Spoiler Warning: Slight spoilers for Suicide Squad may be contained in this description.
As part of a set visit for Suicide Squad last summer, Comicbook.com and select other press took a tour through several of the actual sets for the film. We explored the depths of a mystical cave, the prison cells of Belle Reve, a Midway City street, and the inside of the train station. That train station, Midway Central Station (codenamed in the soundstage as "Razor Strap Set"), is the site for a major third act battle, so be warned, this may contain some information some would consider spoilers.
Walking into the expansive station, it's instantly recognizable as such. Production designer Oliver Scholl told us it was "patterned off Grand Central [Station] in New York. You have the grand architecture, giving us a nice setting for our big showdown in the end." That means a wide, expansive space for this central Concourse, akin to the massive, high-ceilinged spaces you'll see if you go to one of the many major classic stations in big cities, be they Penn, Central, or Union. Their largest single set for Suicide Squad, the actual built portion climbs just above the 33 foot high mark, which is their "cutting line" on the set. From there on up, they'll digitally add a "huge domed ceiling with huge windows." They want it to be a "vast, huge space."
The design for the train station was done as one unified piece, then they established the cut line, which they build just past, and add the rest with CGI effects. Portions of the set above the cut line were covered in green screen, but not all of it, indicating that those were moments of action, our tour guides revealed. If something is coming crashing through one part of the scene, or a character is using a special power or ability, for example, they'll place a green screen there for those more advanced effects. The dome of the building itself, however, didn't need a green screen to be placed.
The set included vast tiled floors, meant to look like marble or stone tile, but actually made of a special carpet that is manipulated to look that way (for softer landings during action scenes). Along the sides of the concourse are several fully-decorated stores and other shops; a barber shop next to a coffee house next to a book store, for example. All of those sets are dressed, despite the fact that nearly none of them are used - they simply want as much a sense of realism, even if it's only appearing in the background, as they can get. Large stone (see: foam) columns line the sides of the concourse, and additionally fake-stone tiles line the walls, frequently made of patches of wallpaper made on black roofing tar paper. These are dressed individually - crafters hand-made every wall tile, individually coloring them so that they'd have different levels of wear. Tiles at different heights, for example, would be touched more in the station's 100 year or more existence, and that's all taken into account here.
They chose a train station as the site of the final confrontation with the Adversary - whatever or whomever that actually is - as it makes the most sense for the "major hub of the city. You can write a story where you're in the middle of a city and where else do you get a giant place like this but in a train station?" supervising art director Brandt Gordon told us.
Of course, the most interesting part of the set was something they weren't willing to talk about: The large hole in one end of the station, and chunks of the massive stone columns torn out, almost looking like they had been bitten out. Dripping from those columns was a black goo - the same kind we saw on one of the Midway City streets, and the same kind that the troops, the Eyes of the Adversary, are covered in. Clearly it's all connected, and whatever the Adversary is can produce this good for destruction or manipulation, but we couldn't get any hints out of them.
Still, the big Act 3 showdown takes place in Midway City Central Train Station, and whatever it is they're fighting, it's big, gooey, and powerful by the end of the film.
Suicide Squad opens August 5, 2016.0comments