March 19, 2014 12:42
Commuters and Seoul residents may experience some inconvenience traveling around the city from March 30 to April 14 due to the filming of the sequel to the Hollywood blockbuster "The Avengers."
Traffic will be blocked in several downtown areas such as Mapo Bridge and Gangnam areas to facilitate the filming of car chase and battle scenes, the Seoul Metropolitan Government said on Tuesday.
It promised to try and minimize the inconvenience to citizens in cooperation with local police.
"Avengers: Age of Ultron" follows the exploits of a team of superheroes as they do battle with a villainous robot. Major battle and chase scenes set in Seoul will take up about 15 to 20 minutes of the two-hour film. About W10 billion will be spent on shooting in Seoul (US$1=W1,071).
Last month, Marvel Studios, which is producing the movie, said that "key elements" of the superhero film will be filmed in Seoul, and that other locations include Aosta Valley in Italy, Johannesburg in South Africa, London and parts of the U.S.
Seoul will be portrayed as a city featuring cutting-edge technology and ultramodern buildings. The headquarters of a Korean IT institute on a small islet on the Han River will also play a central role as villainous robot Ultron tries to acquire state-of-the-art technology. The superheroes are tasked with protecting the institute and keeping the world safe.
Korean actress Kim Soo-hyun, who drew much attention when she was cast in the movie, will play a scientist at the institute.
The core scene set in Seoul involves Ultron laying parts of the city to waste. It will be shot partly at densely populated areas near Gangnam Subway Station.
"We cannot disclose detailed shooting locations for security reasons, but as some chaotic blast scenes are scheduled to be filmed, safety is our primary concern," said a city official. "We have arranged fire trucks around the areas. A scene in which one of the characters, Iron Man, flies over the Digital Media City in Sangam-dong and Han River Park will show the harmony of nature and the modern beauty of Seoul."
The city government and police are trying to figure out ways to adjust bus routes and create detours to best control traffic during filming.
"We expect that filming the sequel of 'The Avengers' in Seoul will help promote the city," said Kang Ki-hong, vice president of the Korea Tourism Organization.
The comic-based film proved a huge hit when the first installment was released in 2012, drawing over 7 million moviegoers here.
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