'Jumper' shoot had rare access to Coliseum


ROME -- 20th Century Fox's "Jumper" -- which tells a story about a time traveling teenager -- has boldly gone where no other major film has gone: inside Rome's ancient Coliseum.

Director Doug Liman was granted an unprecedented three days of access to the first-century structure, including underground chambers rarely visited by tourists. The filming took place earlier in December but was first announced over the weekend.

The permissions carried some restrictions: filming could only take place around dawn and dusk, and no artificial lighting was allowed.

The project is part of a newly open attitude toward film from Rome mayor Walter Veltroni, a film buff and one of the founders of the RomaCinemaFest, which held its first edition in October. In the past, even films set in Roman times -- such as Ridley Scott's "Gladiator" or the HBO series "Rome" -- had to make do without shots inside the Coliseum.

Though this is unprecedented access for a film, the Coliseum has been used sparingly for concerts and dramas in recent years.

"Jumper" tells the story of a teenager from an abusive household who discovers he can teleport through space. In addition to Rome, he travels to China, Paris and the Sahara Desert. The film will finish shooting in January and is scheduled for a 2008 release.