.

‘Atomic Blonde’ is available on Digital on 2 December and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on 4 December, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UK).

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