12 | 1 hour 45 minutes | Action, Adventure, Drama | 21 February 2014 (USA)
Also Known As: Pompeya Rated: Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences, disaster-related action and brief sexual content Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Drama Role: Milo Co-Stars: Emily Browning, Kiefer Sutherland, Carrie-Anne Moss, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (+ more) Director: Paul W.S. Anderson Producer(s): Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt, Don Carmody (+ more) Writer(s): Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler, Michael Robert Johnson Release Dates: 21 February 2014 (USA) – other countries Filming Location(s): Pompeii, Naples, Campania, Italy, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Filming Dates: 13 March 2013 – 12 July 2013
Set in 79 A.D., POMPEII tells the epic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him.
– No warning. No escape.
– A City will Fall. A Hero will Rise.
Kit Harington suffered from body dysmorphia (excessive anxiety about the appearance of one’s body) while working out for this role. He said he became completely obsessed with it to the point where he was “going to the gym three times a day for six days a week.” He suffered from a case of “exhaustion” and eventually his trainer stepped in to rein him in. But he said that he was “proud of what he achieved in the end”.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson said that he was not pleased when a lot of people online said that Kit Harington’s six pack abs were digitally enhanced and not real after the first stills and trailers for the movie were released. He reiterated that they were completely real with no make-up or digital enhancement and Harington actually looked like that for the shooting of those scenes.
Leading man Kit Harington underwent an extreme physical transformation for the film at his own behest. After he read the script, he went up to director Paul W.S. Anderson and told him that to portray the character as written in the script (his character Milo is described as “absolutely ripped”), he would transform his physique completely. Consequently, Kit Harington undertook a heavy ‘bulking’ regimen and a diet of 3000 calories a day to put on 2 stones (12.7kg/28lbs) of weight in 5 weeks. He then went on a very severe diet and ‘cutting’ regimen for 4 weeks to cut back from 12 stone (76.2kg/168lbs) to 10 stone (63.5kg/140lbs) acquiring intense muscle definition in the process. Harington later said that he was very pleased with the results and that it was the best shape of his life.
Kit Harington’s shirtless introduction scene (in the gladiatorial arena in London) was shot on the last 2 days of principal photography to give him as much time as possible to get his body in shape. He started training before filming began and throughout filming to peak for that scene.
The original cut of the film ran for 130 minutes with 24 minutes of footage missing from the theatrical cut. All of the deleted footage is available on the DVD and Blu-ray release of the film.
Kit Harington said that he always wanted to do a complete body-transformation for a role. This was the primary reason for his accepting this role. Another reason was that it gave him his first shot at being a macho leading man, something he always wanted to do.
Paul W.S. Anderson said that he re-shot the scene after whipping of Kit Harington’s character where he and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje have a conversation while being shirtless because towards the end of the filming he realized that they had gotten “way more cut” than when they had filmed it.
This is the second feature movie collaboration of Kit Harington and Carrie-Anne Moss within the span of two years after previously working together on Silent Hill: Revelation (2012).
Kit Harington’s gladiator costume for his introductory scene was almost scrapped. It was specially designed to show Harington’s abs, but they weren’t quite ready before filming began. The sequence was postponed to give Harington more time to prepare. Eventually, he was able to get his abs in shape and pull off the revealing costume.
Nuno Capitao de Salles, Kit Harington’s personal trainer, revealed that during the filming of Harington’s shirtless scenes, he would stand just outside the view of the camera and yell at Harington, “Contract your abs” or “Flex your abs” to keep reminding Harington to flex his abs for the shot.
Milo: [to Cassia as lava approaches] Don’t look. Look at me. Just me.
Atticus: What is your name? We will have to speak at some point. Milo: No, we don’t. What we have to do is kill each other at some point. So my name’s my own, I have no interest in learning yours.
Milo: [as he leaves Corvus to burn] My gods are coming for you.
Milo: Perhaps. I saw the man who killed my family. Perhaps the gods spared me for a reason.
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