The latest 007 adventure, Spectre, is to be shot in the Italian capital – but campaigners are saying the city is currently too dirty and dilapidated for filming
With its incomparable examples of classical, baroque and renaissance architecture, ornate city squares and landscaped gardens, you might think Rome could not be a more perfect location for the suave and sophisticated British secret agent James Bond in his new adventure Spectre.
But with just three weeks to go until Sam Mendes and his crew arrive to shoot the 24th official 007 movie, campaigners are pointing out that the picture postcard image of the Eternal City differs wildly from the rubbish-strewn, graffiti-plagued reality of the Italian capital.
A number of key scenes for Spectre are due to be filmed in Rome. According to reports these include night-time car chases through the city’s historic centre and on the famous Corso Vittorio Emanuele II thoroughfare – though one section around the Quattro Fontane crossroads was vetoed thanks to the fragility of the architecture. There is also a much-hyped segue in which 007 parachutes from a helicopter on to the 15th-century Ponte Sisto pedestrian bridge.
But writing on the Basta Cartelloni blog, campaigners suggest that a number of landmarks need vital attention if Bond is not to find himself racing past evidence of dilapidation and decay. Photographs show the Ponte Sisto appearing dirty and adorned with graffiti and garbage, while the nearby Tiber Farnesina street (where a car chase is due to take place) appears to be in a similar state.
“With Rome having presumably known the filming dates for months, why have they not yet resolved the issues with the shoot locations?” asks the blog post author. “Were the relevant authorities not alerted in time to allow them to get these walls cleaned? Do Rome’s mayor Ignazio Marino, the president of the region Nicola Zingaretti and culture minister Dario Franceschini really want this to be the backdrop for Spectre’s filming?”
A spokesperson for Marino, Lucia Ritrovato, told the Independent the mayor was confident the city would be cleaned up before the film-makers arrive. “It has to be done and we’ll absolutely do it in time, working with the film production people, the council and the government,” she said.
Spectre is due to feature Daniel Craig returning for his fourth outing as 007, with double Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz, French actor Léa Seydoux and Italy’s Monica Bellucci among the supporting cast. Mendes’ second turn as director, following the $1bn box office success of 2012’s Skyfall, is expected to hit UK cinemas on 23 October. It arrives in the US on 6 November.
This article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 12.37 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010