The Filming in Rome for Angels & Demons

ON has sent us a big update on the filming for Angels & Demons that took place in Rome:

Hi guys, we have a lot of stuff about Angels & Demons, with a gallery of all the pictures we’ve done in these three weeks available here.

The last day of shooting was spent at Castel S. Angelo and it occurred at night. We have interesting information about that. As the readers of the novel know well, in the sequences of the book set at Castel S. Angelo there are just three main characters. Instead, as you can see in our pictures, exactly a dozen extras (should we call them “The Dirty Dozen”?) were wearing uniforms of special forces and were called inside to shoot a scene. Obviously, this means a change from the book, maybe because it was considered an unreal situation to have Langdon going alone inside. Thus, I hope that Akiva Goldsman has changed the ending and the backstory of the book as well, which in my opinion don’t work at all. (View pics)

Last week, we took pictures of the shooting at Angelica library, which in the movie represents the Vatican Library, where Robert Langdon finds a lot of clues in his research. They were shooting a scene with Tom Hanks and Pierfrancesco Favino entering inside. Then, they shot a few interior scene in the Library.

Then, we went at Piazza di San Bernardo, which is near the Santa Maria della Vittoria church (described in the book as one of the four cardinal points), where we’ve seen a lot of spectacular machines and lights for the shooting. There was a scene with a car, with Tom Hanks sitting inside, going full speed (in fact, nothing more than 40 kilometres at hour, but I’m sure that in the editing process it will appear faster) in a street near there. This means they’ve shot the sequences where Langdon and the others arrive at Santa Maria della Vittoria, even if they can’t shoot at the interior of the church.

Speaking of the devil, let set the record straight. I read many articles declaring that the crew was “fighting a battle” with The Vatican, that allegedly refused at the last moment the permission to shoot in two churches described in the book, Santa Maria del Popolo and the aforementioned Santa Maria della Vittoria. I’ve seen the schedule for the shooting and I can assure you the filmmakers never had the churches in their plans. Probably, they were well aware about the need to rebuild their interiors on set. Thus, I can’t understand what’s the fuss about the choice to not permit shooting in these places: does anyone really think there was even a slight chance that an adaptation of a Dan Brown novel would receive the Vatican’s blessing? Actually, as reported by Maria Corbi in the Newspaper La Stampa, it is true that many residences owned by noble families in Rome were denied to production, probably to not upset the Vatican.

All these places (Angelica Library, Piazza San Bernardo and Castel S. Angelo) are depicted in our galleries, where you can find images of the shooting in front of Pantheon as well.

But the filmakers decided to shoot not only in Rome, but also at La reggia of Caserta. It’s a place well known by movie fans, considering that was used by the new Star Wars trilogy for the Queen Amidala palace, but also for Mission Impossible: III, in the scene describing the interior of the Vatican, as occured for Angels & Demons. La Reggia was closed for three consecutive days to allow the shooting and obviously we’ve no images of these sequences.

The production schedule was delayed of a few days, but it wasn’t the filmmakers’ fault. In fact, they should have concluded the Roman shooting on monday, 16, to spend three day in Caserta and then return to the United States. But due to the visit of President Bush for three days, in which the city was nearly blocked, they were forced to postpone the night sequences at Piazza di San Bernardo and Castel S. Angelo.

So, this is the end of the Roman shooting of Angels & Demons. I will miss it…

Columbia Pictures is targeting a May 15, 2009 release for the Ron Howard-directed follow-up to The Da Vinci Code.