Troy - Press Archive - Troy set one of the biggest in Europe
Times of Malta
09 May 2003
Troy set one of the biggest in Europe
The city of Troy will come alive with thousands of crowd extras in about two weeks' time.
Fiona Galea Debono
The city of Troy will come alive with thousands of crowd extras in about
two weeks' time.
Works are under way at what is considered to be one of the largest film
sets currently under construction in Europe and possibly even worldwide,
located in Fort Ricasoli.
The metamorphic fortifications are once again being transformed to take
on a new role and King Priam's palace rises majestically in their heart,
while the imposing gates of Troy stand around 15 metres tall, overlooking
The building of the set for the epic $180 million-budget movie Troy, which
is expected to be Warner Bros' major release next year, started in January,
said co-producer Winston Azzopardi. Cameras should be turning their lenses
onto it in around two weeks' time when the city of Troy comes alive with
thousands of crowd extras.
Filming, which started on Tuesday, is currently going on elsewhere.
During Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami's tour of the set yesterday,
praise was heaped on local workmanship - about 485 Maltese are currently
employed on the production, mostly working on the impressive and
Roy Button, Warner Bros UK managing director, was full of praise for the
"terrific" island and its inhabitants: "They are great and we are working
well together. Malta lends itself to the subject... We are just having a
good time," he said, confident that the major production - a complex
logistical operation - would work out "extremely well".
The local workforce has not only been involved in the set construction,
but also in wardrobe and props.
Speaking against the backdrop of the magnificent palace and the din of
tools in action, Dr Fenech Adami expressed his pleasure at the fact that
the local workforce was found to be amenable and productive, as well
as his gratitude towards Warner Bros for choosing Malta as a location
for the filming of the movie.
Dr Fenech Adami said Malta's appearance on the silver screen did help to
build its image and stressed his belief in the growth of the industry. Malta
had been working to "move on" in the industry of film production and Dr
Fenech Adami was pleased to note that it was happening.
"Malta has found its place as a location for shooting films," he said,
highlighting that 2002 was a record year for the industry in that every
day a film was either in preparation, or shooting.
The co-production treaty signed in 2001 was a "good step forward" and
Troy was the first fruit of the agreement - the first UK-Malta co-production
between Warner Bros Productions Ltd and Latina Pictures Ltd, following
the signing of the European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production.
The story of Troy and the 10-year Trojan War is no novelty, and has been
tackled before, albeit not on such a grand scale. But Mr Button feels the
script is "unique" and has "a massive spectacle to it; it has a wonderful
story to it; and will have a wonderful size to it".
Troy is the fruit of the vision of director/producer Wolfgang Petersen (The
Perfect Storm) and writer David Benioff (The 25th Hour), "who was told
these stories as a young boy", said producer Diana Rathbun (The Perfect
"Certain things in the movie are going to be different from the traditional
re-telling that we may know, but also very recognisable as the Iliad," she
The stellar cast, which includes the likes of Brad Pitt as Achilles and Academy
Award-winners Julie Christie and Peter O'Toole, was another bonus. "Each
actor was picked particularly for what they bring and how incredibly talented
they are," Ms Rathbun said.
"It is a movie for our times, just as it was then a story for the times."
For the rest, "it is for you to discover", said the creative forces behind the
project Ms Rathbun and Colin Wilson (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider).
Principal shooting continues in Mexico after Malta and is expected to wrap
up at the end of August. Troy is scheduled for worldwide release by Warner
Bros Productions and Village Roadshow Pictures in May 2004.
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