ROME — With cameras rolling in London on “Spectre,” Rome is now preparing to host the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise for five weeks of shooting due to start in the Italian capital in mid-February 2015 and expected to bring a local windfall of roughly Euros 50 million ($62 million).
That is a substantial chunk of MGM’s reported more than $300 million budget for “Spectre,” according to hacked Sony emails. The sum, reported by Rome daily La Repubblica, will go for complicated car chases, parachute drops and helicopter scenes, set in different parts of the Eternal City. A large stretch of one of Rome’s main avenues, the Via Nomentana, will be closed to traffic for several nights and lit up night-for-day.
Rome/Lazio Film Commission topper Luciano Sovena told La Repubblica that “Spectre” will cause limited disruption to the lives of regular Romans because most of the shooting will take place at night.
According to Italian press reports, planned “Spectre” scenes in Rome include a high-speed chase along the Tiber river with a car flying off into the river and James Bond parachuting from a helicopter onto the 15th century Ponte Sisto bridge. Other chases will reportedly be staged inside Rome’s historic center in the cobblestone alleys around the Piazza Navona, near the Trevi Fountain and in the vicinity of the Vatican, where a Fiat 500 will reportedly get crushed, possibly in a crash with Bond’s Aston Martin DB10.
Drone shots are being planned by cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema, who worked on “Interstellar.”
The Italian line producers are Enzo Sisti (“The Passion of the Christ”), Erik Paoletti (“The American”) and Roberto Malerba (“V for Vendetta”). Production offices will be based at Cinecittà Studios, which has started luring more Hollywood shoots lately thanks to Italy’s generous 25% tax break for international productions, the cap on which was crucially raised to $12.4 million earlier this year. MGM and Paramount’s “Ben Hur” redo will start shooting at Cinecittà early next year.
“The new James Bond film will be a prestigious calling card to relaunch international film production in Rome,” Sovena was quoted by La Repubblica as enthusing.
Other “Spectre” locations besides London will be Tangier and Erfoud in Morocco, Mexico City, and Sölden, Obertilliach and Lake Altaussee in Austria. Principal photography started at London’s Pinewood Studios on Monday, December 8.
The 24th James Bond pic, being directed by Sam Mendes with Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Lea Seydoux and Naomie Harris as key cast alongside star Daniel Craig, is set for a global release via Sony on Nov. 6, 2015.