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Road closures as Avengers roll into Joburg

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A scene from the first instalment of the Avengers franchise.

THE filming of a Hollywood movie, Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, in the streets of the Joburg CBD is going to cause major traffic disruptions for the next two weeks.

The Joburg metro police department (JMPD) has warned that people might not be able to get to work on time if scenes of the film are being shot at particular times.

JMPD spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar has appealed to motorists to be patient, saying it is an honour to have a movie of this calibre being shot in the Joburg inner city.

From today until Friday, Albertina Sisulu Road will be closed from 7am to 7pm between Harrison and Rissik streets.

From Friday, certain other roads will be closed 24 hours a day.

Minnaar said residents and office workers would be allowed through, but not general traffic.

“However, even workers and residents can expect delays at times. Other secondary roads will also be affected, so motorists should avoid the CBD if they can. The movie producers’ own security and JMPD members will be on hand to direct traffic,” he said.

The City of Joburg’s joint operating committee is co-ordinating the filming with the assistance of the SAPS and local business owners, as well as the JMPD.

The movie is a follow-up to Joss Whedon’s mega hit The Avengers and is due to be released next year.

According to the Gauteng Film Commission, action photography sequences will not include main cast members such as Scarlett Johansson or Chris Hemsworth.

According to the commission, it showed the city to Marvel Studios last year, “sharing information about Johannesburg’s physical assets and the benefits of filming in the region, which include the possibility of qualifying for the recently revised government film incentive, which is intended to encourage and attract large-budget films and television productions that will contribute towards employment creation, enhancement of South Africa’s international profile, and increase the country’s creative and technical skills base”.

Gauteng Film Commission chief executive Phindile Mbanjwa said: “We’re thrilled that Marvel Studios is bringing a major motion picture project to Joburg, and we’re committed to showing them the very best our region has to offer.”

The first Avengers was the fastest film ever to gross $1bn at the box office worldwide and is the third highest grossing film of all time.

Mayor Parks Tau said the city was excited about hosting the movie: “It strengthens Johannesburg’s position as a worldwide film production centre with first-class facilities and production support.

“The film will also generate many jobs for South African crew members who will be employed by the production.

“Additional jobs will include over 1 000 extra man-days throughout the two-week shooting schedule,” he said, adding that the crew would work closely with Joburg authorities throughout the filming. - The Star

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