Entertainment & Arts

Action films restricted in Paris following attacks

Scarlett Johansson in Lucy Image copyright AP
Image caption Luc Besson's 2014 box office hit Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson, was filmed in Paris.

The filming of movie action sequences has been restricted by authorities in Paris following last month's attacks in the French capital.

"There's a problem with these action-type scenes, as the actors in uniform could be targets for terrorists," said police commander Sylvie Barnaud.

"Also, the actors could pose confusion for the general public - during this highly sensitive period."

She said the use of fake weapons and pyrotechnic effects were also banned.

Tensions remain high following the attacks in January which left 20 people dead, including three gunmen. Armed police and soldiers continue to guard sensitive sites, including synagogues, media offices and large shopping areas.

Commander Barnaud said she did not know how long the filming ban could last, but added it was common sense: "I was shocked to hear witnesses of the Charlie Hebdo attacks say on television 'it seemed like a movie shoot to us'".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Official statistics reveal there were 930 film shoots in Paris last year

Paris is a popular destination for film-makers, with its wide boulevards and dramatic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Louvre pyramid.

Official statistics provided by city authorities showed there were 930 film shoots in Paris last year, including approximately 20 international productions.

Recent box office hits which were filmed in the French capital include Tom Cruise thriller Edge of Tomorrow, Luc Besson's Lucy - starring Scarlett Johansson - and the first Taken film. Matt Damon's visceral car chase in his 2002 film The Bourne Identity remains among the city's most memorable action sequences.

Agnes Nageotte of the Cinema Mission said the restrictions "could have an impact on the big American productions".

"It's not the right moment to do it - even if Steven Spielberg wanted to film a big scene with police and a shoot-out in the streets in January, I'm sure it would not have got made," she said.

But Olivier-Rene Veillon, who heads the Ile de France Film Commission, told the New York Times, there was "no impact on current productions", adding it was a quiet period and the ban was "perfectly manageable".

More on this story