Inspired by popular media franchise John Wick and Now You See Me, the expanded zone will feature the world’s tallest free fly and most revolutions of any spinning coaster.
TORONTO, ON – Experience design company FORREC is thrilled to see the opening of the expanded Lionsgate Zone at MOTIONGATE™ Dubai and its two new roller coaster attractions, John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller. Inspired by the popular media franchise of the same name, the rides are open to guests starting today.
In collaboration with DXB Entertainments and Lionsgate, FORREC developed the creative vision, direction, storyline, programming, and planning for the Lionsgate Zone at MOTIONGATE Dubai. It occupies a land area of 16,200 sqm (1.6 ha) including:
- Now You See Me covered street storefronts – 730 sqm
- Now You See Me Attraction – 590 sqm plus overflow queue, load and unload
- John Wick – 655 sqm plus overflow queue, outdoor unload and exit
The Lionsgate expansion offers branded retail, a new F&B in the Wall Street district, along with iconic movie moments from the films expressed as photo and social media moments. The expanded Lionsgate Zone uses out-of-the-box creativity and innovative technology to ensure the ultimate experience for all visitors, including large 2D forced perspective murals and a multimedia LED canopy.
“FORREC is proud to have played a vital role in the creation, design, and development of these new experiences at MOTIONGATE Dubai” says Cale Heit, President and CEO, FORREC. “We are fortunate to have great partners at DXB Entertainments and Lionsgate; DXBE is incredibly well-seasoned in working with popular IPs and always have the guest experience top of mind, while Lionsgate spares no effort in bringing their IPs to life in the most impactful way possible. Both partners were crucial in helping to continue to push John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller to completion and we’re excited to see guests’ reactions when exiting the ride at the end of the experience with these new, thrilling coasters.”
John Wick: Open Contract
As the world’s first attraction inspired by John Wick, John Wick: Open Contract is a 4D free spin, 10-story high roller coaster and is set over a 310-metre track. It can reach speeds of up to 64km per hour and deliver up to 2.8 G-force. Guests begin their journey at the iconic hotel The Continental before embarking on an intense, action-packed journey that recreates John Wick’s perilous adventures, as the coaster races down a 4D track that offers forward and backward freestyle spins on the world’s tallest 4D free fly coaster!
Prior to boarding, riders will be given a choice of two different experiences depending on which path they choose to queue through: fulfill a blood oath and help protect John Wick from lethal contractors or become an assassin hired to hunt him down. As visitors move through the queue, they are delighted with an immersive, experiential pre-show that brings the attraction to life, starting with a walk-through of a scaled version of The Continental – the setting and gathering point in the John Wick movies. From there, depending on the chosen line, guests are immersed in the story and navigate through different key moments in the film before coming together in the War Room to board the amazing ride that brings the battle to life.
As the creative design partners, FORREC was tasked with creating engaging experiences that bring the John Wick IP to life in a meaningful way, while balancing economical design in relation to square footage and establishing a sense of intimacy in an area that is massive in scale. In a strategic design choice, FORREC used the ride buildings as architectural infrastructure to help create this sense of density and close quarters. While the coaster is 34.65m from ground to top track, when it came time to design The Continental, the creative team employed a technique called forced perspective to create the illusion that the hotel too is 20 meters tall; as riders go up the coaster, the windows on the building become smaller and the exterior of the hotel is stepped back in smaller amounts.
“It is such a satisfying process to love the content, immerse oneself in the IP and for FORREC the opportunity to be the first to recreate these magical and iconic movie moments in Theme Park environments, we can all walk through and experience time and time again,” said Eric O’Rourke, Senior Director, Theme Parks, FORREC. “The FORREC team was incredible and strove for design excellence at every step. We pushed a little, gave a bit, but ultimately our objective was to be mindful and deliver on both DXBE’s and Lionsgate’s best interests and expectations. What a pleasure it was, and I can’t wait to relive the journey in real life with the rest of our team.”
Now You See Me: High Roller
Based on the mind-bending heist thriller Now You See Me, guests will get to experience the film’s masterful misdirection in real-time through a series of optical illusions, magic shows, and immersive storytelling. Riders will reach speeds of up to 70km per hour as they race to escape police and expose the antics of a criminal mastermind during an intense coaster experience.
Now You See Me: High Roller boasts a 20m first drop, a dark, underground tunnel experience, non-inverted loops, and Immelmann turn sections, with riders making a full 180-degree turn after entering a half-loop section of the track, followed by a half twist, breaking the record for most revolutions of any spinning coaster in the world, all on a freely rotating ride vehicle!
Set in a casino hotel in an undisclosed location with a contemporary Las Vegas feel, guests will enter the queue in the casino as they walk through the lobby to take part in a heist the Horsemen (illusionists who pull off robberies during their performances) are in the midst of carrying out. While riders are under the guise of seeing a magic show, they are in fact being recruited to assist the illusionists to rob a hotel vault and return the money to its rightful owners.
Centred on the theme of magic and set in multiple cities like the film, FORREC wanted to capture the sense of being “transported” between cities, while also having guests feel a part of the iconic “heists” that are central to the NYSM narrative. Since there can’t be a physical stage, guests approach the glittering casino ride façade under a massive 50.m x 19.0 x 6.5m arced canopy covering an urban themed promenade lined with interactive storefronts and fountains, creating an immersive pre-show space and a shaded amenity for the entire park that comes alive with lights embedded in the facades and LED canopy. Riders eventually reach the “rooftop” of the hotel where they will board the spinning coaster. Acting as a portal, guests are “magically” teleported to New York and disembark the roller coaster, successfully eluding the police.
As guests continue to want more involved and exploration experiences in attractions, FORREC designers really wanted to create a holistic themed world within the expanded Lionsgate Zone that connects with audiences on-the-ground through immersive experiences rather than just a queue onto a ride. Using space and time, both John Wick: Open Contract and Now You See Me: High Roller become part of larger stories that link the narrative of the adjacent zones together, creating transformational experiences perfect for kids, families, and adults alike.