The last two weeks have seen some spectacular car chase action being filmed for SPECTRE on the streets of Rome, as sequences have been carefully planned out and shot over consecutive evenings for a kind of high-speed ‘duel’ between cars, where 007 is pursued by henchman Mr. Hinx.
The first couple days of main filming involved Daniel Craig being filmed in his sleek-looking silver Aston Martin DB10 (licence plate number DB10 AGB), as 007 is chased and menaced by Hinx in his equally distinctive-looking Jaguar C-X75 (licence plate number ROMA 860K). Craig then flew out of Rome on Tuesday, 24th February, to celebrate his birthday and also return back to more filming at Pinewood in London, leaving the rest of the Rome car-chase action in the very capable hands of the action unit.
Some parts of central Rome have been regularly closed off at night, with the action filming taking place near and in Via della Concidiazione in the Vatican City area, including some scenes on the boulevard towards the famous St. Peter’s Church. Various sharp handbrake turns by the two vehicles have been shot, as the two cars have negotiated street corners at high-speed and roared from side-streets into the main roads with screeching tyres.
At one point, the two cars were also filmed speeding under a wall called the Passeto, which runs from San Pietro to Castel Sant’Angelo, and is especially significant in local Italian history as it was reserved for Popes as a potential escape route in case of danger. A significant number of Astons and Jaguars have been involved as back-up and substitute vehicles in the filming; up to four Aston Martins and five Jaguars have been seen both on standby and being utilised for the sequences, some of the vehicles specially adapted for the filming by the unit’s designers and mechanics, including being fitted with cameras to provide views of the upcoming roads from each driver’s point-of-view (Bond and Hinx). A number of special camera vehicles have also been utilised for the complex sequences.
Some of the most hair-raising sequences shot so far have occurred during the second week of the car-chase filming, when the two cars were shot whizzing along the wide embankment pathway that runs parallel to the River Tiber, with parts of this being filmed by a special camera speedboat which ran alongside on the river as the two cars sped down the river walkway.
According to the newspaper La Repubblica, there was a slight emergency during the early part of the car-chase filming when, on the Monday (23rd February), Bond star Daniel Craig knocked his head on the Aston’s interior when his car (which was being steered by a stunt driver on a special overhead rig attached to the Aston) hit a bump in the road. Although Daniel was checked out by an on-set medic, his injury was not serious.
Earlier this week (the second week of car-chase filming) the unit also utilised a carabinieri police car, which was spotted being filmed in a street near the Vatican City area.
The JBIFC understands that the action unit hopes to complete the main car-chase location sequences in Rome by 13th-14th March. In the meantime, some of the principal SPECTRE cast have been busy again at Pinewood, while last-minute preparations are also being made for some upcoming shooting in Mexico.
Note: Some key details have been withheld to avoid spoilers.