British independent watchmaker Peter Speake-Marin was asked to be a consultant for the scenes where Pierce Brosnan is at a workbench. Upon meeting, Brosnan was so impressed by Peter that he purchased one of his watches, and subsequently, Speake-Marin asked Brosnan to become a brand ambassador, to which he agreed. Pierce Brosnan is possibly the most high-profile celebrity to become an ambassador for any independent watchmaker. Prior to his official role as ambassador, Pierce can be seen wearing a Speake-Marin "Piccadilly" wristwatch during filming, in candid photographs, post-production, and a pink gold model during his 2015 Super Bowl commercial for Kia. In the movie, the store, located at 29 Bruton Street, is labelled "PSM Bespoke Watchmakers", "PSM" is an abbreviation commonly used by Peter Speake-Marin. In 2017, he left the company to focus on an educational enterprise.
This was Roger Rees' final film before his death on July 10, 2015 at the age of 71.
The view through the magnifying lens in the Watchmaker's secret lab, shows the Watchmaker simply adding a blob of solder to a standard micro SIM card.
The opening sequence of the film is set in war torn Afghanístan and the production team utilized a vast, unused metal factory in Sofia, Bulgaria. Kremikovtzi A.D. was once Bulgaria's largest metalworking company. The factory took three years to build, and was first put into operation in 1963, producing cast iron and coke (fuel), and employing just under seven thousand people. Having once been a thriving company, exporting to other European countries, the U.S., and China, the company fell into severe debt, and by 2006, investors were nervous for the factory's future. In 2008, when Kremikovtzi's owner withdrew from the company, the Socialist government attempted to keep the plant afloat while looking for a new investor, but was unable to save it. Kremikovtzi is now completely non-functioning as a metal working factory, but has found a niche as a diverse and dramatic film location.
Overlooking Tower Bridge and the River Thames, Sugar Quay, London was the shooting location of Sam Parker's (Dylan McDermott's) office, where Kate (Milla Jovovich) is reprimanded for blocking Dr. Emil Balan's (Roger Rees') passport request. The place was also the location of the Embassy Bubble, where Sally (Frances de la Tour) tracks Kate's progress when she goes on the run.
The climax of the movie was shot over two days on Stage 2 at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The dank and grimy tunnels of underground London were built on Stage 1 at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Kate Abbott (Milla Jovovich) is described as a Foreign Service Officer and State Department employee in the synopsis, and as a member of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the dialogue. This context indicates that she is a Diplomatic Security Service Special Agent. All Special Agents are considered to be Foreign Service Officers. Diplomatic Security is the same agency for which Lucas Hobbs (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) works in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
This movie was partially filmed on-location in Bulgaria. The production found a warehouse in Ihtiman, Bulgaria to film scenes. lhtiman is a town located in the lhtimanska Sredna Gora mountains, and lies in a valley approximately fifty kilometers (thirty-one miles) outside of Sofia, Bulgaria. Formally a Roman defensive station, guarding the important roads that run alongside of it, Ihtiman was then called "Stipon". Following the Ottoman domination in the fourteenth century, the town's name became lhtiman, which is thought to be of Ottoman Turkish origin.
The picture was filmed in and around central London, England for five weeks, before relocating to Bulgaria to shoot on-location, and at Boyana Studios in Sofia.
The rooftop of the notorious Heygate Estate in South London was used for the scenes in which Nash (Pierce Brosnan), Balan (Roger Rees), and Pavlou (Benno Fürmann) discuss their plan. The Heygate Estate is a large housing estate in Elephant and Castle, Southwark, South London. Built in 1975, the concept was to link all of the areas of the estate via concrete bridges, so there was no need for residents to walk on pavement, or along roads. The estate was once a popular place to live, housing over three thousand people, but it later developed a reputation for crime, poverty, and dilapidation. Despite currently being demolished as part of the regeneration of Elephant and Castle, the Heygate Estate is regularly used for filming.
The City of Westminister College was the location used for several of the Embassy rooms and offices; specifically, the Embassy Conference Room where Parker addresses the visa crew and introduces Kate Abbott as their go-to woman for all suspicious visa applications; the visa bullpen where Kate interrogates Dr. Emil Balan; Ambassador Crane's office, and Kate's office wíth a crucial view over the bullpen.
