After Disney made a blockbuster franchise out of their Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride, Lionsgate is gearing up to do the opposite, with 10-story roller coaster rides at the Motiongate theme park in Dubai based on their film franchises John Wick and Now You See. Variety has published the first look at renderings of what the attractions will look like when the rides open next year at Motiongate.
So does that mean the John Wick ride will involve customers paying to murder an avalanche of assassins while strapped to a roller coaster? Will the Now You See Me ride feature the coaster mysteriously teleporting from one city to another? As awesome as that would be, the reality is a bit more tame.
The first ride, named the John Wick: Open Contract coaster, will feature two different experiences, according to Jenefer Brown, executive vice president and head of global live, interactive, and location-based entertainment at Lionsgate. In one experience, customers get to help master killer John Wick, while in the other, they are the ones hunting him across a scaled version of the assassins' hotel Continental featured in the movies. Brown is confident the ride will allow fans to experience the intensity of a John Wick movie in real-time:
"I think what's going to be amazing for fans is to have the opportunity to walk through the lobby of the Continental and experience different key moments in the settings that took place in the films. This attraction in particular is really about setting the story by putting people in this very immersive environment, and then you really get the action as you get on the coaster. It's 10 stories high, so there's definitely a level of intensity that's befitting of the John Wick franchise that guests will experience."
The second coaster, the High Roller, is based on Now You See Me, and set in a casino location. Brown revealed that guests will be able to take part in a grand heist arranged by the franchise's "Four Horsemen" group of master illusionists.
"Guests will have the experience of walking through the casino and taking part in a heist that the Horsemen are in the midst of pulling off. There will be a really great immersive story experience that leads guests on to this coaster."
Lionsgate's theme park in Dubai comes on the heels of the company's first foray into the world of amusement parks outside of the US through a smaller indoor amusement center, Lionsgate Entertainment World, that exists in China. According to Brown, it made sense to add John Wick and Now You See Me-themed rides to Motiongate because of the experiential storytelling the two franchises offer:
""John Wick' is definitely an intellectual property that we feel is perfect for location-based entertainment. Because the world is so rich and the characters are so intriguing. There's a lot of story that we can tell there in an experiential way. "Now You See Me" is the same way, as magic is incredibly popular and universal. Doing this first ride in Dubai I think will establish what we can do in other places around the world, and we're interested in expanding our portfolio of film franchises and TV series, in outdoor theme parks."
Apart from the upcoming roller coasters, Motiongate offers a coaster based on The Hunger Games and a live music/dance show based on Step Up, along with themed rides based on DreamWorks and Columbia Pictures properties. This news was first reported at Variety.