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Pompeii blockbuster film expected to boost tourism

$100-mln movie on eruption of Vesuvius to open on Friday

19 February, 17:33
Pompeii blockbuster film expected to boost tourism (ANSA) - Naples, February 19 - A new, 3-D film about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and subsequent destruction of the city of Pompeii in 79 AD is expected to provide a dramatic boost to tourism at the famed archeological site in southern Italy.

Officials say they hope the blockbuster film from British director Paul W.S. Anderson, opening in theatres on Friday, will help to popularize the story of Pompeii and the excavation near Naples. "This film will bring in many American tourists, I'm sure," said Mattia Buondonno, an official guide registered with Pompeii's archaeological officials who helped Anderson better understand the excavations for his $100-million film.

"They have done a good job".

Archaeologist Antonio Varone said he was "amused" with certain historical inaccuracies, including a chariot race.

But added that if the film helped to "stimulate curiosity" about the story of Pompeii, it would be helpful.

The film tells the story of a young slave gladiator Milo, played by British actor Kit Harington, known for his work as Jon Snow on HBO's Game of Thrones.

It features a pyrotechnic reproduction of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that spewed ash and pumice to kill almost the entire population of Pompeii, some 2,000 people, and encase the city.

Early reviews of the film have not been kind.

The popular Variety trade newspaper described the "sword-and-sandals saga" as campy, with particular appeal for teen-aged girls and gay men.

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