Paul Anderson (James D'Arcy) has the same name as Milla Jovovich's real-life husband.
Robert Forster and Dylan McDermott appeared in Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Automata (2014), and The Grid (2004)
The Institute of Education in London doubled as the exterior of the American Embassy in London. This is where we first see Kate Abbott arriving on her motorcycle, and are introduced to the ill-fated visa crew.
The British Airways Flight Training Centre, in Hounslow, England, was the location used for the interior of the airplane Kate Abbott takes to New York City. The flight training centre houses full motion and fixed base símulators, which allow students to practice a full range of realistic scenarios in cabin and flight deck environments.
When her friend holding the art show tells Kate, "I know you have a thing for the underworld", it could be an oblique reference to Milla Jovovich's band's work on the Underworld soundtrack. as well as Milla starring in the Resident Evil film franchise, a franchise compared to the Underworld film franchise, in that they are both supernatural franchises produced by Sony, with a tough female battling evil. As a further oblique reference, in 1999, there was a book in the Resident Evil series called "Underworld".
The film crew worked through the night at London's iconic St. Pancras Station, filming the scenes in which Kate meets her friend to pick up clothes and money, narrowly avoiding Nash, and the American Embassy officials hot on her trail.
The production utilized the exterior spaces at Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria, and several of its stages for the set builds. London's Shepherd's Market was replicated on the backlot.
Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 in London was the location used for Kate's departure to New York City. Terminal 5 was opened in 2008. The main building in the complex is the largest free-standing structure in the UK. Designed to handle thirty-five million passengers a year, the terminal building cost four billion British pounds to build, and took nineteen years from conception to completion, including the longest public inquiry in British history.
According to the Wikipedia website, "Emma Thompson was cast, and appeared in promotional material for the film, but she pulled out at the last minute."
Kate's apartment was built on Stage 5 at the Nu Boyana Studios in Sofia, Bulgaria for one day's filming, before it was struck and rebuilt into Pavlou's Landmark Penthouse office.
Stage 6 at Nu Boyana Studios was used for the set build of the Watchmaker's shop, a testament to time, where Pavlou visits Nash to alert him of Kate Abbott's existence. The soundstage was then transformed into Bill Talbot's apartment, where Kate and Parker discover a vital piece of the missing puzzle.
The name of the intelligence agency, for which Kate (Milla Jovovich) worked, at the U.S. Embassy in London, was the American Diplomatic Security Service, a.k.a. the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, which is abbreviated as D.S. or D.S.S.
The production notes say of Pierce Brosnan's former film career as famous British Secret Agent James Bond: "ln the 1990s, Brosnan reinvigorated the popularity of the Bond legacy in box-office blockbusters GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World Is Not Enough (1999), and Die Another Day (2002). Brosnan's first three Bond films earned over a billion dollars at the international box-office, and Die Another Day (2002) alone garnered almost a half-billion dollars worldwide."
This movie was released in the same year as numerous other spy, espionage, intelligence, and secret agent movies, with a couple of them also comedies. The movies include Spy (2015) (a Bond spoof); Spectre (2015); Sicario (2015) (F.B.I.; which has a title which is almost an anagram of Ian Fleming's "Risico" (1960) James Bond short story, bar the letter "A"); Survivor (2015) starring Pierce Brosnan; Black Mass (2015) (F.B.I.); Mortdecai (2015) (has an MI5 Agent lead character); Queen of the Desert (2015) (central character was a World War I attaché to the British Secret Service); the Bondian Furious 7 (2015); Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015); Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies (2015) (a cold war espionage thriller); The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) (Ian Fleming was an original co-creator); MI-5 (2015); and Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) (a Bondesque homage), a 2014 film, but which was mostly widely theatrically released in 2015. Also in theaters in 2015 from 2014, was Pierce Brosnan and Quantum of Solace (2008)'s Olga Kurylenko in The November Man (2014); and the heavily Oscar nominated World War II espionage film, The Imitation Game (2014). First released in 2014, were 3 Days to Kill (2014) and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014).