Bardem movie hit by Barcelona bullfight ban

Bardem movie hit by Barcelona bullfight ban
Javier Bardem and Sean Penn have been in Barcelona filming The Gunman for the most part of July. Photo:Thomas Samson/AFP, Kris Connor /Getty Images/AFP
Makers of upcoming Hollywood blockbuster The Gunman, starring Javier Bardem and Sean Penn, have been barred from filming a bullfighting scene in Barcelona.

French director Pierre Morel, producer of action movies The Transporter and Taken, will have to use oxen rather than bulls in a scene in his latest film The Gunman, set partly in Barcelona.

The Catalan city’s Town Hall has stopped the Hollywood director from staging the bullfight in Barcelona’s bullring La Monumental under the pretext that it would go against animal right laws introduced in the region.

“The scene wasn’t actually going to take place on the arena,” film producer Adrián Guerra told Catalan daily El Periódico.

“All we wanted to film were a few bullfighting passes with the cape in the streets and the bullpens, not to actually fight the animals.”

But Barcelona Town Hall wanted to disassociate the Catalan capital from Spain’s image of a bullfight-loving society.

Morel and his team will now have to use computer-generated imagery to make the oxen they use on set resemble Lidia bulls on screen.

Catalonia’s bullfighting ban, officially passed in Parliament in 2012, was supported by animal rights groups but opposed by detractors who claimed the practice was “an asset of cultural interest.”

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