Traffic has been halted this week in Nice, while pedestrians stand along the streets watching a car chase, completely unafraid of the bullets flying out the vehicles. Sound like a movie? It kind of is. Shooting for the TV spinoff of The Transporter franchise began this week in the South of France, under the direction of Andy Mikita.
Produced by Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Lagardère Entertainment, The Transporter will be filming in the French city before heading out to Toronto next month. Hit the jump for more details and cast info.
About 1 km of the famous Promenade des Anglais, overlooking the Mediterranean, was shut down to traffic, prompting some unhappy drivers to honk and complain. Most people, however, enjoyed the live action scenes. A Hollywood moment on the Riviera which will continue until Friday evening.
In a video interview, executive producer Bernard Bouix told Nice Matin that they wanted to keep the spirit of the trilogy:
“We wanted to stay connected to the three movies. We wanted to keep a geographical tie. François Berléand played Tarconi, one of the main characters in the movie, and he’s back in the series. So we wanted to be kind of like the cousins of the three films. These are tough shooting conditions because shutting down the Promenade des Anglais requires obtaining authorization months in advance. I must say that the city of Nice has been extremely hospitable, even zen for such a shoot.”
As for disrupting the tranquility of the Riviera, Bouix promises The Transporter will make up for the inconvenience. “The beautiful images of Nice that will be seen in 80 countries will hopefully compensate for all the hassle we’ve caused.”
The Transporter’s first season consists of 12 52-minute episodes and will air on Cinemax in the US in 2012.
François Berléand reprises his role as Tarconi, while his big screen co-star Jason Statham is replaced by Prison Break actor Chris Vance to play Frank Martin, the discreet and hunky chauffeur/transporter. He seems like a good choice and shares a few common points with Statham – he’s British and can do moody pretty well.
And if you don’t know what a transporter is, here is a quick lesson:
“He transports anything, anywhere, for anyone, as long as the client is willing to pay the price. His rules are simple. 1. No names. 2. Never change the deal. 3. Never open the package. Except when he decides to change the rules. Which he does. Every single time. Systematically.”
Other cast members include Hungarian actress Andrea Osvart, who plays Carla, and Delphine Chanéac, seen in Splice and the 2004 French box-office smash Brice de Nice.