Exclusive: Reacher Season Two Production Designer on Making the Hit Series Sizzle

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Spoiler warning up to episode six of Reacher season two.


Reacher is always action-packed, but fans were shocked by the recent turn of events. In episode six of the hit Prime Video series, shooters took out Domenick Lombardozzi’s Detective Guy Russo in a gritty scene that lit up social media. It’s yet another powerful creative punch from the series that entered season two with gusto and is not letting up.

This season is based on Lee Child’s 11th book in the Jack Reacher series, Bad Luck and Trouble. Hunky star Alan Ritchson returned in fine form as Reacher, and Maria Sten, Serinda Swan, and Shaun Sipos round out the cast as vital members of the 110th MP Special Investigations Unit. Other standouts include Ferdinand Kingsley, playing a mercenary, Robert Patrick, and Lombardozzi’s tough NYPD detective.

Look for more twists as the season plays out. But none of the drama would be this effective without the vision of Reacher’s season two production designer, Naz Goshtasbpour, who opens up with MovieWeb about her concepts for the season and some of the challenges she faced. Dive in.

Reacher season 2 poster
Reacher

Release Date
February 4, 2022

Creator
Nick Santora
Cast
Alan Ritchson , Maria Sten , Malcolm Goodwin , Willa Fitzgerald

Rating
TV-MA

Seasons
2


Coming on Board Reach in Season 2

REACHER-
Amazon Studios

Naz Goshtasbpour made a dent in a highly competitive industry by never wavering in her determination to become a successful production designer. In 2016, 10 years after she stormed onto the scene, she nabbed a Directors Guild of Canada nomination for Best Production Design after working on Group Home, a story about a single father running a home for abused Toronto children and teens in the early 1980s. She’d go on to be instrumental behind the scenes in Baroness Von Sketch Show, In the Dark, Supergirl, and now, the second season of Reacher, which, judging by this show’s popularity, should give Prime Video plenty of incentive to go for another round.

“Season one of Reacher was very successful, and I just wanted to make sure that the second season looked very good and was as authentic as it could be to the locations that they were supposed to be in,” Goshtasbpour said of coming on board the hit show. “Like New York, we wanted to make sure we had some scenes shooting in New York — parts of it was shot here, then Atlantic City was another location.” She added:

The authenticity of the locations and recreating them in another city was really important to me. I just wanted to make sure that it looked good, if not better, because I just love the scripts, and I wanted to do it justice.

Crafting Challenging Sequences

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher smashing a car window.
Prime Video

Season two began with our favorite hotshot military police investigator, Reacher, receiving a coded message that the members of his former U.S. Army unit were being murdered. While so many of today’s action films and TV series rely heavily on CGI to bring massive set pieces, Goshtasbpour opted to minimize VFX in favor of practical effects and stunt work. This proved to be both exciting and challenging, but the choice became a key component of the show’s practical approach. To that end, she built elaborate life-size sets while working with last-minute location changes, weather elements, and limited resources.

“I like the balance of VFX versus practical effects, but I always love doing things practically because it just looks way better all the time or most of the time,” she said. “I know sometimes we are up against time restraints and troubleshooting, so we always have to weigh those pros and cons, but I’m a firm pusher for practical effects.”

RELATED: Reacher Season 2 Cast and Character Guide

Every set has its own challenges, she went on to say, and in this season of Reacher, one helicopter scene was unique. “That was a big, very fun, and challenging build because it was based on a real model of a helicopter, Super Puma,” she added. “I picked the helicopter, and we went in and looked at the inside, but the inside is smaller than we needed it to be. So, trying to figure out the balance of making the inside of a helicopter match the outside without it being massive was one of the first things that we had to figure out.”

Moving through myriad intricacies, Goshtasbpour had to make sure the interior helicopter build was just tall enough so that it didn’t bump the actors because there was a great deal of action happening in the helicopter. She explained:

“We had to make sure it had just enough space for the actors to do their stunts. Because I want to be able to provide a set where we don’t need to augment as much in post-production VFX, it was important for me to build the structure of the helicopter within the body of it. So, when it’s on the gimbal, you could shoot out the windows without having any obstructions that then you had to paint out later. The engineering of that also had its own challenge.”

Will There Be a Season Three?

Alan Ritchson as Jack Reacher with Serinda Swan as Karla Dixon in a military base being yelled at by a soldier in Reacher
Prime Video

There’s been no shortage of action sequences this season. Determining how all that would blend into the overall production design in season two became another challenge for Goshtasbpour, who worked on a limited budget yet produced high-quality results, thanks to incorporating more practical effects. One major scene early on took place in the house of Saropian, the hitman that Jack and Dixon killed in another episode.

“In this episode, they went in and had the big fight with the bomb, they rolled into the door, and it exploded,” Goshtasbpour said. “Outside, the roof component was a separate piece, and we ended up having to change the shingles on the roof to match our location. It wasn’t too crazy for us in terms of having to pivot very last minute. And then sometimes you come across the weather, unexpected snow or freezing rain or something, and you must come to the studio, and they’re like, ‘Surprise! You have to have the set finished.’”

Related: 20 TV Shows Full of Incredible Action Sequences

As for the road ahead, Goshtasbpour is tight-lipped about how the season ends.

“I mean, the ending of the season is pretty amazing. So, I think the audience is just going to have a pleasant surprise waiting for them once the final episode airs. I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But, with another season, because every season is based on a book, and I’m a part of it, I’d like to give it its own unique style to reflect whatever book it may be based on. I saw the Reacher movies. I was a big Tom Cruise fan and when I saw this on Prime Video, I read the book, then the book for the second season and yeah, I’m hooked.”

Catch Reacher on Prime Video through the link below, and check out the season two trailer:

Watch on Prime Video

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